I wake up at 4:30am. It felt like I was just napping. Check minus. Music is playing from an alarm clock radio somewhere and it’s confusing the hell out of me. "Is that the neighbors? Is there a party? What’s happening?" Liz gets up and dresses. I decide to hit snooze. Get up at 4:42am. Those 12 extra minutes having failed to do anything for me. We “make the bed” AKA fold it back into the couch, trying to make the sheets on it flat so it’s not ridiculously wrinkled -- second fail. Down a cup of tea that I will miss having everyday. Shout out to PG tips for being awesome.
Immediately I realize chugging a cup will probs make me have to pee aReal bad on our road trip. Then I pee as a last ditch effort to empty the tank.
We pack the car. Joe asks about passports. I take mine out. Liz digs for hers after being “ready” for the past 10 mins. She can’t find it. Uh-oh Spaghetti-os. She frantically checks ALL her pockets as Joe calmly lords over her from a chair, "Okay, slow down. Take your time." Thankfully she finds it and Joe finds a way to turn it into a lesson: "You should always keep your important papers in one place." Now let’s go!
Chewy comes for the ride and smells just how you'd image an aging, blind dog who's been roaming around the dessert would -- magical. While on the road, Lindsay keeps yawning. I nod off and my neck is killing me. Clearly, I (barely) slept on it wrong. We watch the sun rise.
Joe tells us random facts while elevator music plays on his satellite radio. We get to the border and wait 1 hour and 45 mins to get back to the good ol' U-S of A.
I’m amazed I don’t have to pee. Joe gets his car washed by a hop on. His tip was well earned.
Liz buys us all pineapple empanadas from a dude wondering up and down the rows of cars. 5 for 3 bucks.
As Joe eats, he talks about the meatball soup over at Pete’s camp has changed. It used to be you'd get 4 meatballs, then you got 3 or worse 2 – "Eh, get outta here!" Lindsay shares her travel stories, she’s been to at least 18 countries that she can remember. Then we wait alongside a guy with a dog who asks what kinda dog is Chewy. Lindsay answers, "I don’t know." Per our game earlier in the week, Liz and I crack up and are impressed that this guy got her to say it with ONE line. Mi novio/hero!
Back in the US, my phone freaks out with messages, voicemails, and emails I refused to retrieve while in Mexico to avoid a roaming fee. We are now back on the grid and back to the grind. We eat the only remaining flavor of Cliff Bars remaining: chocolate chip – the worst one! Chewy old man cough/hacks from the bumpy dirt roads.
Joe gives possibly the greatest piece of advice/best advertisement for Vons grocery stores: "Vons is expensive, but if they have what you need -- go there."
And yes, he is still rockin the French braid.
We find my car in the best little airport that doesn't charge you to park it there for an undetermined amount of time. Good news, despite not being used for 2 weeks, it starts! Liz will drive cause my knee is sore from all the nothing I did in the car. Baja has made me an old lady. We part from Joe and Lindsay and it is such sweet sorrow. I give them money for their Costco "very berry" sundaes on the way home (I also snuck some pesos and a $20 since I didn’t get to buy them dinner).
Liz and I drive, get some gas, and are constantly hungry. We don’t want more granola or Cliff bars, so we both decide to take the physical challenge -- the food I took from the fridge (that didn’t work for 2 days). The bag of food smells like something is wrong. We power through and taste the carrots telling each other, "if you just brush off the dead lettuce leaves, it tastes fine." Snow peas? Eh, still good. Then we try the hummus which is on the verge of turning but we’ll be fine. The hard boiled egg smells okay. It tastes okay. But the aftertaste? Not okay. We spit that out and I find another carrot to split. Later I fear we might play toilet tag. And yet after every 15 mins or so we are starving again but we are also eating small amounts of veggies like we are some kind of small rabbits. This is how/why I graze all day and are always hungry.
We stop for gas where it's cheaper and I achieve the perfect pump that stops on its own at $50.00. To celebrate Liz buys bananas. It randomly pours. We listen to the radio and sing songs we haven’t heard but are sure everyone else is sick of like Adele and Chris Brown -- "Hey, remember when he hit Rihana and now everyone is cool with him?" Then that catchy Gotye song comes on 4 damn times, each time there's a brief moment of "What? Again?!" before we happily sing along.
We get home. Unpack. Send emails informing everyone we’re alive. We silently type fast & furiously on our laptops across the table from one another. Then at the same time we STOP. Lock eyes. "OMG, I’m f-ing starving!"
We beeline it to Hugo's Taco Stand and go to town on their sweet corn tamales. Oh, how we missed them so...
Then we go to Trader Joe's and use my gift card so everything comes to a mere 11 bucks. I do the unemployment fist pump. Merry comes home, we tell her highlights. We get froyo and talk about how there should be a sad face at the bottom of the cup to indicate your eating of this tasty treat is over. Go back home. Watch videos from the trip. Some Liz remembers, others she doesn’t. I read her blog and her POV of the trip. And now almost one year later, she can finally get all of mine! (#WorthIt?) We finish watching yet another Chopped episode and pretty much just fight sleep the whole time. Eventually we surrender. But our loss is still a victory.