Saturday, May 7, 2011

Journey to California- Day 1

Nursing school is done! I really can't believe how fast it all went by! Now that I've finished its off to California to move into our house and find a job (oh and finish wedding planning too). To celebrate graduation, me and 9 other girls from my nursing school class went to a small beach island in South Carolina to celebrate (you'll read all about that trip in a later blog). Once I got home from South Carolina, I packed up my apartment and my car and headed to California. On the journey with me is Beans (my cat) and my grandpa (I call him Deda, which is Russian for "grandpa"). I needed a travel buddy and Deda was super excited to fly out from Arizona to drive with me. And I was pretty excited myself about getting to spend some quality time with him. I told him to bring his audio recorder so I could record our conversations and to be able to document our trip. While we were driving, I came to find out that this is actually the first vacation he's been on without my grandmother. Can you believe that, after 52 years of marriage not even one vacation without her?!? I don't know why I find that hard to believe but it amazes me.

And we're off!

Getting out of my apartment was a bit hectic but Deda and I managed to get the whole place clean and everything packed up. I have no idea how I came to Chapel Hill with just 2 suitcases and left with a car full of stuff. Granted I did ship some packages from California and did bring more stuff from home over breaks and did acquire a million textbooks, but still, my car was pretty packed. We got a late start out of Chapel Hill, but we made it to our goal destination of Nashville. I really wanted to see Anna if we had the time and it ended up being a perfect stopping point so it worked out great. We didn't end up seeing Anna on Day 1, but we planned to meet up with her for breakfast on Day 2.

Traveling with a cat has been surprisingly pretty easy. When I first moved out to North Carolina Beans traveled with me on the plane. He did pretty well and only meowed a little bit on the plane. He's never really traveled in a car for long distances so I was a little nervous about how he would do. This first leg of the trip he did great! He was sitting on Deda's lap and on the armrest and walking around the car and exploring. He seemed to really like it and didn't really mind it that much. When we stopped for the first time we put him on a leash (yes they do make leashes for cat). However, Beans isn't much of a walker on the leash; he just kind of sniffs around and then sits on the ground. Anyway, Deda took him out of the car to try to walk him around and get him out of the car but of course, "Mr. Houdini" (aka Beans because he literally tries to sneak out and escape whenever possible) decided to get out of his leash and run underneath the car. Luckily Deda caught him before he was able to run out of the gas station and onto the road. In a second escape attempt, at the hotel later that night Beans ended up sneaking out of the hotel room and ran down the hallway. Deda and I chased after him but he didn't get far before I caught him. I swear that cat was Houdini in a past life. I'm really surprised he hasn't gotten away for real yet. As long as we don't have anymore attempted "prison breaks" from Beans, I think the trip will be pretty easy with a cat.

Beans loves this whole traveling thing. I think he thinks the car is his castle and he is definitely the king of it. (Note: He did NOT sit here while driving. I know my mom would probably freak out if she saw this pic and thought he stayed there the whole trip)

The first night Deda and I had dinner at Shoney's. Deda started talking about this restaurant before we even got into Tennessee. He told me this story about how 40 years ago when he lived in Virginia he and Babushka (my grandmother) started to like this restaurant and they especially LOVED the Strawberry Cream Pie there! One time when my grandparents were living in Hawaii, Deda had a business trip in Virginia and while he was there he went to Shoney's and got a Strawberry Cream Pie to bring back to Hawaii. He took it on the plane and gave it to the flight attendant to store in the fridge. When they had landed on one of the legs of the flight the fridge was getting emptied and Deda noticed it. He told the flight attendant who quickly grabbed the Strawberry Cream Pie in the nick of time, but as she was doing so, she fell and landed on her back. However, she kept the pie upright and it was safe. In the end, the pie made it safely from Virginia to Chicago to San Francisco and finally to Hawaii in one piece and my grandparents were able to enjoy Strawberry Cream Pie from Shoney's together. Now that is what I call A) dedication to a pie and B) being a really awesome husband and bringing your wife pie all the way from Virginia. Anyway, we stopped there and Deda and I shared this famous Strawberry Cream Pie. I asked him if it was as good as he had remembered it to be and he said it was good but he couldn't really remember how it tasted 40 years ago.

Shoney's famous "Strawberry Cream Pie"

It's been a great first day of our probably 4 day journey to Arizona (I'm dropping Deda off there and spending a few days there to visit friends). I'm pretty excited about our adventures! We're going to try to stop at some interesting sights along the way so I'll blog about anything fun that we see.

Deda mapping out our route on the maps. I really love that he doesn't rely on MapQuest and uses a good ole fashioned map! :)

1 comment:

  1. Loved the Strawberry Cream Pie story.. so funny! Your mom said she had never heard that story before so thanks for sharing. Great photos of Deda and Beans... we want to see more photos of you Sasha.
    Love you, Pop & Mom