The flooded desert followed by our return to the west coast

Nevada
Tuesday we headed to our next camping destination just north of Las Vegas. As we drove through the pouring rain near Fish Lake, we were quite glad of our decision not to go fishing. As the rain wore on, we began to wonder just how far the flash flood warnings extended. When we reached our exit for our free camping, the small town off the freeway was flooded in red-dirt mud, streams flowing beside and over the roads. We gave it our best shot, still following the directions to the campground, until we came to a flooded dirt road with several miles to go. At that point, I called Marriott looking for the cheapest and nearest hotel. Soon we were back on the freeway heading toward Vegas proper, where our hotel reservation awaited us.

Minutes after we arrived on I-15, traffic came to a stop, with vehicles stopped as far as the eye could see in front of us. Before we knew it, the same went for as far as we could see behind us. As it turned out, the freeway was flooded (again, we could see red rivers running down the side of the freeway) and we waited, parked, for about an hour for it to be cleared up. By the time the road was clear, the clouds had parted and a brilliant blue sky lit our way into Vegas.

Suddenly finding ourselves unexpectedly in Vegas for the night, just a block from the strip but also exhausted, we decided just to go for some dessert and maybe a short walk before crashing for the night. Something like 6 hours and maybe 8 miles of walking later, we finally made it back to our hotel and passed out cold. The next morning we booked it out of Nevada and toward LA.

So. Cal
I mentioned before that I was going to meet one of my favorite authors while passing through Vegas. Alas, it fell through. As excited as I was, I’m not too incredibly bummed out about it, if only because the closer the time came, the more I realized I had no idea what to say to the man.

Anyhoo, the rest of the way through Nevada was dry, with only a few remaining puddles to remind us that the day before was flooded. We were lucky with the traffic heading into Arcadia, as everything in the other direction was stopped, but we flew by to get to my Aunt and Uncle’s house.

We were welcomed by my Aunt Angela and two smiling faces that go by the names of James and Charlie, 8 and 3 respectively. Seriously, these kids couldn’t get any cuter. When James went into time-out, Charlie wanted nothing more than to join him, waiting patiently for both of their release. We played with the boys and talked to Ange while we waited for Daniel to get home. Man was it good to see them! What a great family… Then they made us an amazingly yummy dinner of salmon, sweet potatoes, asparagus, zucchini and and…I don’t remember, but it was all delish. Then chocolate for dessert! Yum. 😀 Makes me a happy Bug.

The next day, while Daniel was at work and James was at school, Angela took the remaining of us to the Arcadia Arboretum- which was SO neat and beautiful! Though hot. At one point we all suddenly thought it was Wednesday and Ange ran off with Charlie to pick up James from school (he apparently gets out earlier Weds), leaving us with the stroller. I had a blast following Peter around the arboretum while he pushed around the stroller, teasing him for leaving our ‘kid’ alone when he left the stroller to look at something. When it was my turn to take it, I just pulled it behind me….

That night we all met my Aunt Debi, who lives in Chino, for indian food a ways away. Peter has apparently never had indian- but it was a success! Soooo yummy! it was good to catch up with Debi. I hadn’t seen her in 7 or 8 or so years! Eventually we went home and crashed before getting up the next day to head north once again.

Due to the INSANITY of LA traffic, it took us something like 3 hours to get to Santa Barbara from Arcadia. Oi. It was good to be out of LA….and Santa Barbara was gorgeous! We enjoyed a late lunch on the beach with Peter’s old friend Therese, who he hadn’t seen for 14 years. It was sooooo lovely that we couldn’t help taking a walk on the beach and enjoy it for a bit before hitting the road again. As a result, we didn’t get to our hotel reservation in San Jose until after 9pm that night. (We wanted to camp, but Cali is terrible for camping…we could get a hotel room for cheaper.)

After taking FULL advantage of the free continental breakfast, we’re back on the road again, heading toward Peter’s kinda hometown of Davis and Sacramento.

And there you have it! I’m all caught up! But not to worry, the days just keep flying by~ I’ll have plenty more to tell soon enough! ‘Til then… Toodles!

Traffic stopped behind us on I-15

Traffic stopped behind us on I-15

Traffic stopped ahead of us on I-15

Traffic stopped ahead of us on I-15

Vegas strip

Vegas strip

The best part of Las Vegas: the amaaazing rare books store

The best part of Las Vegas: the amaaazing rare books store

Skipping ahead to Santa Barbara~ Can't believe I didnt get phone pics of my uncle's ADORABLE family!

Skipping ahead to Santa Barbara~ Can’t believe I didnt get phone pics of my uncle’s ADORABLE family!

Shoreline in Santa Brabara- beautiful!

Shoreline in Santa Brabara- beautiful!

Mmmmmm my kind of pedicure.....

Mmmmmm my kind of pedicure…..

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