If you haven’t heard yet, I recently moved back to Southern California (where I grew up) from Chicago for personal reasons. It was a very efficient 3 solo road trip.
- Day 1 (8 hours): I took a middle route heading down to Kansas City, MO to stay with my cousin Julie. Along the way, I noticed that Iowa and Missouri had free wifi at the rest stops! There it was on the signs next to vending machines. I didn’t try it out since I was on a schedule and didn’t want to get sucked into catching up on my RSS feeds. The day ended with a tasty frozen custard from Culver’s. If you don’t know what frozen custard is, just know that they love it in Kansas City as shown by this massive line for free custard (too long for us to wait).
- Day 2 (10 hours): I shot straight west to Vail, CO to stay with my friend Stan. While the drive through Kansas was pretty plain, it was surprisingly shooken up with a few short downpours. Vail was very nice and idyllic. Lots of greenery, beautiful mountains, and nice and quiet without all the tourists. Coolest thing in Vail is that they use roundabouts everywhere. There were barely any stop lights or stop signs – you can pretty much just constantly keep driving which is awesome. After getting a cramped foot from all the stop signs in So Cal, I’m wishing we could adopt some roundabouts. The other cool highlight on this route was going to the Sonic Drive-In. After seeing the commercials, I had to try it out (couldn’t find the actuals, but you can check this out for their resonse to the parodies).
- Day 3 (13 hours): Straight shot through Utah, Vegas, down to Irvine, CA. The southern part of Utah does not have much. There’s lots of pretty rock formations, but very very few rest stops. I think there was a stretch of 100 miles without one. That was painful. I did notice a cool billboard that played off the Vegas slogan (“What happens in Vegas, stays in vegas”) by saying something like “What happens in Utah, is fun for the whole family”. Cute huh? As soon as I hit NV, I enountered 100 degrees with wind (think of a giant blow dryer). At the Vegas city limits I saw another interesting Billboard – it was the 10 commandments. It was a bit hard to read them while driving on the freeway, but I guess there might be someone who see it and feels guilty enough to turn around and head back to Utah for family fun. Since my day was long enough, I opted not to stop in Vegas since you can’t really just “drop in” to Vegas. If I stopped, I would have ended up at the Bellagio buffet and then the blackjack tables for at least a few hours.
It wasn’t really a vacation, but it was nice to clear the mind for a few days. I’ve finally got my work environment setup in sunny OC and a decent routine down to keep me chugging on Menuism. It’s definitely nice to be on the same timezone as John.
More updates to come along with the to 10 things I’ll miss most about Chicago. If anyone is in Orange County and wants to meet up, shoot me an email.