I have vacated my beach apartment in San Diego.
I have rehomed my sweet kitty.
I have given away and sold most of my belongings.
I’ve left my boyfriend.
The doctors say I have 2-3 years left, maximum. And they said that two months ago. I feel like I’m a ticking time bomb … I need to get on the road and start my bucket list trip before I can’t do it anymore.
I feel great right now, by the way. I have a few aches and twinges in my back, which could just as easily be from sitting for hours at a time in a van or just getting old as they could be from the tumors that are all over my spine.
The reason that this portion of the trip is the prologue is because I am not officially on my full RV adventure yet — this is just the preparatory part. I sold and gave away the majority of my things, and some stuff I will bring with me in my RV, but some I want to save, just in case I don’t die.
I am on my way to look at an RV for sale, and then I will keep on going to my mom’s house. If I don’t buy this RV I am going to see, then the search will continue. If I love it and buy it, then the adventure is really about to start.
But first, we gotta get to Tennessee.
Monday morning, we left San Diego. We packed the last of my food from the fridge and my blankets off of my bed. We got in the van at about 9:30 a.m., picked up a few beverages for the road, dropped off my keys with my property manager, and within an hour, we were out of San Diego. (But not for the last time; I have a doctor’s appointment on September 2, so I can’t dillydally in the South for too long.)
If you’re not familiar with this drive (east of San Diego), there is basically an enormous desert mountain range at the east end of San Diego county, and to get to Imperial County (and on to Arizona) you have to go up to a 4,000+ elevation and back down again.
Through the desert.
With no air conditioning.
I drove to El Centro; a little less than three hours (because I was driving a fully-loaded cargo van), and then Mom took over.
She basically did all of the driving through Arizona…
New Mexico …
and into west Texas.
This left me plenty of time to take pictures of everything we passed, and of course to put on my pink sunglasses and pretend we were driving through Bat Country.
By the time we got past El Paso, it was late at night, and I took over driving the longest and most boring stretch of road ever. We probably could have stopped to rest, but frankly, it was finally not 100+ degrees because it was nighttime, so we figured we would keep going as long as we weren’t too tired.
And thanks to a well-timed sugar-free Red Bull, I was totally ready to keep going.
Seriously, if you’ve ever driven through West Texas, it’s not something you’d forget. It seems like it’s never going to end.
Mom took over driving again, and as the sun came up, we were just a few hours away from my sister’s house in Houston.
Might as well keep on going, right?
Once we finally arrived in Houston, we were (understandably) wired, exhausted and hungry. We both took very long showers and very long naps, and generally recharged our batteries.
We did the longest and most stressful stretch of the trip, and Gracie the cargo van performed beautifully.
We also went for a short drive around town (mercifully, my brother-in-law was driving his Suburban so we could give Gracie the cargo van a break).
Houston is really quite lovely — when you have good air conditioning.
I got to check out some of Houston’s amazing public art and street art. It really is very impressive the way Houston has encouraged and subsidized art all over the city. (Check out my Instagram page for more.)
Two nights in Houston was just what the doctor ordered … we were rested and ready to hit the road again Thursday morning.
We kept the drive interesting by listening to the Democratic convention speech of my favorite president…
…. and I took tons of (not terribly bad) photos of the bayou and the lakes around New Orleans.
We are making our way through Mississippi and Alabama tonight. I will update after I check out an RV for sale. Maybe this trip will start for real this week!
Next stop, Tennessee!
(If you would like to donate to my bucket list road trip, please check out my GoFundMe campaign here.)