During my journey across the country, I left you in California… I swapped my lovely friend Kay for my sexy husband Dan and headed home.
Salt Lake City
The drive from LA to SLC was about 11 hours plus a time change that was not in my favor. This was the longest stretch and biggest time crunch of the whole trip. We buckled down for a determined trip without stops or delays.
Luckily, we succeeded.
We arrived in Salt Lake just in time for my second speaking appearance on the tour. Again I enjoyed sharing my story with the girls and spending time with them. This was a much smaller group so afterwards I was able to talk to them one-on-one.
I don’t have any pictures from this day of mad-dash driving and speaking to HIPAA protected youth, so how about this little gem.
Salt Lake City day 2
Day 2 started off very exciting and nerve-wracking. I was appearing on the radio. Not only that but my FAVORITE radio show. a show that I’ve continued listening to through podcast the entire 5 years I’ve lived on the east coast. I’ve never been on the radio before and I was super intimidated to talk to these people whom I adore.
It was a raging success.
Well… by my standards it was a success. I used my super-adult-professional voice AND I remembered to say all of the things I needed to say! I’m like a radio goddess.
You can listen to me here! (My segment starts at 59:50)
I also don’t have pictures of my radio appearance–major fail–but I have this adorable one of my superhero making it safe for us to cross the street.
That evening I had my last book signing on the tour and it was wonderful! My first customer was a woman who had heard me on the radio and came to get my book. That was exciting!
After that it was a stream of people coming to see me, get a book, and have it signed. It was such a busy evening that by the time the store closed I was still signing and talking with Readers. While cleaning up, the manager came to me and said, “I don’t mean to be rude but I’m surprised you did so well.”
…. Thank you?
I think my favorite part of the evening–and it’s hard because there were many wonderful moments–was when my cousin’s daughters came with their dolls for which they MADE mermaid tails! Crafts and mermaids. My fav!
That night I invited all my local friends to celebrate the end of the tour. It was rather emotional for me–which I hid valiantly through jokes and hyper activity. I was so sad that it was all over. I truly haven’t loved doing anything as much as I loved signing books, meeting Readers, and catching up with old friend. Oh, and road tripping. I love road tripping.
But it was over, and in the morning we were on our way back home.
I tricked Dan into driving an extra hour to Denver so that we could go back through my favorite drive along I-70, It’s just so beautiful. I think I’m addicted.
Dan’s brother lives in Colorado up in the beautiful mountains surrounded by trees and nature. So of course I spent our whole visit asleep on the his couch… Oops.
But–I don’t know if you know this–cross-country road tripping is exhausting. And as much as I loved every aspect of the book tour, it had basically been an entire week of working or driving.
I was pooped!
At dinner that evening I felt like I truly enjoyed the company I was with. I think sometimes we get really bogged down by work and life and we don’t enjoy the moments we’re in. Being done with the tour, having no work in the near future, and being in such an enjoyable place for the past week allowed me a freedom of spirit I don’t usually find in my day-to-day life.
I don’t talk about my in-laws much but I absolutely adore them. When I was young I had always wanted an older brother to the point where I often asked my mom to adopt one for me. I’m very happy to have acquired Ben through my marriage and I truly appreciate him as a brother.
Whew, got a little mushy for a minute.
This stop’s only significance was 1) it was on the way home and 2) at the time I booked the trip I’d never been to Missouri. I failed to realize that I did pass through MO on my way across the country the first time.
We arrived in Columbia quite late at night after spending all day driving through
Honestly…. When planning a trip make a route, ANY ROUTE, not to have to drive through that barren wind-land.
But where was I….
Oh yes, in Missouri. We just had enough time for beer and ribs while we watched football. There really is no better way to spend an evening. In my opinion.
Not the cool Charleston… This was the West Virginia one.
This stop was another one to get in a state I’d never been to. So, West Virginia: Check!
It was much too late and dark when we arrived to see anything of importance, but the next morning as we moved on through it was bright, a little foggy, and so beautiful. Driving through the mountains, on the winding, oh-so-beautiful roads through the trees was a little piece of heaven.
The only real event of note was at dinner the night we arrived in Charleston. I ordered a Not Your Father’s Rootbeer. It’s all the rage lately so I had to jump on board. It was good. Only problem is that I forgot I don’t like rootbeer and I never drink soda. So I didn’t really like it. But it was good. If that makes sense? Womp womp.
The next day was a swift 8 hour drive back to Hoboken. Would you believe after 6,600+ miles, the last hour–you know, when we were in Jersey and only 30 miles from home–was the WORST part of the whole trip. Man, traffic here is TERRIBLE!!! The entire trip combined didn’t have as much swearing as that last little bit.
*Side Bar* Dan usually has this little habit of miraculously showing up at the end of my hard work to finish up and claim the glory. Flash back to three years ago when I spent an ENTIRE DAY cutting down and conquering an over-grown, wild grape vine that was threatening to consume his mom’s garden. I cut, I pulled, I chopped and attacked this vicious plant like an Amazon Warrior Woman. Then at the end of the day, surrounded by his family to see the conclusion, Dan arrive, chopped down the very last bit, burned the roots with a blow torch, and receive the praise for a job well done. That little bitch.*
As we finished our week-long road trip home, at the end of my two weeks of hard work and sheer magic, Dan pulled off the road and got out of the car. He handed me the keys and let me drive us through our home-town and park the car to complete my task. I did it. I arrived back at the place I had started after finishing one of the most emotional and rewarding endeavors in my life.
I sure do love that guy.
So here I am: back to life, back to reality. Left with the memories of a trip and a tour that will forever be noted as one of the best things I’ve done with this life I’ve made for myself.
Thank you all for being there along the way.