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Road Trip


 Thursday, February 1, 2001

Day 23 (Last Day) (Jennifer Alden)
We had spent the night at Seema's house. She's a college friend of Lawrence's, and made us a delicious Indian meal, our first home-cooked meal in three weeks. (Seema with her children.)

On our way to Northern Virginia we took a small detour to see Lawrence's school, Virginia Tech. Craig, a fellow student, now teaches there in the Computer Science department. He showed us the newer buildings, and we had dinner with his wife Cara before heading out for the very last leg of our trip.

We arrived in McLean around one in the morning and celebrated with Lawrence's parents and a bottle of champagne.

We'll stay here and visit Washington, D.C. for two weeks before our flight to England on the 14th of February.

 Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Day 22 (Jennifer Alden)
We toured Savannah. See the full story.

 Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Day 21 (Jennifer Alden)
We left Orlando for St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the country. It was established in 1513 by the Spanish. We only had time to tour the city's fort, Castillo de San Marcos (their website). The fort, originally built in wood, was destroyed twice by fire before the queen ordered it rebuilt in masonry. (Lawrence in the guard room.)

The fort is made of shellstone (crushed seashells held together with a natural mortar). The material was found as-is nearby. The fort was never taken.

 Monday, January 29, 2001

Days 17 to 20 (Jennifer Alden)
We spent the next few days at Disneyworld in Orlando. See the full story.

 Thursday, January 25, 2001

Day 16 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We went to court, to a safehouse for battered women, to Aunt Dot and Uncle Oliver's, and to a toy store for some nephew-spoiling. See the full story.

 Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Day 15 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We hung out at home, updated the website, and wrote postcards. (Spectacular Jacksonville sunset.) We went to dinner at the Mossfire Grill, a local Mexican restaurant, with Marjorie's co-worker Brook (and husband Mark) and friend Donna (and daughter Cassie). William documented.

 Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Day 14 (Jennifer Alden)
We drove to Jacksonville, Florida to stay with Jennifer's sister. See the full story.

 Monday, January 22, 2001

Day 13 (Jennifer Alden)
We left New Orleans, crossed Mississippi and Alabama, and spent the night in Pensacola, Florida. See the full story.

 Sunday, January 21, 2001

Day 12 (Jennifer Alden)
We toured New Orleans on a bus, walked through the Garden District, and spent the evening dining well. See the full story.

 Saturday, January 20, 2001

Day 11 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We left Texas, drove through Louisiana, saw plantations, and got to New Orleans. See the full story.

 Friday, January 19, 2001

Day 10 (Jennifer Alden)
We took a very nice route through Texas and spent a few hours visiting Austin. See the full story.

 Thursday, January 18, 2001

Day 9 (Jennifer Alden)
We woke up at Rancho Bianco, where we had been relaxing day and night. We said goodbye to Matt and we were off. We took an alternate route (more dirt roads) across the Rio Grande back to the highway. We retraced our steps through Santa Fe down to Albequerque. There we rejoined with I-40 and headed east to Texas. We pledged to come back one day and explore New Mexico more thoroughly (and in warmer weather).

We had planned to spend the night in the clearly dangerous town of Amarillo, in the panhandle of Texas, but by the time we got there we found we had the energy to keep going. We drove another three hours to Sweetwater, first stopping in Lubbock for brisket and ribs at the County Line.

This day might be the least interesting point of our trip. The Texas panhandle isn't much to look at from I-40 (it gives new meaning to the word "flat") and we still had the rest of Texas to get through. (We did see some pretty houses at sunset.)

 Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Days 7 and 8 (Jennifer Alden)
We went to the ranch where our friend Matt Newsum lives. The ranch is completely self-sustainable. See the full story.

 Monday, January 15, 2001

Day 6 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We stayed two nights at the Laughing Horse Inn in Taos. We visited the town plaza and the Rio Grande Gorge. See the full story for details.

 Sunday, January 14, 2001

Day 5 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We visited the Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert, and Santa Fe. See the full story for details.

 Saturday, January 13, 2001

Day 4 (Lawrence Kesteloot)
We went to see the Grand Canyon and some Indian ruins, and slept in a wigwam. See the full story.

 Friday, January 12, 2001

Day 2 and 3 (Jennifer Alden)
We spent the second day relaxing at Alina's, getting pedicures, and browsing book stores.

On the third day we packed the car, bought two really bad sandwiches (trying to be healthy, should have gone to McDonald's), and headed for I-40, where we would spend the next week. The I-40 is a new freeway that parallels the old Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. It snowed and rained. (Lots of interesting clouds.) We drove on to Williams, an hour into Arizona, just outside the Grand Canyon.

Williams is a town of 2500, whose downtown area splits Route 66 into two one-way streets for ten short blocks. Williams must have been an important stop for travellers on Route 66, but now it's primarily home to 26 hotels for Grand Canyon visitors. We paid $20 for a room with a king bed at the Budget Host Inn.

 Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Day 1 (Jennifer Alden)
After months of talking and thinking about it, we left San Francisco on January 10th. We had hoped to get an early start, but by the time we said goodbye to our roommates and got everything packed into Lawrence's Subaru, it was almost noon. It was pouring (thank heaven it hadn't rained three days earlier when we put everything into storage). We crossed the Bay Bridge one last time and were off to Altadena, near Los Angeles, to visit Jennifer's friend Alina for a couple of nights. While Jennifer drove down I-5 in the rain, Lawrence was busy plotting our course to Washington, DC.

We couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome at Alina's. She lives in an adorable cozy cottage away from the main road. We ordered Chinese food, ate by the fire with her two dogs and three cats, and slept better than we had in months.


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