After I left Nick's place...I was headed to Justin, Tx to visit my younger brother, his wife and my totally awesome little nephew, Noah. Spending time with them was great...they have a great home and are just fun to be around. But most of all, little Noah was my highlight. Not to detract from Stephen and Darby, but since I was living in NY, it was hard for me to not want to be around my nephew (or niece...but I'll get to that), it kinda makes me sad that I won't be as close to him to watch him grow up but that just means I'll have to make regular trips to see him. He was sick the entire time I was there, he had this little cough he'd picked up in day care that kept going but every time I would look at him, he'd smile and want me to pick him up. And if you're an uncle to a rad little kid, that burns ya up. All in all, he is a happy little boy. I can tell he's gonna be a social dude. Everyone he met, he would smile at.
Steve holding his shotgun after we shot clay pigeons. I desperately wanted a picture with the shotgun but...alas.
After the 4th night there, I headed South to Austin, Tx to visit my older brother, his wife and my niece. Hal and Jess have a great life together...two really awesome pups, a big uncluttered house, and a cute little girl. It was great to spend even a couple of nights with them. Cameron, my niece, is coming up on 2 and she's already got a big personality. She's completely enthralled with Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba. After watching it I can see why, Yo Gabba Gabba has Kid Robots designers. Gotta give it to her, she's got good taste.
So then it was down to Converse to visit my mom. While I was there, I had dinner with my aunt Bertha and Uncle Mike (great folks), got my car serviced at a VW dealership, and spent some quality time with my ma...and her 6 cats. Because most of the family was visiting the West Coast, we decided to have Christmas in Dallas with my Aunt Stella and Uncle Ryan. So I spent a night in Austin to spend Christmas Eve with Hal, Jess, and Cameron and my ma and myself drove up to Dallas the next day.
Christmas in Dallas was relaxing. Usually when a guest comes into town, the hosts try to show them a good time...luckily for me, my family was completely understanding that I just wanted to relax, eat alot of good Mexican food, and get ready for the rest of the trip to Washington. A few days in Dallas, I was ready to go.
Now I don't know what it was...maybe spending all that time with my nephew, maybe being around SO many people for Christmas, or maybe it was all the stress of the holidays (imagine that)...but the day I started my trip to the Northwest, I was getting sick. Around 2 hours after I left Dallas, the aching, chills, the fatigue started setting in. Thirteen and a half hours later, I landed in Flagstaff, Arizona feeling the worst. That night, I had the most ridiculous dreams about fighting bears or something stupid like that, and shivering myself awake every 10 minutes. People, friends, worst enemies...DO NOT get flu-like symptoms during a road trip.
The next day was much better...not 100 percent but much better. It was more like 38.7 percent better. That night, I was staying in Redding, California. And thanks to my GPS, I (well...IT) decided I should cut through all of Arizona. Now Arizona was beautiful, really it was. But the two-way road has got to go...and passing huge trucks on those rolling roads was SCARY! When it started getting dark, I really had to pick my battles. By the way, Area 51 was billowing smoke.
So I got to Redding no problem. LOTS of winding roads for about an hour toward the end was the only problem. The good news was no more 13 and a half hour drives to a destination. This is New Years Eve and I'm heading up to Portland, Oregon to see my ex-DNA (now Laika) friends, the Gorskis. 7 hours after I'd left Redding, I was at Joe and Michelles. We spent New Years together in a very low-key, sickly, stay at home and eat chinese food setting. It was great. I don't think I had enough energy in me at that point to go out and party...plus, the roads were REALLY crummy. Thanks again, you two!
Now that all that holiday garbage was over, it was time to go to my destination. Seattle was only 3 hours away. Lucky for me, I have friends up here. The Halifax's were awesome enough to put me up for a few nights. Three nights to be exact...and in that time, I had found an apartment in Kirkland. Since I hate commuting, I opted to live close to work, which is also a good thing for a social life because lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping areas are in the downtown area...a 3 minute drive away. Heh...the 3rd place I looked at. More about my snazzy apartment for another post, but, compared to New York prices, this place is an absolute steal.
It showed the day before I left their place. My car got stuck battling up a hill. The hill was eventually conquered!
Just got finished unpacking everything. It looked like alot more stuff when it was in the moving van.
So that's it. Three weeks of traveling and I'm finally here. A few of my friends have told me that a road trip by yourself is the best way to find out who you are. I don't want to get deep here but I think, if anything, it gave me a damn good idea.
I have tons of stuff to follow up on so I'll try to get to all that mess soon. Thanks to everyone who let me stay with them. I love you all. With that said, I miss all my New York friends...ALL of you.