Friday, January 1, 2010

Maryland or Bust, day 1 - Big Moon, Blue Moon

"I live in a van down by the river." - Chris Farley

I wish I had a film crew, but I had the next best thing: Me in all my tech-girl glory and my always passenger: my SLR with the wide-angle, the zooom lens, the portrait, and the good old standby stock lens. I had the handheld camera, the portable GPS, and the laptop (in it's geratric state just before it's suicide)...AND most importantly, I had my new, back from the dead, iPhone.

Blogging from the road, in a van with no heat, during the worst cold front seen in this country in 40 years, in the snow from coast to coast isn't an easy feat, but I kept notes. Would you expect anything less?

I'm not quite sure when I volunteered for this National Lampoon's trip across this frozen land of the Free and home of the Brave, but I do recall thinking it probably would never happen. Rewind: Christmas Eve afternoon standing in Pier 1 with a basket full of breakables...

Ring: "Hello Ma'am, does that offer still stand?"
"Ok. Well then we're driving to Mary-land on the 1st."
"Ok then."

Betty: family friend, church friend, friend of friend's, work friend, good mother, great grandma, 64 years young, a kick in the pants, a Godly woman, a street smart lady, someone you want to have in your corner, my own personal Madea.

We vaguely decided we would leave at noon(ish), New Year's Day. Hmm...yeah, post New Year's Eve in the city with The Roots at the Warfield, a visit with the last man standing crew in the backyard of a friend's house until nearly 4am, and then a 5am drunken crisis, come 11am and I'm still not packed. I live in California, I don't know how to deal with snow...I got stuck looking for a jacket. A real jacket. Little did I know.

"Betty, how much room do I have for my stuff? I was going to pack a blanket and a pillow."
(and I quote): "Don't worry, I have plenty of both."

Finally at 1:22, my chariot arrived. (insert): A dark green 1998 Plymouth Voyager with approximately 1 hub cap, and peppered with dents, scratches, and rust. As close as I'm getting to a covered wagon. I dig it. I grew up with a 1988 two-toned Ford Aerostar, I can hang.

Circa 3:10pm, we're just leaving town. Count it, 3:20, our first stop for lunch - Betty is diabetic, there will be a lot of stops. Note: this is also when I started my list of Things That Don't Work in Betty's Car
1) driver's side window

4:56: We're in Santa Cruz...yeah, check the map. It's ON the Pacific Coast. (sigh) We're never going to get to Maryland. Go, go, gadet GPS.

In the next few hours, after successfully finding 101 SOUTH, as we rolled through the artichoke capital of the world, and past prison after prison, under the full moon, we discussed all manner of things: Michael Jackson, Tyler Perry, mutual friends, the economy, music, technology, relationships. Betty has this thing - every time she see's a full moon, she calls each of her 3 kids and sings "Big mooon, blue moooooon" It makes me smile...that's something my mom would do too.

Having sucessfully made it far enough away from home to not be able to return for the night, it felt like we were getting somewhere and we settled at Super 8 for the night, determined to make up for the time lost by getting up early.


  1. love it! All the fb posts were so great.. I love that woman and you too.. i guess.. a little :)

  2. I still have 7 more daily posts to put much writing to do. :)