It is all well and good to make plans to do some sightseeing while traveling cross-country by car.
Especially in Arizona, there are tons of scenic feasts for the eye and mind. The giant meteor crater, the Grand Canyon, the lands of the Navaho Indians, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest -- those are only a start for beginners. There are so many more places to see and drink in and revel in.
We slept only briefly. In Flagstaff, where the nighly low was expected to be something like 42 degrees, we woke sweating. The air conditioning unit in our room would not work. We opened a window -- and there was only one small window that could open, and put on the fan. Not an immediate relief.
I got up to go to the bathroom a couple hours later, only to discover that the bathroom door was stuck. It was a shutter-like device, like tiny French doors, very cute, but when half is stuck shut, you end up having to scuttle sideways to the potty like a crab. Not all that life-destroying, at all, but damn it, we were paying for fully functional lodgings, not as-is-take-your-chances.
In addition, my mythical city with its commitment to reducing light pollution had apparently exempted La Quinta Inn from light pollution. Just a few inches from the one window that would open, an all-night light threw shitful glare into the room. Close the drapes, lose the cooler air. Open the drapes, sleep under a floodlight. Bastards.
In the morning, I puttered with my computer, reading some comics; I said my morning prayers. I wished I could sleep some more, but once awake -- well, that's it. At 7:15, just as I was about to quietly slip out to let Howie take his morning pizz while Bernie continued to make up for the night's broken sleep -- a fire alarm went off.
Now, the day before, a wildfire was sending smoke billowing to the north of Flagstaff, so when a fire alarm sounds, you all jump up and say "WTF????" and run for the door to see if you are in imminent danger.
We weren't. But perhaps that was the last straw.
We packed our shit into the car in record time, shook the dust of the hotel off our feet, and said, "To hell with it. Let's go home."
And so we did.
Alex and John had a box of utterly delicious Hungarian pinot grigio waiting for us on the patio when we got home at 7:30 pm. It had been about an eleven-hour drive, but we were happy to be back.
Howie got the gallops as soon as he was out of the car, racing back and forth across the front yard in glee, and then, with Sebastian complaining to us about our absence with multiple "Buh-woo-woo-woooooo's" Howie joined him in doggy-talk with loud yips of exultation.
There were things we HAD to do back East, and we did them. Thus, it was a good trip, and we saw some wonderful stuff on the way.
But darlings, there is surely no place like home.