Almost Gone

I'm not sure what has been the most harrowing part of the last two days---attempting to pack up all of my worldly belongings in preparation for the big move, or discovering, upon sorting through the DVD collection, that I have somehow come to own the movie "Monster In Law," starring Jennifer Lopez. Sean swears it was sent to him for free by some DVD club he joined briefly, but if that's the case, I'd like to know why it was hidden at the back of the shelf behind all of the other DVDs, and also WHY IT WAS OPEN.

We've spent the last few days packing up the apartment, and have still somehow made very little progress. Part of this might have to do with my sudden frantic desire to stock up on clothing---"Pajamas! I need pajamas! I feel certain I will not be able to buy pajamas in Southeast Asia! And also sweatpants! I don't have any sweatpants! Quick, one last hurrah at Target!"---and part of it is because I guess I underestimated the amount of STUFF we have. I'm not sure how we've accumulated so much; when I came to the states from London right after college, I had eleven small boxes, most of which contained books. Now I actually own things, like a sofa and a coffee grinder and many ethnic curios. Do you think I'm the only person in South Carolina who has a moving box labeled "BUDDHA"?

We leave Charleston on Tuesday, though the time of day will depend on when we can get the truck packed, and also how many drugstore runs I need to make to stock up on tissues, as I feel sure I will be crying buckets when I have to say goodbye to my friends. Lovely Neighbor Stacy and Thespian Libby held a dinner party for us this evening, during which it was decided that we are all going to meet up in India in November. There will be maybe seven or eight of us, and so we've decided that a field trip of such magnitude will require uniforms and perhaps also an official tour bus. Maybe a theme song, too. And a special whistle.

Sean and I have not yet decided our route from South Carolina to San Francisco, though we know for certain that we're going to stop in Salt Lake City (because I'm fascinated by the mormons) and Moab (because Sean is fascinated with natural beauty and rocks and stuff.) I have a vague hankering to go to Nashville, because my sister Susie has an unnatural obsession with Elvis and perhaps I can bottle some air from Graceland and make that her Christmas present, and we're probably going to stop at Pyramid Lake, right outside of Nevada. But if you have any suggestions for excellent road food or interesting attractions in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, or Northern California, let me know. And if you live anywhere on that route, stick your hand out the window and wave hello.

Jun 19, 2006

I am so excited for you! I hope you have a safe trip and that you don't run into the crazies.

Jun 19, 2006

Am certain someone else would have mentioned this... to get the Graceland air you must go through Memphis, not Nashville. But, having lived in Nashville for 11 years before leaving for the midwest, Nashville is certainly worthy of a stop -- and you can just keep heading West to Memphis once you are done paying homage in Music City.

Jun 19, 2006

I believe Graceland is in Memphis, not Nashville. That's a 210 mile drive.

I lived in Nashville for five years and did once sit in a chair that belonged to Elvis... they wanted $5,000 for it so I left it in the antique shop.

Jun 19, 2006

Have an awesome trip, darling!!

Jun 19, 2006

Tsk tsk tsk, why did you say Nashville? I'm embarrassed for you! But really, stop off in Kentucky, birthplace of Johnny Depp, and get some air, pair that with Graceland air, and you've got yourself a Christmas gift!!

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 19, 2006

Oh yeah, Memphis! Sorry. I must have been high on packing box fumes. Or deviled eggs.

Thespian Libby
Jun 19, 2006

You must get a bottle of "Love Me Tender" lotion at Graceland. As for exciting spots in Kansas and Missouri - there are none. I've been there. I was there, in fact, with the psycho fiance from long ago that we discussed last evening. Bleah. I am not going to cry. Totally. When I feel sad and miss you both terribly, I'll just curl up in my regulation "Slinsky" jumpsuit and feel all better.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 19, 2006

I feel I must explain the Slinsky jumpsuit. When Sean worked at The Job From Hell, he sometimes had to wear this navy blue PANTSUIT kind of thing for going into nuclear situations, and it had his last name on the breast pocket. It looked like he was about to start pumping gas or, worse, had escaped from prison. When we were clearing out the attic last night, he found a whole box of these jumpsuits, and Thespian Libby asked if she could have one. I've no idea what she might do in it -- I'm hoping paint the house rather than paint the town red -- but I did suggest that they should be our Apartment Uniform, and perhaps we could form a traveling band while wearing them. In India.

Sean's mom
Jun 19, 2006

I did not cry when you left our house on Thursday morning. I was good, but I started to cry when I read this post. Charlie and Sadie were upstairs this morning with Snoopy and Jade, and no one got hurt. Have a safe trip and call often.


Jun 19, 2006

Face it, Holly. Sean has a THING for Jane Fonda.

I hope y'all have a wonderful road trip! If you somehow find yourselves in Mississippi, please do let me know, I will feed you deviled eggs!

Jun 19, 2006

The City Museum in St. Louis, MO is fun, strange, a little dangerous and serves booze. I highly recommend it.

Jun 19, 2006

Alright, so while I will agree that Monster-In-Law is a sub-par movie in itself, Michael Vartan has got to be one of the most scrumptious pieces of man to set foot on screen. I'll put up with Jennifer Lopez anyday (and twice on Tuesday) to see that.

Serenity Now
Jun 19, 2006

Yes. You are the only person in SC with a buddah box. I (also live in SC) have a buddah-esque statue in my living room and get very odd looks and questions about it. I always say I found it while traveling, which is kind of true, as I found it while traveling... to Target.


Have fun. Can't wait to hear the stories that come out of this journey. SC will miss you and will never be the same.

Jun 19, 2006

I procrastinate when it comes to packing. I hate packing. I wish i could just pay someone else to do it. :/ --but im just lazy. have fun of your guys road trip. Ive never been on a road trip so you guys BETTER TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES and actually SHOW US! :) If you go to Nevada come to Reno!

Jun 19, 2006

colorado has many lovely places to stop. you and your box of buddhas will fit right in if you stop in boulder...on one short street alone we have at least 4 tibetan/nepalese shops if you need to purchase more.

Jun 19, 2006

Darn! Someone beat me to the "Buddah" box...but I was going to say "yes, you are the ONLY one!" Have a great time, Graceland is worth the stop (been there 3 times w/ various family members). And, in colorado (SE corner) is the Royal Gorge Bridge--pretty cool if you're not scared of heights! Of course, with all the awesome places you'll be going, Elvis & a bridge seem somewhat anti-climatic... :)

Jun 19, 2006

hmmm... well, which ever route you choose, drive safely!

Jun 19, 2006

There is always Cahokia in the St. Louis area. Native American ruins. Haven't yet been there myself but heard it was interesting. But that seems a bit out of your way. Wichita has Old Town - sort of a wild west thing going on. And a decent art museum and an indian ceter. And the Redwood forest in California is gorgeous.

Have a great trip!

Jun 19, 2006

I am shocked, shocked that no one has yet mentioned road food. Tsk, tsk, people! Holly must eat!

I live in NorCal (I think I may have already told you to email me if you are going through Sacramento, and mentioning it again makes me feel slightly stalker-ish...but such is life), and my favorite road trip food is In N' Out Burger. I always stop for a Double Double on the way to Reno (I 80) or Tahoe (Hwy 50). It's really the only time I eat there, in spite of the fact that there is one 4 MILES FROM MY HOUSE.

Anyway. I'm guessing you'll be on 80...there is one in Foresthill, which is coming out of the Sierras toward Sac (ooh, and there is also one in Fairfield, about an hour and a half east of SF). Treat yourself...their cheeseburgers and fries (fresh cut right in front of you!) are to die for.

Jun 19, 2006

On your way through Colorado, might I recommend a stop at 7-Falls (Colorado Springs). It is beautiful and there are only 5 billion stairs to climb to get to the top. The view is well worth it. Also for a little night time entertainment, the Iron Springs Chateau in Colorado Springs has a very funny, very yummy dinner/show.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 19, 2006

Fluttergirl, a guide to all the In N' Out Burgers on I-80 is like CHRISTMAS COMING EARLY. I'm sure you only meant me to go to one, but I'll be stopping at all of them. In fact, In N' Out is 48% of the reason we're moving out west.

Now, if anyone has a map of all the Trader Joes between here and San Francisco, and also all the H&Ms, we'll be all set.

Jun 19, 2006

I can recommend sights to see in various parts of Colorado, but it totally depends on what part of the state you drive through. My favorite natural site is Mesa Verde (down in the Southwest corner of the state) and it's only an hour from Durango, my favorite town here in CO.

The Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder, CO is one of the coolest places ever. Plus it's a short walk to the Pearl Street (pedestrian) mall. Boulder is also home to the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory, which gives free tours.

If you go through Nebraska, you can see CarHenge. If you go through Wyoming, you can see Devil's Tower. If you go through South Dakota, you can see the badlands, the Crazy Horse monument, and Wall Drug (oh, and Mt. Rushmore). There are all kinds of things to see on road trips in flyover land - but you have to pick a route!

Jun 19, 2006

Hey, there is a Trader Joe's and H&M in St. Louis... along with the gateway arch. It's free to get into the museum and a few bucks to take the space pod-like elevator to the top. Then there's the art museum (free), zoo (free), science center (free), and Budweiser brewery tour (free) where they give you FREE beer! (Can you tell I miss home... )

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 19, 2006

These are all excellent, you guys. Thanks so much! We should start a travel company. And we should ALL wear the matching jumpsuits.

Jun 19, 2006

If you're going through very southern Kentucky, you could visit Mammoth Cave ( It doesn't have a lot of speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites, etc.), but it is the longest cave in the US. You can also, if you call for reservations way ahead of time, go on a candlelight tour.

Or you could take goofy pictures at Dinosaur World ( or visit the incredibly hokey Guntown Mountain (

Jun 19, 2006

Moab is amazing and totally worth a stop. St. Louis, MO is also great fun. Affordable, Midwestern goodness -- the Arch, cool open-air riverfront bars with live music, etc.

Jun 20, 2006

yeah, there are too things in missouri! like me! and, as mentioned, the brewery where they give you free beer! come to st. louis, stay downtown and walk to the arch, go to bars in soulard and eat some great italian food on the hill. if you have time, the botanical garden is great as well.

Jun 20, 2006

I just learned tonight (thank you, Inside Edition) that Nicole Kidman is now living in Nashville. So look for her!

And drive safely, and keep in touch!

Jun 20, 2006

I'm sticking my hand out the window and waving!

Plus, The Hamburg Inn in Iowa City is good road food. Ballast, actually, more than food.

Jun 20, 2006

Ooh, ooh, speaking of Budweiser tours, and of I 80, there is also a great big Budweiser bottler along that very route. It is very close to the Fairfield In N' Out, not to mention the Jelly Belly Factory (which also gives free tours, and you can buy Belly Flops there, which are big ole bags of the imperfect ones, as if there were such a thing, for cheap-ish).

All hail Budweiser (we bow our heads in reverance every time we pass it...except the driver, who merely salutes). Oh, and JB and INO.

Jun 20, 2006

I'm right here sympathising about the packing. I have the very same task ahead of me over the next few weeks - and it bites! I think the best thing to do is throw as much stuff out as possible. but i keep putting old things into bin bags, and then getting nostalgic and rescuing them. soft touch or what?
best of luck with your travelling!

Jun 20, 2006

I'm from St. Louis and I second the City Museum recommendation! Especially if you need to get out of the car and get some circulation back into your butt. Don't be alarmed by the amount of children because in a matter of moments you'll feel 10 again. Play in an airplane fuselage dangling 5 stories above ground. It really is the coolest place. Stay late enough and all the children melt away and out comes the booze.

Also, a very quirky/fun area is the U-City Loop. There are tons of cute clothing and home furnishing boutiques, a bunch of great restaurants, and probably the most diverse assortment of people you're likely to encounter anywhere in St. Louis.

We have some really wonderful restaurants here (people in the Lou LOVE to eat!) so if you have a hankering for something specific I could definitely recommend a few places. Thai? Mexican? Indian? The Best martinis in the city, nee, the state? I've got answers. I should be a tourist recruiter.

happy road tripping!

Jun 25, 2006

If you come into California North of San Francisco, consider stopping in Williams at "Louie Cairo". They have the best garlic bread I have ever had ... Louie Bread. Yum

Jun 28, 2006

Hey! I live in Salt Lake City!!! Send a little shout out to me when you pass through!

If you are going to be in town for a bit, I suggest you eat at Morelia's in Midvale (suburb of SLC). It is a great, Mexican restaurant that I single-handedly keep running due to my frequent visits.

Have a great trip! And for God's sake, did you pack travel shampoo? If not, you better go back to Target...