Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Home Sweet 'Homa

We're back in California, finally — in a strange interim wherein we are home and yet do not have homes quite yet...

When we last wrote, we were Oklahoma bound, and we found our time in Oklahoma City pleasantly surprising. We were hosted by a sweet couple that had just returned to the area after some time away and attested to it's rapid growth and change. Sara was an amazing cook and she taught us to make spring rolls, fed us delicious Indian food and shared her plans for the new house with us. In OKC we had amazing Guatemalan food, befriended someone working at a fun little T-shirt shop that made us "Home Sweet 'Homa" pins, and checked out the Murrah building bombing memorial, which was beautiful and somber. On our last night, Sara took us to two of her favorite dive bars in what's known as the "Bar-muda triangle" and we sampled some of their signature cocktails and people watched for a bit.

Our next stop was Austin, Texas, where our friend Nicki was visiting her brother Mitch for Thanksgiving. We joined them for a mellow Thanksgiving morning hike that ended up including a bit of icy river-crossing, and then got down to business making some serious grub. Our dinner included all the good things: mashed potatoes, sweet potato dishes, a big ole turkey, corn bread stuffing, green beans, salad, some Fireball spiked cider, and much, much more. After dinner, not much more occurred besides belly rubbing, dessert consumption and some poorly made snacking choices.

On Friday, we met up with Travis, who was our host in Lawrence, Kansas, but was from Austin and was around for the holidays. We headed to a beautiful but freezing little swimming hole with him and some friends, although we abstained from submerging ourselves to the degree that they did. While Travis met up with some friends to play music, the two of us checked out South Congress St - a painfully adorable part of town full of cute shops stuffed to the brim with things we have no money or space for. We met up with Travis at a nearby bar to say our goodbyes, and took off for a night drive towards New Mexico.

Albuquerque is weird — a desert down full of bright pastel colors and curvy adobe buildings. We visited a few Breaking Bad sites, including Walter White's house, whose non-fictional resident came out to meet Finn, and Tuco's hideout, which is actually a coffee shop with some bomb bagels. We wandered around the rather touristy historical part of town, and dropped in on a little brewery to sample some beers. On our way out of town, we visited the Petroglyph National Monument, which was frankly not that awesome, but only $1. New Mexico, it turns out, was not only our 47th state, but also apparently the 47th state in the country! 

Finally, we crossed the border into Arizona, our 48th and final state. What a strange sensation! We couchsurfed in Flagstaff in a big artsy house where we shared a quiet vegetarian dinner with our hosts. The next day was rather gray. We visited a few coffee shops, and went to a weekly BLT potluck get together with our host's roommate where we met some interesting humans and a fluffy pup. In the morning, in spite of the disagreeable weather, we headed for the Grand Canyon. Even shrouded in thick clouds and mist, it was a breathtaking sight, all the expansive purple red, all the unfathomable depth.

We started down the Bright Angel trail in the drizzle but after an hour or so were thwarted by the slick mud and the impenetrable white fog that stunted our view severely. We trudged back up the trail and instead meandered along the Rim Trail, scrambling out onto protruding slabs of rock, where we had a picnic of canned dolmas and granola bars before the sun began to slip away behind the dark gray mass of clouds. We camped at the Canyon that night, snuggled in the van with Finnegan with candles and snacks and leftover tequila, as the rain beat down on our tin roof.

In the morning, we awoke before the sun rose and drove until we found a little pullover along the rim, where we could just barely see some of the tallest rock formations peering out of the mist. We made coffee and breakfast and sat staring at at the fog before gathering ourselves up for the lengthy desert drive to Los Angeles. It was a long drive through the scruffy barren landscape, but we rewarded ourselves with In N Out, so here we are, on our last day together before Kelsey continues North with Eric, and Tressa stays in LA for a bit, waiting to sign a lease with Evan.

Rest assured, we will be reunited for a bit in Sonoma County, and we still have a lot of work to do together to work on our final project, so stay tuned for more details about exciting things to come!

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