Posts Tagged: The Big Move

DIARY

#Micdrop (a.k.a. My Move To Malibu)

You and me both, dude.

I think that what happened over the weekend was that I fell into a fugue state, or perhaps a wormhole wherein the space/time continuum as we know it ceased to exist, thereby allowing the hours in each day to expand in infinite directions. Because that is the only reasonable explanation I have for what just transpired over the course of my move from the Valley to Malibu, which was that I DESTROYED IT.

And by "it" I mean "life."

DIARY

…And Here We Are (Video)

We're heeeeeere! We're here we're here we're here.

I went a little MIA for the past three days because...well, because "busy" is a little bit of an understatement, but also because I didn't have Internet. But now I do, whee. So I'm back! Hi.

I love it here.

Lifestyle

Magic Hour

joshua tree national park

Joshua Tree, California

You guys, I'm going to have to apologize in advance in the event that all of a sudden I turn into a total chakras-and-crystals person, because I don't know who it is that is in these photographs, but the Jordan that I know does not decide to spontaneously break into yoga poses while watching the sunset barefoot in the sand.

Or...jeez, I don't know. Maybe she does.

SNAPSHOTS

The Thing

what is the thing route 66

YOU GUYS.

I SAW THE THING.

I have been wanting to see The Thing for over a decade, ever since my dad and I drove cross-country and I saw it listed in my guidebook and then - with massive sadness - realized that we weren't going to hit it on our route.

SNAPSHOTS

Ghost Town

route 66 ghost town

The thing about "taking Route 66 across the country" is that you can't really do it, not anymore. When the massive I-40 Interstate was built in the '80s, it basically mirrored the Western part of Route 66 and essentially put the old road out of business, so nowadays if you want to see Route 66 you have to sort of pop on and pop off of the Interstate whenever you can. And ever since we hit Oklahoma City, where our route collided with Route 66, that's what we've been doing, because it is so worth the effort, if only to see how great America's car-traveling culture used to be.

It's also sad, though: in a lot of these towns you'll find one "famous Route 66 spot" that's still doing well, maybe two, but the majority of the other businesses just couldn't survive the Interstate bypass and subsequent drop in tourist traffic. They're still so beautiful, though, and so romantic: full of gorgeous neon signs and '50s-style motels and interesting architecture and people with stories to tell. So you take your time, you have a second cup of coffee, and you listen. And sometimes you get a little lost trying to make your way back to the Interstate and find an all-but-abandoned overpass that's become home to thousands of birds that come streaming out in a huge cloud when you drive by, and you stop and get out of your car and watch them fly.

DIARY

At The Ranch

cadillac ranch route 66 road trip family

We've spent a lot of time on this trip discussing "what our children will remember." Goldie - well, nothing, obviously, but I still like to imagine that the things she's seeing and learning and doing during these weeks will ripple into her future.

The question of Indy's memories is a more complicated one. He's three and a half, almost four - I remember parts of my life from that period, but they're flashes: letting an ice pop drip into a garbage can in the playground, peeling sunburned skin from my babysitter's arm, a skinned knee, seeing my nursery school teacher walking down the street one day.

So I wonder: what will he remember? Will he remember getting to eat Cheetos? Only being allowed to buy one toy in the souvenir shop? Will he remember feeling nervous about not knowing what the place we're going to sleep in tonight looks like yet, or will he remember feeling excited about that not-knowing?

SNAPSHOTS

Roadside

One of my favorite stops so far: a roadside snack shop in Rich Mountain, Arkansas where we stopped for a quick ice cream, and ended up staying for well over an hour just because it was fun and the lady sitting in the dining room (who oh, did she mention? used to TRAIN WILD BEARS as a hobby) couldn't stop giving Goldie kisses and the cook put on a full-on magic show with something called a hokum (?) stick.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it's been, just meeting people. We've been staying in chain hotels and eating in chain restaurants only when we absolutely have to because it feels like such an opportunity, the chance to just be a part of the life of wherever it is that we're spending a few hours, and each and every time the decision to get away from the Hampton Inns and Waffle Houses (delicious though those grits might be) has turned out to be a good one. Not because we've necessarily been finding the "best" food or the "nicest" places to stay, but because doing this lets us see a small slice of what's going on, whatever that is.

But let's talk about grilled cheese for a second.

DIARY

The Big Different

I'm anxious about writing this post about the couple of days we spent in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I'm anxious because I can imagine how infuriating it must be to hear a liberal resident of a coastal state (who is likely reacting at least in part to the fact that she feels incredibly out-of-place in a state with such a dramatically different culture) making anything even approaching a judgment.

But I'm a writer, and part of what I write about is my experiences and adventures - and the fact is that this was not an entirely positive one. I want to be clear: there are great things about the area. It is beautiful out there in the country. The food is incredible (oh my goodness, the peel-and-eat shrimp). There is a Star Wars Museum with a full-size replica of Han Solo in carbonite. And. And! We found Zoltar.

Most importantly: we had wonderful conversations with wonderful, kind people who practically treated us and our children like family.

Eat

Oh My Memphis BBQ

interstate best bbq memphis

One thing Kendrick and I both had on our shortlist of Must-Dos: eat Memphis BBQ. I googled and consulted my Road Trip America book and Twitter-sourced, and what we ultimately decided on was the chicken and ribs at Interstate BBQ.

The place is not pretty. It looks kind of like a run-down fast-food joint, and is located right off of (like, basically on top of) the interstate (hence the name). The plates could have come straight out of a 1980s cafeteria, and the service, while friendly, is very much in the "whaddya want?" vein.

But OH MY FOOD. We made our picks based on Yelp reviews, and ended up with pork ribs, a half chicken, potato salad, beans, coleslaw, a side of BBQ spaghetti (which is what it sounds like: spaghetti tossed with slow-cooked pork and BBQ sauce), and fountain sodas the size of basketballs. And we ate (and drank) it all, and our son said "MMM THIS IS DELICIOUS!" over and over and over. (Weirdly, you want to know what my favorite part was? The coleslaw. And I don't particularly like coleslaw, so this both makes no sense and speaks to some kind of weird sorcery happening with however they make their coleslaw in this place.)


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