There's always something, isn't there? A mostly uneventful drive across the country gets a sudden desert storm just at the last 30 miles before Las Vegas. A bit of rain, a bit of wind, some hail (yes, hail!) caused a little slowdown amidst a few weather alerts on the radio warning of flash floods. But it wasn't enough to do more than slow us down a little and we were running ahead of schedule anyway.
Before we left on this trip, I purchased a GPS unit for the car. I have decided it may have been a wasted purchase. Not completely wasted but there were some problems. Just north of Dallas, we requested a search for hotels. Picked one out and went for that. It had the hotel on the wrong side of the highway. Not a big problem, just a matter of turning around. Still, it was annoying. There were confusing directions for some other destinations as well but, in general, it wasn't too bad. And it was nice to have a quick access to hotel names and numbers for any destination we chose. The machine's voice could have been a little less grating too.
I am not sure why I bought the GPS. I have made trips across the country a number of times. It is almost impossible to get lost except inside a city... on the surface streets. And I don't bother to stay inside a city while traveling. I bypass as many major cities as I can (especially Houston, Texas!) and look for nice places to spend a night after passing those. When I was young, I would sleep in rest areas or the cheapest motel I could find. Now that I am a bit older, I prefer a bit more comfort. Besides, Faye has a large aversion for rat holes and Motel 6's. We tend to stay at Hampton's Holiday Inn Express, and the like. The GPS unit helped in locating these and also helped in finding restaurants.
Some of you folks with smart phones can use them for the same purpose. I am more into the pay as you go phone so I can't do that.
In any event, we have arrived in Las Vegas without major incident. Faye managed to avoid shrieking too many times while I drove which made it fairly pleasant. The tension in the car increases significantly if I am passing a large truck. Faye has a tendency to gasp if the car 400 or more feet ahead of us taps his brakes. The shrieks start when there is less than 200 feet to that car. She also gasps loudly if I tap the brakes, especially if I mumble something when I do it. I won't go into what I might mumble.
I tend to pay more attention to the beauty (or ugliness) of the countryside. I find it fascinating to descend from the mountains of Arizona (around Flagstaff) down into the deserts. The change in scenery is gradual but almost breathtaking. From tall pines and lushness to sparse scrub clinging to rock and sand.
Two days ago we were in Albuquerque when, just by chance, the Balloon Festival was getting underway. I had been there on loan from my office in San Diego some 33 years ago when I first saw this event. I took some pics and a couple of movie clips but there's something wrong with the clips and I can't play them.
Did I mention I also have a new camera? Still learning how to use it. Not sure how long that will take since I had my last one for a couple of years and didn't learn that one too well in that time.
Tomorrow I will play golf here in Vegas. I play because even at the high rates here it is cheaper than what I would lose at a blackjack table.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago