May 26th, 2008

One year ago today we left Los Angeles. After 11 years of living a West Coast life, we packed it all up and started the drive to North Carolina. It was an incredibly bittersweet day, and one that I won’t soon forget. We were so excited to be entering this chapter, yet more than a little sad to leave a huge part of our life behind.

Looking back, it is entertaining to see Michael so “happy” in this picture. He and the U-Haul quickly became friends on some unfriendly terms. That thing seemed to have a mind of its own as we went through the mountains. I absolutely had the better end of the deal…he drove with two pissed off and scared cats while towing a U-Haul. I simply had a happy corgi that would stub my shoulder aggressively when she needed to pee. I so won.

Poor Miss Iona was terribly confused that day. She did her best to keep an eye on me inside the house and an eye on Michael in the backyard. She was terrified that we were leaving and taking all her favorite things with us. She was not about to be left behind. Sigh…look at all the fur on that dog. Not a bald patch in sight.

We left LA on Memorial Day Monday. The traffic leaving the city was fine, but you can see the messy westbound buildup as everyone headed back home. Regardless, the mountains were stunning.

As we neared the border to Arizona, I recall fighting back tears. It still seems unfathomable that the California border is so very far away.

Day one was the shortest and brought us to the La Quinta in Flagstaff, Arizona. The trip was underway. While the La Quinta brand is pretty hit or miss, it is the best thing if you have to travel with pets. You are guaranteed a room and a bed, and sometimes they don’t even smell bad.

Michael jokingly said that it was a good thing that we were on a tight schedule. Otherwise I would have made us stop at all the hokey sights along the I-40. I have no shame in saying that I really did want to visit Navajo Land and the World’s Tallest Ball of Yarn. You gotta problem with that? I also wanted to visit the Dinosaur Village. Instead, I had to settle for Iona peeing in the parking lot of the Armco Gas Indian Center.

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