Oh my goodness, I was excited to get to Phoenix!!!
Except for one desperate night in a hotel in Mammoth Lakes and two nights at a friend’s house in San Diego, I hadn’t had a break from the road and my tent since Lake Tahoe, and I was ready ready ready!
I had this notion early on (and I wrote about it) that I was supposed to “rough it” to really make the most of my journey, but with a little help from my friends, I realized that’s not what the trip is all about (I mean, what it’s all about has yet to be revealed…). An open door, a welcoming friend, and a few creature comforts here and there help me to keep my sanity, and I’m not gonna beat myself up for appreciating the occasional “break.”
Day 29 was a day of driving en route to one such welcome break.
My friend Mindy has had her door painted red (figuratively speaking, since that’s a sign of welcoming) for weeks, and we’ve both looked forward to my visit for some time. She asked me in advance what I wanted to do, and I told her I just wanted to feel ordinary, and on that request, she definitely delivered! She cooked a meal for us at home the first night, I spent the day in the pool and we discovered a swanky bar with a sweet view then went to Tim & Faith concert the second night, and the rest of my first weekend in town, we hung out like everything was normal and I wasn’t on a pilgrimage at all.
We went to one of my favorite restaurants from the Midwest – Chili’s – since we don’t have one in all of Oregon; the service was terrible and the food was mediocre, but a conversation with the manager netted us $40 in gift certificates for a future visit, so we’ll give it another try someday (cuz…SALSA!!!!). We went to the Nestle Toll House Bakery (!!!!) and got ALL sorts of frosted treats, and I almost rode a mechanical bull, but it was out of order…so I just sat on it and imagined my 2.7 second ride. I read and wrote and laid in the pool and enjoyed sleeping in almost everyday. We cooked (well, Mindy cooked; I observed) and talked and watched a funny movie.
It was lovely – all of it – and just what I needed. Thanks, Min!!