Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Road-trip wonders, or 9 states in 9 days

Between Mr. Miller's last day at O'Melveny and our return to Brooklyn, we took a road-trip across the West. Our trip covered nine states in nine days. We did not see much of the terrain because we traveled 2/3 of the trip at night in order to maximize our time with visiting people.

Journey/Leg I: With the car weighed down by our many boxes and suitcases, we traveled from Orange County through California and Oregon to Kennewick, Washington. There, we spent five relaxing days with Keith's immediate family: Dennis, Christine, Annie, and Arthur. Chris and Dennis hosted a wedding reception where I met many of their old friends and neighbors. I also reconnected with the many members of Mr. Miller's extended family, including my cousin Jen.

Chris and Annie prepared quite a spread for the reception. It intimidated the crowd until a few brave souls ventured for it. The rest of the people followed like locust.

The cooks...the couple.

Sadly, I took no other pictures of the reception because I was too busy gabbing.

Mr. Miller's big project during our stay in Washington was going through fifteen boxes of his papers and treasures accumulated over the last 27 years. Going through the boxes triggered many special memories, which he shared with me. I learned so much more about his childhood. He had a hard time parting with anything, including these old newspapers reporting the 1987 world series and the cold war.

After toil and tears, he successfully winnowed fifteen boxes down to twelve. We packed as many of the boxes into our car as possible to store in Phoenix until our move to California next year.

Perhaps my favorite times were conversations with the family over meals.

Before we left, we attended the county fair. There, I tried funnel cake for the first time, and ate the famous "Beaver burrito."

We also had the opportunity to watch Uncle Craig and Uncle Brian perform with their respective bands.

Brian's BandThe FansBrothers Rock-out

Journey/Leg II: Another night of driving, this time through Oregon, Idaho (hello, Boise!), Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. We arrived at Michael and Christine Francisco's home shortly before dinner. Michael, Keith's best friend and best man at his wedding, greeted us at the door with a wary looking Geneva--his six-month old daughter. After a couple minutes, Geneva resumed her nearly perpetual state of smiling.

For the text 34 hours, we shared meals, talked, played cards, and smiled at the baby. Christina and I watched Becoming Jane, which was a disappointment. The film's Jane Austin is more akin to Lydia Bennet than Lizzie. The Rockies provided better entertainment that night with their come back to beat the Nationals in the ninth inning.

Journey/Leg III: We opted for a normal night's rest instead of driving. Rising early on Saturday, we drove through Colorado and New Mexico to Arizona. We had daydreams of a leisurely steak dinner at my parent's home in Gilbert but a three-plus hour traffic delay outside of Phoenix instead brought us home at midnight.

The next day, we began our journey back to New York City, thankful to not be driving. Not that we disliked the road-trip. We saw dear friends and family. We became acquainted with half of the gas stations in the West (an eventuality of pregnancy). And, we saw a lot of small town America and no-town America (i.e., most of southern Wyoming). Not bad for nine days.

A Final View of Phoenix


Christine said...

"Brothers rockout" was a jewel-- thanks for sharing it and all your lovely memories preserved so beautifully!

ornery's wife said...

THANK YOU for posting this. I loved the part about Keith and his "successful winnowing"--only parting with three boxes doesn't seem to successful to me, but what do I know? :-)

Loved the pictures of the family, too.