Last portion of the trip
I’ve tried to think of more eloquent things to say, but really all I can say about the trip moving to Texas is that it was a total blur, a ton of fun and really good for me.
In Santa Monica, Evan, Melanie and I walked along the Pier. In the pics you’ll see a shot of the end of Route 66. I thought that was kind of fun because Amarillo is roughly around the middle of the Route. Now I just need to go to Chicago! I have always wanted to go there. . . Santa Monica is really nice. We went to the Promenade and walked around the shops though we didn’t go in any and buy stuff (um, my car was already full enough, thank you!) Then we headed home. (Well, their home.) Evan had a composers’ meeting so Mel and I went to see a movie — “Bridesmaids.” I fully expected it to be full of stereotypes and basically “The Hangover” for women, but it actually had some unexpected depth, at least in my opinion. I thought the ad campaign was way off (as it often is in most movies these days. . . ) But this quote in particular I thought was applicable to myself at times and to many people I know. “I can’t deal with people who blame the world for their problems. You are your problems. And you are your solution.” (Melissa McCarthy’s character says that at one point.)
I love that quote. A lot of the movie was ridiculous and raunchy, but as I said there was an unexpected depth, I thought. (But maybe I have a soft spot for Melissa McCarthy. I have loved that actress ever since my favorite TV show of all time, “Gilmore Girls.”)
The next day we did Hollywood! We did a hike and then went to the Observatory. Then we went down to the theaters and saw the stars on the sidewalks and handprints. It was very interesting. You’ll see Melanie and I with our hands in the Harry Potter stars’ area. 🙂 It was awesome. After that we headed to their friend Chuck’s birthday party. He has a view of the Hollywood sign from his balcony! It was a lot of fun. Then we headed home (after being trapped in traffic for a while. Poor Melanie was driving and the Star Wars concert had just let out so it was total chaos.)
The next day I picked up my mom at Jerry and Carmen’s and we headed to Vegas! Then the next day we headed out (hahaha just kidding. . . I will give details.)
We stayed at Treasure Island (Thanks to Nicole’s suggestion.) It was a very nice room and had a great view of the strip. If I hadn’t been so tired I might have suggested going down to the pool, but instead we headed out and walked around to do some shopping and just exploring. Neither of us is much into gambling and to be honest both of us get headaches from cigarette smoke so we avoided the casinos. We picked up our tickets to Cirque de Soleil Love and dinner and then walked around some more. Dinner was truly amazing. It really was the best steak I have ever had. It was tender and juicy and just absolutely perfect. mmmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it! There was other stuff at dinner that was incredible as well but the steak was so incredible that is all I can think about!! But seriously it was awesome.
After dinner we headed to the show that was just beyond words awesome. In something like that there is such a combination of aestheticism, showmanship, talent and creativity that it is hard to fathom how it comes together night after night. Mom liked the skaters best (for those of you who have seen it) and I just couldn’t pick. I kind of liked the slower numbers best because you could see what was happening more, but also the first time the Beatles came out where they were jumping all around was pretty amazing.
The next morning we got up and made the longest drive I made the entire trip. The driving part was only about 9.5 hours, but we lost an hour and stopped a lot so in the end it “seemed” like 12 hours. But it wasn’t all boring driving.
We first stopped at the Hoover Dam. As many times as I have been through Nevada, I have never been over this particular dam (others, yes.) It was pretty awesome, even though they made me open my car doors to make sure I wasn’t hiding explosives (seriously, do I look dangerous??) I was kind of afraid it would all tumble out but thankfully all the luggage stayed inside the car and we were able to drive across the dam. We also saw the HUGE new-ish bridge which is made to bypass the dam. Really incredible how big it is. On the drive back Mom and I started smelling smoke and after some investigation we found out that although we were in New Mexico the heavy smoke was from the Arizona wildfires. Total craziness. Apparently the smoke had already made it all the way to Iowa that night. It might have made it even farther by now because they continue to grow.
Then on the next day (losing track of actual days. . .sorry) We made it back to Amarillo! It only took about five hours. I was unpacked and organized within two days. I hate the feeling of being unsettled.
I know many people will think that this is the end of my adventure and now I’m settling back into a boring life in the Panhandle, but I feel that this is only the beginning of a year full of adventures. I hope that everyone on the NOP will stay in touch and that I get to catch up with everyone in Texas soon!