Tag Archives: orange county

Day One: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

I am happy to report that Day One of our cross-country adventure was a complete success.  We left Orange County all packed and ready with our baby, dog, suitcase, stroller, diaper bag, car seat, baby bag, dog kennel, dog food container, nav system, ipod, camera, video camera, the list goes on… Did I mention we have a ‘backpack’ for our SUV? That is where we put the suitcase… We left after stopping for, of course, a scrumptious little lunch at In-N-Out.   (We are leaving the West Coast; we have to up on our In-N-Out intake while we can.)  Lucky for us, Paolo also fell asleep pretty much the same minute that we turned on the car.  He slept pretty soundly for the first half of the trip, which made the driving very easy.

We made our first pit stop not too far from the Arizona border at a gas station/Dairy Queen.  We were excited about the Dairy Queen part.  This ad made us laugh. It was actually an anti-advertisement, really:

I mean how gross is that? A giant close-up of fried food.  Really?  (Notice the three lighting fixtures to illuminate this mural by night.) Nice.  Although it didn’t stop us from going in to order some ice cream.   (We were totally on a roll today. In-N-Out and ice cream.   Delicious ways to hold on to my baby weight a little longer.  The good news is that we already have a gym membership in Iowa.)

I had forgotten how gorgeous the drive east really is.  As we left the Los Angeles area, the desert scenery grew increasingly beautiful.  We only scheduled about six hours of road time today, but it went by quite quickly!  Giuseppe loved the scenery; he has wanted to make this drive since we moved to California.  He was so excited to be on the Mojave Highway, and even more excited to see signs for the ‘Historic Route 66.’  I took a million photographs, but taking them from the car didn’t really help my already mediocre photography skills.  I wish the photos really showed the amazing beauty of this place.

Now we are all snuggled in our king size bed at our dog friendly hotel resting up for tomorrow’s trip to the Grand Canyon.

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California

Today is our last day in California. When we made the move here from Italy, I had not really planned on moving away, especially this quickly. And especially to the Midwest.   This move has been incredibly sudden, which has made it a bit more stressful that I had hoped it would be.  The past week has been a whirlwind of frantic activity, with ending my job, moving our household goods, and just basically taking care of business and tying up loose ends. Giuseppe has been great, running endless errands to get everything squared away.

After the movers came and went on Monday, we drove out to Huntington Beach to stay until Thursday.  I have had a few “California” days, strolling through Huntington with friends and family, going out on the pier, taking a quick shopping trip/visit to the Easter Bunny at South Coast Plaza.   It feels surreal to be leaving; I can’t really wrap my head around how quickly it is happening.

It has been very nice staying here, and I do not feel totally ready to leave. But tomorrow it is.  We are first driving down to San Diego to visit Zack and have brunch.  Then we will drive out to Arizona, where we will visit the Grand Canyon. Giuseppe is pretty excited to see it, and I am very glad to be revisiting. I think it  has been about 15 years since I was out there as a child.  The next stop will be Santa Fe, then Denver, Omaha, and finally Ames.   This road trip should actually be very beautiful and great time for us as a family.  We don’t really plan to drive more than 7 or so hours per day, and do plan to take longish breaks to let the baby stretch out and play.

Here’s to our new adventure.

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