vacation day two

The continental breakfast at the hotel in Vegas was decent, but not very filling. The cinnamon rolls, which are a Holiday Inn Express specialty were the best part of the breakfast. Milk, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs were the only choices in the protein department. We got on the road about 9:00 AM, and headed south towards California.

One thing that’s been in the news is how much rainwater Southern California has received recently. Just outside Primm, we were given first-hand evidence of this. Kathy took this picture from the front passenger seat of the van, while it was moving, through the rear window, at least five miles past the casinos just behind the lakes. This is what you can do with a Nikon D70 and a telephoto lens.

I’ve driven this way before, and have never seen anything in this area other than typical Nevada desert. Standing water and visibly green vegetation are not a normal part of this landscape. Through the rest of the day we continued to see green plants and wildflowers where there is normally only dirt, sagebrush, and joshua trees.

A couple of hours after we snapped the picture above, we stopped at a gas station at the exit for a town called Calico. We did this because we hoped to avoid the heavily populated city of Barstow. Just like in Cedar City, we chose badly. The bathrooms were very dirty and stinky. If I am ever doing this drive again, I will go on to Barstow and visit one of the larger chains for a bathroom break.

We arrived at about 2:30 PM in Escondido, which is in the northern part of San Diego County. There we spent a few hours with Kathy’s grandmother, where the kids were in rare grouchy form, especially Benjamin, our three year old. When we tried to get back on the road, and start the movies back up, we found that our power inverter had died. We bought a better one from Target, which informed us that the power supply for my newer laptop was causing a short circuit. This turned out not to be the case, but I did not learn this until more than a week after we got back home. My guess is that the power supply simply draws too much current for a small inverter.

It was about 6:00 PM when we finally left Escondido. It only took an hour to get to the hotel in Anaheim, but without the movies running, many variations on “are we there yet” began. “Are we still in Utah? Are we in California yet? What time are we going to get there?” When we finally arrived, we crashed in the hotel and let the kids vegetate in front of cable TV, something they don’t get at home.

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