Just returned from two weeks' vacation in the desert Southwest, completely and totally exhausted. Ostensibly the trip was to Yosemite, but we made so many stops along the way – there and back – I can't even tell you where all we went. Aside from a few brief breaks, like a day spent in lovely (and temperate) Santa Fe, it all blends into one hot, dry mush. I also vaguely recall being in Hollywood, putting my hands in the prints left in cement by celebrities, and definitely remember seeing the last in the series of Harry Potter films in the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre (you must go there!), possibly one of my favorite experiences ever.
Still blows me away yesterday morning we woke up in Nebraska, and by the evening I was doing laundry back home in lovely suburban Chicago. And that's without either a TARDIS or travelling at speeds in excess of 70 m.p.h., the speed above which our camper trailer will combust. People, that is a damn long way. A DAMN LONG WAY, especially when it involves hours spent driving through Nebraska.
Nebraska! As my older son opined, its state motto should be "We're a State," as it's a vast, barely populated area without an awful lot to recommend itself. No offense meant to natives, but there isn't much there but open land, cows grazing and tumbleweeds. Or, if there is, it managed to keep itself hidden. One distinction is has it was the birthplace of "Buffalo Bill" Cody. I'm sorry we didn't have time to stop and see his house, because that's the sort of thing I would actually care about, but otherwise… The less said the better.
During that long drive home through half of Colorado and the entire width of Nebraska (following our last stop at Zion National Park), and the state of Iowa (during which I was largely unconscious), neither did it help that the mercury hit 100, a temperature so offensive to my delicacy it doesn't afford me the inclination to care about anything save crawling from air conditioned space to air conditioned space. Were she not dead, I would knock down my grandmother should she dare stand between the chill in our van and that in a gas station or restaurant. I consider that not so much unethical as my right as an American.
At the best of times I'm easy to please but impossible to thrill, so Nebraska, don't take it too personally. I also stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon for about three minutes before saying, "Okay. I'm good. Let's go." Because every view of the canyon looks pretty much like every other view. You may feel it behooves you to disagree, on principle, but I feel no such compulsion. If I can pick up a fifty-cent postcard featuring a better photo of a natural feature than I can take myself, that satisfies my curiosity. That, and a cursory glance in the general direction.
Took a fair amount of photos, handing over the camera to my husband around halfway through because national parks are his thing, not mine. I'm more a city/urban/anything but natural photographer, and he's into mountains and trees and all manner of wildlife. I took lots of photos of old Route 66 stuff: abandoned hotels and restaurants, rusty cars, the Cadillac Ranch and such. I'll share a few of those with you, along with travel-related anecdotes along the way. It'll be just like you came along! Only without the aggravation of hanging with me. Best of both worlds.