Category Archives: Arizona

The Final Days: Going (going) Back (back) to Cali (cali)

We took the 10 through Arizona, passing through Tucson just enough to see its traffic and the surrounding mountains (which are quite pretty). We felt real fancy staying at the La Quinta in Phoenix after our recent hotel stays because it had indoor hallways and a room that didn’t smell like vomit! Yay! I refuse to tell you where we ate dinner because it’s embarrassing. But it may or may not rhyme with Schblerger Schming. Two nights in a row. I know, we’re gross. I guess the road started wearing on us.

Anyway, we just crashed at the hotel, and got up early for our FINAL TIME on the road again!!! The on ramp to the 10 west listed Los Angeles as the destination. It may as well have said, “Alan and Jenni – home is this away!” Hugeness. We were super amped for our return “home” and to complete the first major leg of our traveling journey, and here’s how we celebrated:

We got in the car and I played “On the Road Again” for the final time.

Then I played Phantom Planet’s “California.” (We’ve been on the run, Driving in the sun, Looking out for number 1. California here we come, Right back where we started from. California! Here we come!). I’d been waiting to play this song on the ride practically since we left LA in the first place.

Then I played Biggie, “Going Back to Cali.”

Then I played the Eagles’ “Hotel California.”

And then Joni Mitchell’s “California.”

And then 2Pac’s “California Love.”

Wilco’s “California Stars.” (shout out to Barbra & Dave!)

And the Mamas and Papas’ “California Dreamin.”

Tristan Prettyman’s “California Girl.”

And then RHCP’s “Californication.”

And then I ran out of California songs on my iPhone.

So then we just got excited for our In N Out and Champagne date in LA. (See the joint post we wrote about finishing up our journey here).

Then we got to Brentwood, and it was literally 75 and sunny. Oh, LA, I love you.


Which brings me to another general observation from this trip – the disdain with which people routinely respond to LA is almost as universal as it is misplaced. Is it jealousy? Ignorance? I don’t know, but what I do know is that Alan and I ADORE this place and it feels good to be home. Not that I’m not excited to leave it again, it’s just so good to know it’s there waiting for us whenever we get back with open arms and sunny blue skies.

We’re spending our time in LA mostly working on catching up on these blogs (new resolution: stay on top of blog posts!!!!!), getting vaccinated like woah, planning what the hell we’re doing in Asia for the next six months, trying to cram six months’ worth of clothes and malaria meds into a backpack, and lots of other loose end tying up. In more fun news, we’re also trying to squeeze in much needed LA friend time, and I was honored to throw a bridal shower for my dear friend Jenny (it was a pink explosion)!

::lots of pink::
::then lots of blogging::
::then lots of blogging::

Also BIG thank you to our amazing friends Jenny & Albert and Mike & Lauren for letting us crash with you!

Going Home!

We left White Sands National Monument and passed the sharp, dramatic Organ Mountains.  In this area the traffic lights are all horizontal, I guess due to the wind?

Tucson is backed by nice mountains and here we saw our first In-N-Out since leaving California nearly three months ago.  Despite the temptation, we held out for our traditional coming home meal.  La Quinta hotel in Phoenix was a splurge that even had internal hallways!

Friday was the last day of the trip and the excitement was palpable.  Will we make it all the way back with no accidents or traffic tickets?!  In Phoenix we saw our first signs for Los Angeles, confirming the final stretch.  Jenni did a great job deejaying several California-themed songs…of course starting with Biggie’s Going Back to Cali and followed by tunes like Phantom Planet’s California, California Love by 2Pac, Hotel California, etc.

Much of the drive between Phoenix and Palm Springs is very pretty, and south of the 10 near Tonopah is a nice mountain.  I have driven to the Palm Springs area many times but never approached from this direction.  We descended quite a hill down to Indio.

We made it back to Los Angeles at 1 pm, having driven just under 12k miles.  And it was literally 75 and sunny.  We closed with a bottle of Moët, just as we began our first night camping at San Simeon.  For some fun stats summarizing our three-month road trip, see the post here that we wrote at that time.

November 8, 2013 (Friday)