The Car Rental Company
I began by renting a car from THRIFTY car rental for a week (cheaper to rent by the week). I could not get Joe to agree with me so i went ahead and picked up the car with a little help from my colleague at work. I prepared for the next morning by packing and loading the car with what I would need for the road: Water, water, water, Credit card and some chewing gum (smile!). I had mapped up three locations for Starbucks coffee along the way, just in case I needed the extra sho tof caffeine (I do love Starbucks coffee by the way). This trip particularly marks the beginning of a very special journey for me. I had cancelled the original trip to San Francisco which included a Travbuddy meet up, due to work commitments. San Francisco is the first of the 12 destinations on my “Bucket List” - to understand what this means you need to watch the movie BUCKET LIST staring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nickleson, awesome movie.
A quick stop at Starbucks for Coffee before leaving Tucson (Starbucks at Speedway & Wilmot)
Well my day was done pretty quickly after a 7 hour work shift and running around to pick up the car, pack my bags and have dinner with a friend at RA. By 10:00 p.m. my body was begging for sleep but my mind was as active as a baby bird that learned to fly. Joe called about that time and I was relieved to say good night to Wayne and finally think of resting. I asked to spend the night at Joe’s so we did not have to start by driving to each other’s house. We agreed to leave his place by 7:00 a.m. latest: well that didn’t happen, by 9:00 a.m. I was still having coffee. 9:30 a.m. we finally left Joe’s house and began the long journey to San Francisco.
Joe was the driver on this leg, he had earlier suggested that we would drive interchangeably each driving until the gas tank is empty; well this did not happen either Joe was content driving and I was content being the passenger because it gave me the opportunity to capture those 70 mile passing moments from the window of our Subaru.
The first leg of our journey would end in Laguna Beach where Joe’s relatives (Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jerry) live. We were to spend the night at their home and leave in the morning.
Waiting in the car while Joe got me a Grande latte with a lemon pund cake from Starbucks
Prior to the journey we had printed a map from MapQuest (Joe's choice, I mush rather use Google): there was a note to Arizona I-10 travelers regarding the Corridor construction taking place. All Interstate 10 on-ramps and off-ramps through Tucson between Prince road and 29ths street will be closed from summer 2007, through spring of 2010 in a bid to widen the highway. From Joe’s house we headed east on Speedway towards the interstate 10, we merged onto interstate 10 west towards Phoenix and went on for approximately 56.6 miles then merged onto I-8 West via exit 199 toward San Diego. To get to San Diego, we went through Yuma taking the Phoenix bypass route off interstate 10.
The stretch from the Phoenix bypass to Yuma was pretty flat and boring with nothing much to see along the way, we went through one boarder patrol station prior to getting to Yuma. In Yuma, we stopped for coffee and a snack at McDonalds, I would have prefered Starbucks but we decided not to venture in town to minimize wastage of time. Joe who is cautious about eating fast foods began by telling me how he would prefer greens and some dressing: my immediate reaction was ‘you are on vacation, break the rules they will not kill ya!’. I ordered coffee and a double Cheese burger; Joe had the double cheese burger meal. We refueled in Yuma and off to San Diego we went.
My exit off Interstate 10 West to San Diego (Interstate 8 West)
The heat and smell of dusty sand all along the way was an interesting treat to my sense of smell .
. . as a child, I loved the smell of earth as the rain began to fall, the wind blew dust in the air and mixture of moisture and earth smells so good (and no, I'm not pregnant). Well the sand smelled like it was going to rain, but alas no rain. The drive was smooth to Laguna beach where the much anticipated visit to Joe's relatives finally came to an end. Initially Joe had asked his uncle and aunt if we could stay the night, but I was uncomfortable staying since they did not know me.
To be continued . . .