Friday, January 28, 2011


During the summers of my childhood, my parents would pack up the van for our annual trip to Indiana to visit family.  The long, dry, flat Texas road stretched on for miles as my sisters and I played Old Maid, slug bug, name the states and capitals or some made up alphabet game.  Two days in the van seem like forever when you are only eight years old. One incident sticks out clearly in all of our minds - little Alexis sitting by herself in the back of the van lighting matches and throwing them out the window. We would relentlessly ask our parents "When are we gonna get there?" Yet somehow these trips spurred my love of the road and I no longer ask when are we gonna get there, but when are we heading out on the road.
A young Bassett family.
Kiersten and Tyler - Santa Monica to Connecticut
Kiersten and I met while working for a small environmental non-profit in Santa Monica called American Oceans Campaign.  I shared a small one bedroom with her and her dog, Tyler.  My "room" was in the dining room and most nights Tyler slept with me on that little twin bed.  I miss him.  He was a great dog.  After working and living in LA for a year, and never going east of the 405, the organization went broke and both Kiersten and I lost our jobs.  I moved home to San Diego and Kiersten headed back east.

The roadtrip began in Santa Monica on one sunny day in late January.  Our drive across the country to Connecticut took five days, with stopovers in Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Nashville, and someplace in West Virginia.  I had travelled on I-70 (Utah, Colorado, Kansas) several times before and highly recommend taking a roadtrip through that part of the country.  The red rocks of Utah and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado will amaze and inspire you.

Somewhere between California and Utah.
Tane  - San Diego to Denver
She always said she would move home.  I never believed her.  Until she did.  After weeks of packing up her place in San Diego (she had like 11 boxes of kitchen stuff!  I guess if you worked at William & Sonoma, you would own every kitchen gadget), we loaded up her Civic and hit the road, each taking a turn driving or playing DJ.  Our roadtrip was short and sweet.  We wanted to get to Denver and have some fun!  I do love that town.

Me and Tane on our way to see my boyfriend, Keith.
After 10 short days of living large in Colorado, she dropped me off at the airport ... we hugged and cried (and in true Allie fashion, I continued to cry through the security line and most of the flight home).  Life in San Diego without my best friend would be ... well not the same. I mean who am I suppose to call on a Tuesday night and say "I need to have some vino, let's go out!"

Helsa - San Diego to Davis
Helsa and I met at Salk where we worked in a research lab together.  She was moving her stuff from San Diego to her father's house in Davis.  She, herself is going to be bi-coastal for awhile, traveling between DC and Davis.  I think her father and mine would get along splendidly.  They both flirt with the waitresses.  San Diego to Davis is approximately an eight hour drive and is best done at night to avoid seeing the multiple cattle ranches dotting the highway.  Unfortunately, the darkness does little to mask the smell of what we couldn't see.  Davis is small bike-friendly University town, so ditch the car and take to the road on two-wheels.   

What road is next?  Santa Monica to Seattle?  

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