This #firstpcsmove was insane but I want to give my story a little before anything else so you know where I’m coming from. Hope ya’ll enjoy it. 🙂
Now I knew when I met my husband, Anthony in 2003 that he had wanted to join the military and he graciously waited a few years after we met before doing so. What we didn’t know was that when he joined in 2006 that it would be the beginning of a non-stop lifestyle for us from then on. We married in 2007 and were a Geo-Bachelor couple (separated where he was in California and I was in Texas) for almost a year since I had a well paying job. We decided to move my girls and myself to California in late 2008, which was an undertaking none of us were prepared for.
Take into consideration, my girls and I had never lived anywhere else but Texas and more specifically my bubble called the Houston city limits. I’d never been further West than San Antonio/San Marcos so this was a lot to take in even. I tried not to show it. The night before we’d left we had dinner with my family to say goodbye. My mom didn’t see us off since it was going to be hard on all of us especially my young daughters. We left Texas very early in our pj’s, I was at the wheel with the U-Haul hitched up to my truck. It was heartbreaking to leave the city lights behind. Everything I had ever known and loved from birth was in Houston; my amazingly supportive, patient and understanding family, numerous friends, small hometown comfort, my lifestyle, independence, hobbies, being Texan, and just comfortable in my skin. Cliché but so true that looking in my rear view mirror I cried knowing my life would never be the same after making that drive down Interstate 10. After going back and forth many times these last few years I know it only takes about 24 hours to get to Houston, Texas from my house. I tend to do this road trip in two days and just stay in El Paso as a half way stopping point.
This first time it took us a little over 12 hours to get from Houston to El Paso where we spent the night. For all of the non-roadtrippers and non-Texans; after passing San Antonio there are quite a few ghost towns, almost no radio reception and really nothing right off of the freeway until El Paso. It is a very strange sight to see freeway signs that say, “Strong Dust Storms for the next 100 miles”, tumbleweeds, and everything on the horizon be dusty and antique looking. I thought tornado, hail, strong thunderstorm, tornado and hurricane warnings were bad and have never seen or been around a dust storm. Like all stubborn Texans I didn’t think anything of it because my Chevy can conquer all! Let me tell you, the truck was pulling so hard I was sure I was going to be the stretch Armstrong toy after this trip! We finally make it though and El Paso is beautiful, unique and has amazing food. I wish I would have known about Man vs. Food back then I would have gone to the restaurants he had! YUM!
The next morning, we set out just as early but not too long after getting past Tucson in the middle of nowhere the U-Haul had a blow out tire. With all the waiting and everything it took over 5 hours for the maintenance guy to get out to us and fix the problem, and then they had to give my truck a jump because I had the emergency lights on the entire time. LOL! It was not a very productive 2nd day of driving to say the least! We all got to explore the shoulder-of-the-freeway scenery on the side of the Arizona highway, the girls learned how to make dirty snowmen on the side of the road and the vital importance of being prepared with fruits, snacks, water and blankets. We ended up spending the night in Yuma & then making the remaining of the trip on the 3rd day.
Upon reaching California, I will never forget the Border Patrol checkpoint and still talk about it to this day. We passed through 3 states with NOOO other Law Enforcement issues and when we come into the Golden State I get a rude awakening. The patrolman made Anthony get out of the truck, asked him questions, made him open the U-Haul trailer and my Igloo cooler when he discovered we were driving illegally! What was t that they claimed I had been harboring you ask?! Fruit! Apples to be precise. The line behind my truck piled up as I felt my face begin to turn red. How embarrassing but yes I was breaking the law.
THEY TOOK MY APPLES!!!! Maybe it was the blowout from yesterday that had me hoarding all the food in the car and feeling personally offended but I swear the guy was hungry. Apparently Texas apples not being from Washington are inferior and may contain weapons of mass destruction and therefore banned from coming into California.
I thought he was kidding at first, I laughed but then Anthony entered the truck and I saw the guy with my bagged apples in his little patrol stand I just stared at Anthony like he’d given away a winning lottery ticket. I was mad. Are they serious?! ARGH!!! Wooohsawwww…maybe I will let go of my apples now that I have vented. We’ll see.
Anyways, the energy windmills (I call them aliens because those things are so odd looking and huge) looked like something from a Hollywood movie and the sand dunes at the California border looked like we were in Egypt. California was turning into be irritating yet unbelievable and eye opening from the start! We were on Interstate 8 and approached the City of San Diego around noon. It was very beautiful, very perfect; the landscaping, the houses tucked strategically into the mountains, the view from the freeway overlooking the harbor, the yachts and cruise ships in the water under a clear sky made everything shimmer. The beach is parallel to the freeway the entire 30 minute trip from San Diego to our base. The girls and I were hypnotized by it and just how gorgeous everything was upon first sight.