Wednesday May 31, 2023

Travel Misadventures

I like road trips…

Earlier this year, Bull expressed his desire to compete in World’s IBJJF (a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition for people over the age of 30). It’s held in Vegas. So, we booked the hotel back in February or March. Our oldest son came to watch our three dogs. And we decided to drive to Vegas. All in all, it’s an 18 hour drive from where we live…if you don’t account for the two hours that you fall back in time.

We left on a Wednesday since he had to compete that Friday. The drive there was fairly uneventful. Well, mostly.

We stopped to eat at Wienerschnitzel in Amarillo and to walk around the mall. I hadn’t been to West Texas in close to 20 years. Still flat. Still hot. And now full of giant wind turbines.

We made it to New Mexico before dark…took the proverbial vacation picture at the state line. And then we decided to keep going and try to get to Albuquerque. Because there was no way in hell we were gonna stay in Gallup after a friend of ours did that and had her car broken into.

Honestly, I thought we’d be found dead in a ditch by morning in Albuquerque.

Thursday morning, bright and early and before the sun, we are back on the road. I had to go to the bathroom by the time we arrived in Gallup. And walked into the store and that was a big ole’ nope. I told him to just keep fucking going. I’d wait until Arizona if I had to…I didn’t have to do that. About 20 minutes down the road, we found a Love’s.

It was an interesting experience to also buy something to drink and not pay tax on it. In Oklahoma, if something is $1, you’re gonna pay $1.08.

We stopped in Flagstaff. My throat was killing me from allergies (yes, in the desert) and we stopped to get bananas and soup. I was extremely surprised that the Wal-Mart right off the highway had covered parking…and I was cold when I got out of the car.

Arizona was a fairly nice drive…minus all the ear popping. Near Nevada, we pulled over at a gas station so I could (again) go pee. We were about 100 miles away from our destination. They had a cattle guard over a giant hole that you have to drive over. I am now the proud owner of a bubble in my tire (that is scheduled to get fixed while here in Vegas).

We stopped (sort of) at the Hoover Dam. Drove on into Vegas. Our hotel got us in a day early (and so we’re checking out Sunday instead of Monday). We thought we’d be cute and walk to the strip. So, it turns out that what we consider a mile in Oklahoma isn’t the same as a mile in Nevada. I swear the miles here are like 5x longer. Google Maps (the lying fucker) said it was less than 2 miles away. From what we figured, it’s more like four miles each way. So, that was an adventure in 100+ degree weather. After spending 16 hours in a car.

Friday Misadventures

Our hotel is fine. We booked a suite so we could cook most of our meals. It’s quiet. Friday, though, Bull went with another competitor and I said I would drive since the convention center is listed as like…three miles from our hotel. I was working (duh). I pulled up Google Maps and it sent me on a wild fucking goose chase…down roads that were private. Got pulled over by security who tried to get me back on track once they realized I was just a confused tourist with a lying fucking GPS. After the third stop, I just asked to get pointed back to the road my hotel was on. The nice security guard had me follow him out from where I was lost and got me on the right track. I came back to the hotel to just kinda regroup. I got harassed (verbally) in the parking lot.

Came upstairs to try and just look at the actual map because I had a general idea where I was supposed to go. I had my wallet in my hand (I was wearing a dress) and I went back downstairs to the van to try it again. Some fucking asshole tried to grab my wallet out of my hands. I started kicking and screaming. I still have my wallet. I came back upstairs and said fuck that shit. My 16 year old happened to call me literally as soon as I walked into my suite after that. So, that was a thing.

Once Bull got back from his competition, I felt better. I didn’t want to be in this city anymore. Turns out, he’s not much of a fan of it, either. But, we took a little walk…there’s a .99 cent store that sells $2.99 liquor, yall. It smelled like a dirty diaper. We went to the grocery store and picked up chicken at $1.99 a pound, garlic bread, and vegetables and came back to the hotel. Beef here is really cheap compared to Oklahoma…but the eggs are crazy expensive. I pay anywhere between .79 cents and $3 for eggs (the more expensive eggs being brown eggs, cage free). Here, the eggs that I would pay less than a buck for at home were $6. SIX DOLLARS. Oh, and some lady tried to sell her baby to us.

The fuck is wrong with these people?!

Saturday Misadventures

Saturday we went downstairs to the pool…before anyone. Because our bodies are still set to Oklahoma time. We were there for about an hour and came back up. We got dressed and drove down the road a bit to some free parking and walked over to Circus Circus (we saw Caesar’s the night we got in – and that was fucking crazy…and tonight is the McGregor fight; oh, and I also saw where they will tape the next Hell’s Kitchen…so that was kinda neat).

Circus Circus was neat. We didn’t go into the AdventureDome, but the casino has an arcade and a circus over it. So we went up there for a while. The acts going were clown high-wire acts. As we left, we got sucked into some timeshare thing…until I said we were Dave Ramsey fans. Suddenly, we didn’t qualify. We saved up to come here. We paid $97 for gas to drive (we kept track but had an idea of around $120 for gas here because of the RoadTripper app). We booked our hotel early through And no, I don’t get anything for mentioning them. We paid for Bull’s entrance fee MONTHS ago. Like, we planned this shit and saved to do it.

We came back to the hotel so that I could work a little and he took a nap. Who knows what kind of crazy we might see tonight? We’re down the road from Silver Sevens and they advertise the “best burger” in town with bottomless fries. I will be the fucking judge of that.

We check out tomorrow and head back. We plan to stop to see a few things and take pictures. But again, all after getting the damn tire fixed.

Sunday Misadventures

So, Google Maps is apparently on crack. While searching for a Wal-Mart with a tire center, we ended up stopped at several red lights which was fine by me because I get seriously fucking car sick with a bad tire. Well, every time we’d stop…Google Maps would try to reroute us. It sent us all over the place…we finally figured it out and got to a Wal-Mart about an hour and a half after we left the hotel…and the drive shouldn’t have taken more than 20 minutes.

After $115 for a tire, we finally get on the road. I took some pretty nice pictures of the desert. We made it to Gallup, NM around sunset (we’d been on the road for about six hours) and Albuquerque about 9ish at night. We decided to drive straight through. And then, the lights and bumpy road made me car sick…again. So, we had to stop and get some anti-nausea crap which made me tired. I attempted to lie down in the very back seat and I guess the alignment was off because that made it worse.

We stopped in Vega, Texas for a couple of hours and then started back. We got home around 10 am Monday morning. The dogs were extremely happy to see us. So happy, in fact, that while they allowed my sweet husband to nap, I was not allowed to nap because momomomomomomomomom we missed you – pet meeeeeeeeeeee.

I am so fucking glad to be home.

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