On the way home…

I know I was going to update much more often. But, our hotel in Anaheim would not allow me to post anything. Some weird “access restricted” thing. It was really annoying. Why? Because I last posted on Day 5, and today’s Day 14. Let me see what I can do…

Day 6: We make it to LA. But not before going through Bakersfield, where it’s 100 degrees. Kind of hot. It takes 1.5 hours to get through the city. Our hotel is easy to find. We get to the hotel. My Mom accidentally phones 911 while trying to get an outside line. We sleep. I have a cot for the next 5 nights.

Day 7: Disneyland. I wasn’t too excited. I thought, “Disneyland. A capitalist organization exploiting the dreams of young children.” I get there. I’m hooked. I was so excited when I saw the Magic Kingdom. I went down Splash Mountain. There’s an awful picture of me on the ride – could my mouth be open any wider as I’m hurtling to what I thought was my death, screaming all the way. I didn’t hum “It’s a Small World” at all after going through the ride. I decide that Walt Disney wasn’t such a bad guy. The parade and fireworks make me cry. It is the happiest place on earth. Much money was spent today. I was happy.

Day 8: Universal Studios. It takes us an hour to get there. I can’t breathe. Good thing for inhalers. The heat is suffocating. We take a studio tour, and I get freaked out by the fake earthquake, King Kong, a flash flood, and a shark just to name a few things. We go so close to the filming of “Desperate Housewives” that we all have to be quiet for a couple of minutes. We were officially on Wisteria Lane. I saw Jill Hennessey’s (Crossing Jordan) parking spot. And Jerry O’Connell’s. I decide that I want to walk down the red carpet someday. More shopping. More happiness.

Day 9: LA tour. This was worth every penny. Tara and I took a tour like this in NYC, and they’re the best way to see a bit of everything without the hassle of transportation. We went everywhere. Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre, Farmer’s Market, Venice Beach. And so much more. I see Judy Garland’s and Nicole Kidman’s stars. I’m inspired. Shopping. Happiness.

Day 10: San Diego. Sea World. I see Pendleton Air Force Base. And tanks on the side of the highway doing maneuvers. It makes M*A*S*H seem real. Shamu the killer whale is so cool. Seymour and Clyde, sea lions, had their own show – and they were acting! I fight with my sister. A tiny tiff. We’d been pretty good for a couple of days. Shop = happy.

Day 11: We head for Las Vegas. It’s so dirty. And so hot. It doesn’t seem nearly as impressive as on the TV show. We hit the slots. I win $12.50. In other words, I made $5.00. We then walk the strip where I buy a “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas shirt.” Nothing happens. Playing slots is extremely boring after 10 minutes.

Day 12: We drive, and drive and drive. We get to Hurricane, Utah, check in and then head for the Grand Canyon. A less than 2 hour drive turns into 3 1/2 hours because we decide to go through Zion National Park, and up this mountain that makes the Road to the Sun seem like any road in Saskatchewan. I feel as if I’m in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. The Canyon is insane. I feel oh so small. I almost write a poem, starting, “Oh canyon. You mirror the depths of my soul…” I dramatically read from a Grand Canyon book on the way home. I am ridiculed. But I got to go…shopping!

Day 13: I worry about my bank account. We drive from Utah, through Salt Lake City and up to Rexburg, Idaho because there are no available hotel rooms in Pocatello or Idaho Falls. I watch “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.” I am happy…

Day 14: We hit Yellowstone National Park. No Yogi Bear in sight. I wear my new straw cowboy hat. People stare. Old Faithful is pretty terrific. But I was getting a little impatient with her there for awhile. We find a hotel in Helena, Montana with Internet. My sister and I finally have it out. I’m surprised it took this long.

And so, there you have it. We’re planning to be home sometime tomorrow night. A few observations:

Americans aren’t bad people. They’re quite nice.
I miss home cooking.
I love travelling. I’d like to keep going, but everyone else wants to go home…
The Riders suck.
This has felt like the Griswold Great American Family Vacation. Minus a dead grandma on the roof of the car.
Hilariously, 2 of my aunts and their families are following us around the US. It’s as if they heard we were going and couldn’t take it, so they had to have their own vacation.
I can’t wait for a drink of real iced tea. Americans don’t know what they’re missing with their “unsweetened” crap.
Read “The Timetraveller’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. Great book. I spent 4 hours reading it in our hotel room in Vegas instead of playing slots. Go figure…

Tomorrow’s destination: Rosthern, SK. $10 says my puppy pees on me when I get home because she’s so excited to see me. Or – she just has to go the bathroom…

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