Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 9, 2011

Life and Stuff

It's a quiet Saturday morning here in Buzzards Bay.  My sweetie is still snoozing, as is Pepper.  I still can't believe that I'm back in MA for good.  It's a little bit surreal.  On January 1st when I wondered what the new year would have in store for me, I truly never saw this coming.

My laptop got fried on the trip.  I think it's a power issue, not a hard drive issue, so it's at the computer repair shop now and I'm using my man's laptop for now.  I haven't been able to upload any of my photos but I will get to it as soon as I can. 

The trip was a blast.  We left on the 26th from Tukwila, WA (near the airport) and made it as far as Butte, Montana that first night, driving 12 hours and putting over 500 miles on the car.  The scenery was amazing.  I shot most of my photos out the car windows and I have to spend time fixing the exposure and colour on all of them, due to traveling east into the sunlight, and also due to the bug carnage that accumulated on the windshield each day.  We had one short 'heart attack' moment in Eastern WA when the State Patrol pulled us over for speeding.  My car insurance had expired on June 20th and the new policy and ins. cards were packed.  Fortunately he was a very nice officer and decided not to give us a ticket when we explained that I was moving back, my chauffeur was from MA and the new insurance stuff was packed.  I, of course, had to stop to take pictures in the town of George, WA.  Yes, there is actually a town in Washington named George.  It cracks me up.  We also stopped at this place called Lincoln's 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar in Haugan, Montana, which was a really cool and kitschy souvenir store, bar, casino & hotel.  Found out it was so named due to the 50,000 silver dollar coins on the wall in the bar, which is now up to 58,000.  I'd thought about stopping in Missoula but we kept on going to Butte, which is so small that we couldn't even find a restaurant that was still open by the time we rolled into town close to 8 pm.  The Chinese restaurant was closed, the pizza place stopped delivery earlier and we ended up at a restaurant that was closing at 9 pm.  We got in there at 8:45. 

The next day we drove from Butte to Gillette, Wyoming.  Montana is an unbelievably HUGE state.  It looks big on the map of the USA, but driving it is another story, and we didn't even make the eastern border as I-90 cuts down into Wyoming.  After you get out of the Rockies, the landscape turns to rolling grassland and cattle ranches.  At least there was no shortage of places to eat dinner in Gillette!

Day 3 found us meandering through the rest of Wyoming and into South Dakota.  We went through Deadwood and Sturgis, and time constraints kept us from getting off  the highway to see Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore, although I did get a picture of Devil's Tower way off in the distance.  The only place I really wanted to stop was at Wall Drug, in Wall, SD.  You can't miss the place since there are tons and tons of clever billboards along the highway and I highly recommend checking out the link.  It's American kitsch at it's finest.  We had a great time wandering around all the different shops and the drug store, we bought  sack of dirt with 'treasure' mixed in to use in the sluice and scored a bunch of really pretty rocks from it.  Ate a yummy lunch there too and shopped for souvenirs.  Can't remember the town we stayed at in SD that night.  

The 4th day we made it through the rest of SD, all of Minnesota and into Wisconsin, and I must admit that the scenery was pretty dull in the midwest.  There are only so many photos of dilapidated barns and silos that one can shoot before they become somewhat redundant.  We got a later start on the 5th day because we wanted to wait for the morning commute traffic in Chicago to die down, but we were still stuck in stop and go traffic despite it being 11 a.m.  That was a shorter day and we got through Illinois & Indiana, to just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.  

The trip was rapidly coming to an end with each new mile on Day 6, as we drove through the rest of Ohio, the tiny sliver of Pennsylvania that's near Lake Erie and all of New York State, when we stopped for the night in Albany.  There was virtually nothing to shoot photos of in NY as the highway is pretty boring scenery-wise.

I admit to having a bunch of mixed emotions when I saw the 'Entering Massachusetts' sign and I couldn't help but shed a few tears.  We got to the Cape just in time to get stuck in 4th of July traffic.  First we stopped at the house we are renting to check it out, then slowly slogged our way towards the Sagamore Bridge.  I stayed at mom's that night and my sweetie went to get some a/c units for the house.  I moved into the house on Sunday, July 3rd and have been here since then.  I am so not used to the heat and humidity which is oppressive.  Taking a shower is almost pointless b/c you go outside and start dripping.

My POD showed up early on the 7th, easily one of the hottest, most humid days that I can recall since leaving the east coast 22 years ago.  I was more than a bit alarmed when neither padlock key would work on the lock.  It crossed my mind that I got someone else's POD, but it was indeed mine.  Fortunately I was able to get a locksmith out right away who got the thing unlocked.  I was very nervous to open it, in case the entire thing was in shambles but there was only some minor shifting of boxes.  The things that I thought would fall, did, but it was fine.  It took us about 3 hours to unload it and we were soaking wet with sweat when we finished.  I haven't unpacked anything yet b/c it's a bit much.  One of the back bedrooms is so full of boxes that you can only step just inside the door.  The other bedroom is also full of the rest of my stuff.  Some of my furniture is in the livingroom, along with his giant bureau and big screen TV.  

Since then, we've just been hanging out and watching movies and spending time together.  I still have to buy a ton of stuff we need for the house.  That's the one thing about starting over, you have to buy new stuff.  I left Brian with all of the kitchen stuff, so we need everything from dishes to flatware to pots & pans.  Need a toaster, kitchen table & chairs and a couch.  The house is small but is in a quiet neighborhood near the water, just on the other side of the Bourne Bridge, so technically, we're not 'on' Cape Cod.  It's near a lot of stores which is good, although I HATE putting my personal principles on hold and shopping at Walmart because we are pretty tight on cash at the mo.  We have a cute little back yard and a deck.  A couple of old sheds are on the property as well and I'm not sure if I want to store much in them as they are in bad shape.

Pepper has adjusted as best as she can under the circumstances.  She likes her new 'stepdad', although we'll see what happens when we finally take custody of his doggy, Shadow.  We had a vicious thunderstorm yesterday morning that scared Pepper (and me) pretty bad.  I don't think it ever rained that hard in Washington, and the squall didn't do anything to cool down the temps either.  And I forgot about how horrible the weekend tourist traffic is.  I'm also learning to drive rotaries again.  I swear you take your life in your hands on those things.  But my old Masshole driving skills are coming back to me, despite my WA license plates, which are somewhat of a novelty to the people out here b/c you don't see a lot of west coast plates here.

All in all, things are going well.  I haven't gotten a ton of support from my family, with the exception of one cousin and she knows who she is.  As usual, my friends have been my surrogate family and sole support network which I appreciate.  

Hopefully my computer will be back next week and I can finally start posting pics from the trip.  Till then, I'll be offline for a bit!  


  1. Saturday mornings are for snoozing - see also Saturday afternoons...


  2. Anonymous1:37 PM

    The trip sounds wonderful and I'm glad you're settling in, especially when you consider the MAJOR adjustments you've had - and are still having - to make.

  3. Wow, I suppose there are a few states you didn't go through!

    "Driving rotaries"? Are they like our roundabouts? I thought the US was just beginning to introduce roundabouts rather than light-controlled junctions. Just when we seem to be putting lights on most of our busiest roundabouts...

  4. WR - My squeeze has been snoozing this afternoon too while i've been colouring! lol

    Diane - I can live w/o anymore major adjustments this year, believe me. lol

    Val - Yes, rotaries are the same as roundabouts. We've had rotaries on the Cape for as long as I can remember. There are a few on the west coast, but usually really small ones in neighborhoods. The ones on the Cape usually consist of 4 or 5 major roads converging into the rotary. It's scary.

  5. just clear out one of the bedrooms so that i have a place to stay when i visit!!

  6. Sounds like a fantastic journey. I'm sure you got lots of cool pix... can't wait to see 'em!

    I'm sorry your fam is not being as supportive as you'd like. I hope they come around in time.

    Meanwhile, have fun filling your house/home with all kinds of cool, new stuff!

  7. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Val asked the question I had about the rotaries...clubs came to mind at first. I still don't get what they are or a roundabout, LOL. Sad to think your family would rather see you live in misery for the rest of your life...hope that changes.

  8. You moved too!! I'm back in blogland now!

    Hope all is well with you, I would love to see lots of photos of where you have moved to!!

    Love Sam xx

  9. Jojo, I'm so happy to see you and this blog back! I hope this struggle is all uphill from here for you.

  10. Sounds like it was an awesome road trip!