If you are reading this from Georgia, or for that fact, anywhere other than from Nevada or Arizona, you cannot possibly grasp how hot it is here. It hit 112 degrees on the dash of the truck and the locals said it was 114. It was so hot that we did not even want to go to the pool until the sun had already began its downward climb.
The pool offered a bit of a sanctuary for us while we were in the shade, but the kids couldn’t have cared less. We don’t understand how kids do not have a gauge of how hot it is when they are having fun but we are glad that they enjoyed it.
We had the conversation with the kids about what to expect on the Vegas Strip, but due to the intense heat, we had an excuse not to go out and walk around. But in the morning we decided to drive through on the way to CA and the kids, especially Macey, could not understand how it could be open 24 hours a day. She could not get that the stores never close.
Gig-up is a HUGE Cars fan. His favorite line the past few days has been, “I ain’t no Mac…I’m a frito Mac (which is supposed to be “Peterbilt” but he doesn’t know the exact word yet).” So it only made sense that we stopped at the Wigwam Hotel (Cozy Cones Motel in the movie). We had to stop in the middle of a turning lane and run across the street since it was not big enough to pull the RV in. He loved that.
Getting into CA took us back down memory lane. It was 14 years ago that this whole Thomas family started. We took the kids back to the first apartment we had together. It was a converted motel from 1959, 288 sq ft (yeah 14 x 12 was the whole apartment size), $650/mo, and it was where we began: Apt # 11. The manager who moved us in was still working there. She was nice enough to allow us to show the kids the inside of the apartment so they could have a grasp of how little it was and compare it to their bedrooms now.
Our favorite Vons location near my old Navy base was converted into a Ralph’s as they had moved to a bigger location. We had to have the chicken tenders and wedges that we had many a times while we lived there.
Perhaps the most vivid of memories of Vons is standing in line at 9pm on payday night (it was 12am midnight EST) waiting for the money to be deposited so we could buy groceries. We would stand in line calling the bank every few minutes until we could actually start ringing up. Brings a smile to our faces just thinking about those times.
It didn’t feel like a roller coaster but the kids rode over it with their hands up in the air. Maybe we have done a good job with letting the kids experience things, but WIlliam remembers that the beach in San Diego was the first time he saw the ocean in person and he was speechless as a 18 year old kid.
But the kids just looked at the water and instead wanted to climb on the rocks. It makes us joyful to know our kids have had some of the experiences early on in their lives that we didn’t have at times.
The Old Time Trolley was our primary mode of transportation when we lived there, since we did not have a car for a while out in CA and it gave us time away from our small apartment. Not sure what all we talked about on our rides together or why we enjoyed it so much, but we still are the same now: always together and always laughing.
We rode the trolley down to the Gaslamp District and walked to Horton Plaza, the outdoor mall with 7 stories, which would have been amazing to the kids if the outlets in Woodstock hadn’t been outdoors. It was unbelievable for us 14 years ago and it was surreal being back there.
The ride back was interesting…had a lady stare at us pretty much until she got off, another guy kept busting out in the worst runs and falsetto singing that may have possibly been ever sung, and there was a baby, who although cute, was way too loud to be that close to. But, all of it made for a sweet trip back down memory lane. And, it put Gigup right to sleep!
Can’t believe we are back where we started. Grateful to God for His hand of protection getting us this far and keeping our marriage so we can share this with our children.
#thomas6travels #48statesover48dates #48in48