Monday, March 21, 2011

First week in South Carolina :)

So I've officially been here a week. So far, I love it. I cant find anything to complain about besides missing my family and friends. But, that's what planes are for right? :)
The internet got hooked up yesterday and I couldnt be happier, I lagged on updating this blog, despite my moms request (sorry mom), but im glad I I have so much to share......

So I left off in hem...loved it!
The next state we went through was Georgia. Although it was dark, the city lights in Atlanta reminded me a lot of  downtown LA. We stopped in a city named Dallas. Omar's aunt lives there. It was a small city close to Marrieta and about 4 1/2 hours from Aiken. It was good for him to see his family, they stayed up and waited for us to stop by. We both felt bad because it was late, 12:30a eastern time, but his aunt really wanted to see him so we made the detour stop anyway. I was tempted to just stay the night there at his aunts but we were so close to South Carolina and we wanted to keep going. All I kept thinking was a few more hours.... a few more hours.... So we said our goodbyes and promised to come back soon to visit. She will hold us to that promise im sure!
We left his aunts at about 1:45a, we were all exhausted. Marcy knocked out and I kept drifting in and out of sleep. I was trying to stay up and talk to Omar as he drove so he wouldn't be the only person awake, but the damn sleep monster was winning! lol
We finally get to Augusta, Ga. Stopped for gas at a Circle K, our last gas stop. Its 5:15a, 2,058 miles driven, Gas spent: $802.
We were almost there, I couldnt wait! I was awake now so I drove from Augusta to Aiken.  As much as I love Cali, the weather there, the buildings, beaches and fun, I instantly fell in love with Aiken's main street. It seriously looked like Main Street at Disneyland, there was even music playing and birds chirping. A great welcome to Aiken.

It was almost 6:00a est and my excitement overrode my body's need for sleep.
The tree lined streets that led us to our new house were awesome.

The house is in a area called College Acres, every house here has a huge yard with a lot of trees. My dad left a key under the mat for us and when we walked in, there was a cute lil note that said  "Welcome to your new home" Love Dad, Kathy and Dylan (my lil brother), It was very thoughtful and we felt welcome right away.   (I actually framed that note and hung it in the kitchen)
So after we explore the inside of the house, we head out to the backyard. There is a deck off the house that leads to our own private forest. Its amazing. Walking out to chirping birds at dawn was something ive never done before. I could feel and smell how clean the air was.
Behind us is a huge house that has horses in the yard. Because there isnt big gates marking the property lines, it seems like our yard went on forever.

Heres a shot of one of the horses that are practically in our yard.

Even though we haven't had a good nights sleep in a few days, the excitement of actually being here wound us up. Marcy was even wide awake. I text my Dad to let him know that we were there and he said he would come by in the morning to see us. We all went to sleep for a few hours and my Dad came over around noon. We got to meet his new wife Kathy, shes very nice, and see him and Dylan whom we haven't seen in a few years.

After we caught up, we went to a lil restaurant down the road called Maria's. It was good, and refreshing to see people speaking spanish! lol For the rest of Sat we hung out and Sun my dad came over again and we went to eat together. Our first few days were kind of a blur to me. I think the mix of exhaustion, excitement and nervousness clouded my days.

Me and Omar spent the rest of our first week here driving around town and exploring. We wanted to get used to the streets and find out where everything is. Its crazy, where we lived in Sylmar, its a rural community. There wasn't a lot of big stores near us, everything was pretty much mom & pop stores. I was expecting Aiken to be the was I wrong! Right down the road from us is everything! seriously every store you would ever need...Target, Lowe's, WalMart, Home Depot, Ross, TJ Maxx, a mall, more restaurants than I've ever seen in one area and so much more. Its perfect here! We get the best of both worlds, nature and the convenience of shopping. I thought we would have trouble finding jobs but everywhere we go I see now hiring signs. That was one thing that worried me, jobs!
I figured, why am I going to move my whole life clear across the country and still do the same crap I was doing before. I want a completely new life; new occupation, new relationship and new way of living. I have another chance at making a path for my future that will make me happy and the only thing that would hold me back now is ME.
**Warning** The following is a touchy subject:
I know some of you are quite aware of me and Omars separation. We will be legally divorced on July 8th 2011 and even though its still a tough situation for me, I do know that I still love him.Seems like a very grim topic to be blogging about but I figured what are blogs for? Im seeing this as my virtual journal for all who cares to see, if im not being honest with myself, than how can I say I want a fresh new start?
My situation with Omar may seem confusing to my family and friends, I know you might think....what the hell is she doing? Hell, its still confusing to me, but I knew deep down inside I did not want to come out here without him. This was something we always talked about doing together... moving away, living a more relaxed lifestyle, starting a family....we never had the opportunity to do so before.
Then, when I felt my life literally fell apart piece by piece, my Dad brings this offer to me... come to SC and I will help you establish a new life here. It felt like everything fell into place when I finally decided...hey, I really want to do this!
At the time I made up my mind to move, me and Omar were not living together, we werent even together, together. Ok, if im going to be honest, we had literally just started talking to each other again.
I swear, as soon as I told him I was seriously moving, I saw a change in him.... I felt a change in me! I was so sure I was 100% done with trying to mend anything with him, but then, it just changed and I cant really explain it but I felt like something was guiding me, step by step to make this move....with him.
I know Omar may get upset or hurt that Im writing about this for all to see but Im not ashamed. Trust me, I was really embarrassed to tell anyone that we weren't together anymore, embarrassed to be divorced, embarrassed for my family and friends to find out, but im not anymore.
Hey, life happens, its shitty sometimes and we make mistakes, but its life. We are allowed to fall and get back up again, thats the point right?? I dont care if anyone judges me or has any opinions because Im doing me, and from this point on, Im living for me and my happiness.

The title to my blog "The Long Road Ahead" means way more than my road trip to get here. Its literally the long road I need to travel to get to the new me. Im excited and I cant wait to get there.
I wake up every morning here and go outside to make sure its real. I feel like Im on vacation and soon I'll have to go back to my old life, like its waiting for me to see it through. I hope this feeling lasts, I want everyday to feel like a vaca away from the old me. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tennessee...the only place to be!

Tennessee...the only place to be!
2:00p- 1,742 miles driven so far...phew.

we are finally here! Tenne-freakin-see!! We just passed through Memphis, it looks like a lil downtown LA.

Lots of billboards and big buildings. We went over the Mississippi river on a bridge to Memphis, that was cool. Took some pics and a video that i posted on my YouTube channel redmaga3. I know its going to get dark around 6:00p so we didn't stop in memphis, we want to see Nashville a.s.a.p.
2:50p stopped at a pilot station in Stanton, TN. needed gas. Spent $630.00 so far. 1,178 miles when we left the station. Omar took over driving from there so now I got a chance to update this blog. :)
5:44p- The drive through Tennessee is beautiful, lots of trees and woods. Hit some traffic due to a lil accident but we are back on the road. Currently 21 miles away from Nashville. We are going to meet up with our cousin Daniel in Nashville at his tattoo shop.Also, we want to find some bomb BBQ, so we r on a mission!

6:15p Nashville baby!! There is a lot of traffic here. Kinda looks like the valley, lots of signs in spanish and Mexican food places. We drove down Nolensville Pike and saw a freakin' white castle!! How can we pass this and not stop!? So Marcy gets 2 lil sliders so we can taste them. They were ok, I'm not a big burger fan so I probably didn't appreciate it as much as Omar n Marcy :)

We keep driving down and park in a catholic schools parking lot that's across the way from my cousin Daniels tattoo shop Emperor Tattoo. Stayed for a few minutes, took a couple pics, checked out the shop and off we go. Oh and Marcy and Daniel look a lot alike, you can tell they are related. They can be twins!

So Daniel recommended Whitts BBQ, we stopped and had the best ribs, Mac n cheeses, baked beans, and a loaded potato with turkey. OMG! Deeelish! Everything was good and tender. Their sauce is really tasty. They sell lil pecan pies and they had a pie called chess pie, I asked what it was, it's like a pecan pie without the pecans. Yumm! Also, their lemonade is bomb!

It got dark really quick so we didn't get a chance to cruise downtown Nashville. We aren't far so we can always come back.

7:50p stopped for gas, Marcy got hit on by a good ole country boy. Lol
miles traveled so far 1,957. Gas purchased: $680.
We hopped on the 24e headed towards Atlanta, Ga. Gonna make a stop at omars aunts house near Marrieta, Ga. He hasn't seen them in a long time so this will be good for him.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welcome to Arkansas!

10:35p 1,471 miles driven so far. We stopped at a cool gas station in Roland, OK which is 5 minutes away from AR. They have showers there, which is cool. The air smelled like a campfire and it was cold, 38 degrees. Gas spent so far $531. I should mention something, it may seem like we are pumping gas a lot, actually we are, but it's only because we aren't letting the needle get passed the 1/2 mark in the tank. My uncle Fred gave us that advice. :)

So I'm bummed, I was planning on passing by Little Rock, AR and seeing my cousins. Sadly they won't be able to meet up with us and we wouldn't be here until midnight. :( booooo! I'm hoping after we are all settled in SC, I can visit everyone I missed on this trip.

1:30a- we are going to stay the night in Little Rock, AR. Just playin' it safe, there's no rush :) so motel 6 it is. We had to park the truck a bit far from the room, but there is a crazy security guard that is driving around so i pray it's safe.
I wanted to drive through the rest of Arkansas and Tennessee in the day time so we can see everything, I would hate to pass right through and miss it.
Oh and btw, I think it's Conway, AR we passed before we got to Little Rock, well, that town smells like a dirty diaper lol. Just sayin'

Went to bed hearing some bad news about the earthquake in Japan. I have a friend Makiko that lives there in Osaka-shi so I hope she is ok. Oh and there is a tsunami watch in Hawaii and California!! Great! Went to bed with a bit of worry on my mind.....zzzzzzzz...
9:45a- just got up, man I'm exhausted still. Well good news, Makiko is ok and the tsunami that was hitting Hawaii was not bad. Thank u jesus!!
We stopped at the gas station next to the hotel to fill up. $581 so far.
Saw a restaurant called The Waffle House so we stopped for some breakfast.
I gotta admit, I've never had so much food for $6!! and it was good! Everyone out here is suer polite too, nice!


The time change is really messing me up! Lol
Ok, so now it's 2:22p central time. 
We are in Erick OK, 1,155 miles so far.  Looks like another wonderful state full of American Indian culture

*****Im super bummed the remainder to this entry was accidentally erased, I cant remember what I wrote but I know it was about our awesome time in OK*******  :''(  2 tears for my old words.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Howdy Texas!

7:45p- now we are in the panhandle of Texas!  Too bad it's dark. I hear we aren't going to be missing much anyways.  I took a cat nap so I can switch off and drive again later.  I've had 6 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours :) I'm tough!  Lol
8:20 passing Vega. Stopped at a gas station to fill up on coffee.  Saw real cowboys lol.
9:05- Still driving on the 40 east, pitch black all around us. Thinking about grabbing a hotel for the night, we could use a good nights rest. I wouldn't stop at any of these creepy rest stops.  *-* currently traveled 1037.2 miles.
Good morning!  **yawn**
I feel so refreshed and renergized, going to grab some breakfast and hit the road again. 

Hola New Mexico¡

11:15a just passed the Arizona/New Mexico line. 627 miles so far.
It's so beautiful here. I've never seen mountains quite like this. The red and orange colors are amazing.
There's not much to see here as well, lots of pretty rocks and Mountains.

Drove past a lil city named Gallup. There is a lot of teepees and trading posts along the side of the interstate. Passed a few reservations as well.

2:56p 778 miles so far just leaving a gas station in Albequerque.

Kinda looks like Palmdale here, lots of Mexicanos. Tumblweeds and dirt everywhere. I think the restless leg syndrome is kicking in for all of us, so I kept making stops to stretch. I got 400+ miles driven under my belt on this trip so far :) time to switch! Oh, there is a bunch of hitch bikers out here. It's the middle of the desert people!! Be real! Also, it seems like every 5 miles there is huge firework stands.

Gas so far $330.00
Omar took over driving again, my calve was sore. Taking a nap so peace!


Still on the 40east
So the time is changing as I type. I'm now an hour ahead of my old Cali time. I feel like I lost an hour..sounds lame, but I did lol!!
So far so good, dogs are letting us know when they gotta go do their business, tow dolly is holding up good, Omar is driving still and he's not tired. I got him a few 5 hour energy drinks and they seem to be working. Marcella has been knocked out for 3 hours.
When I look out the window all I see is...well nothing really. The sky is so clear and full of a trillion stars.

12:44a- Just crossed the Colorado river now I'm officially in Arizona. Speed limit here is seventy-freakin-five! We are still going 55 though. They prohibit lane changing out here in certain areas of the interstate.
I put my American flag blanket on the dash of my car so the coppers and minutemen know what's up! Lol
I wish we were traveling on the 10 instead of the 40, I really wanted to see my cousins in Goodyear, Az. Next time!

Lil' D (my French wanker dog) and his snoring are all that I hear now. I'm excited and nervous still. Can't wait until the sun comes up so we can see what's around us.

1:00a-Stopped at a chevron in lake havasu/London bridge...strange. I felt the difference already. You don't realize how nice people are until you leave L.A. Lol

1:48a- Kingman, Az. The first sign of life in a 50 miles! Annnnnndd...there it went.
I'm positive my surroundings are nice and I'm missing out. It's soooo dark outside these windows.
Next big town is Flagstaff. Until then it's the wide open desert. Hope we don't come across any animals in the road...btw, the roads here in az are so smooth, no potholes or garbage :)
Miles so far: 324.2, gas $ spent $171.00. Not too bad given its a V8 and we are hauling a huge load.

No blogging and driving :) omar got sleepy, think he was crashing from the 2 monsters and 5 hr energy. I Didn't mind.
Around 4:20a we passed the exit for the grand canyon. 427 miles into the trip so far.
Drove through a cool little town that looked like a route 66 shrine. Flagstaff was cool, kinda looks like Big Bear.
Started getting sleepy, the straight and boring roads were making my eyes delirious @-@
Took a detour at 5a to see the meteor, didn't find it. Saw a bunch of cow x-ing signs instead, oh and it was like methane overload outside.
6:00a decided to stop at a rest stop to take a power nap. It was cold as hell. 19degrees. Eeek. I better get used to the cold. Saw the sunrise a bit, beautiful!
8:20a stopped in Winslow, az for mcdonalds breakfast.
Arizona is what I thought it would be...flat. :)
Miles so far: 523.9, gas $218
220 miles until we hit albequerque, nm
Stopped at this awesome store named Geronimo, they sell Minnetonka moccasins!! Score!
Had to get a pair, they are super warm and comfy. :) Marcy got a cute pair too.
Outside they had a huge piece of petrified wood and teepees. Photo op!

9:35a Stopped in a city called Navajo for gas, the American Indian lady working there said I looked like her sister, was that a compliment? Lol
Restroom break in a tiny town called Zuni. Its nice not to feel rushed, we can see a lot more things.
Almost to New Mexico!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Movies on the road..

There's nothing else to look at :P

And so it begins....

The long road ahead, seems bright and fresh.
Me, Marcy, Omar and 2 dogs. Driving a GMC Sierra hauling my element on a tow dolly. Gas, snacks, pillows and blankets, we are good to go!

Planned on leaving on Monday night at midnight, took a nap and wayyyy over slept. Oops! Doesn't matter really,we have no time frame at the moment. I think this is the first time in a very long time that I didn't feel stressed or pressured about being somewhere at a certain time. Kinda refreshing actually.
Left sylmar around 5:00p. My "angel on earth" of a neighbor made us a big thermos of tea and let us shower before we left. She's the best :)
Caught some traffic in Pasadena, then it was pretty smooth.
Hit hesperia at 7:30 and we've stopped twice to check the tow dolly and tires.
Its dark so there isn't much to see. Last glimpse of California looks kinda dim ;p
8:30p- passing the vegas needles split. So tempted to turn towards Las Vegas when I saw it one more Vegas adventure before i leave...hmmmmm... Lol
On the 40 freeway now, we will be here for a long long time. The next time we change freeways will be in Memphis, Tennessee! Woowhooo!