Road trip begins now.
I have $100 for our four day, 2000 mile journey west, only because my driving partner Paul is vouching for gas since this is really his move west. I figure $100 should cover some magazines at the airport, a few meals in this town and that city and possibly a drink or three with my buddy Asher.
Food is going to be tricky this time around since my partner and I no longer eat meat. Gone are the road trips of my growing up and pre-turning-30 years where fast food burgers and tacos took center stage in my belly. I imagine eating on this trip will be trickier and more thought driven than simply looking for the pre-exit sign on the interstate that says Arbys. Now we will be forced to exit into the unknown in the hopes of finding a little diner or eatery that may or may not serve something vegetarian. While I will miss the guilt free, road trip fast food that I have come to love since our first family road trips, the adventure of eating local will certainly be interesting in it's own way.
My pack is small and mostly contains food, which is partly because I'm scared of the aforementioned mystery that surrounds our lunches and dinners and partly because it seemed cheaper and healthier to bring my own goodies (cashews, dried mango, puffins and rice cakes).
Also packed is my trusty camera -which I plan to use a lot in West Texas - some charging devices, a CD with Radiolab podcasts, two David Sedaris audiobooks and a pillow for nights under the stars.
Traveling alone is revealing some of my stronger anal tendencies, which tend to hide in corners when I'm traveling with Kari and the more recently acquired Stella, who over the course of 17 months has managed to drive these peculiar habits and unusual pleasures into the far off nooks and crannies of my mind. But sitting on the plane, alone and full of a slowly poured glass of orange juice, I am able to dwell on these tendencies. Like the fact that my seat pocket is neatly arranged in front of me and that my Vanity Fair is void of all inserts. Or at the airport when I had time to arrange my bills from largest to smallest, all facing the same way. Or at home packing late last night, going over every minute detail from the podcast arrangement to the way my luggage was arranged like a puzzle in my pack, with each pair of socks in the exact right place. I know in a few hours, when I join the company of another, that these luxuries will no longer be viable, but for now, I'll keep sipping my orange juice for as long as I want to.
Nashville will be here soon. More to come then.