We picked up the cats this weekend. Cats with an “s” like as in more than one. I definitely pictured them running to me in slow motion when they first saw me after missing me for so many weeks but they could’ve cared less. Typical cats. Originally we decided we’d have 2 kids, one boy, one girl, 2 pets, a dog and a cat, and a house that looks like one you drew in kindergarten. Square on the bottom with a triangle top, 2 windows with four panes in each one on either side of the door that was way too big for the house if it were actually to scale. A lot of years went by and things aren’t exactly how we planned. Somehow we ended up with a third kid (another girl) and an extra cat (another boy). If you’d asked me twenty years ago what I’d be doing today I doubt I’d say driving 11 hours home from picking up my 2 cats that my sister has been fostering for 6 weeks. Ok back story. Last year when the world hung up it’s closed sign, we started seriously thinking about moving out of California. I was laid off, my husband was working from home and we had time to think. Don’t get me wrong, I spent the first 2 weeks of the Corona sitting on the couch eating Oreos, watching Tiger King, walking the dog at least 3 times a day, and not really thinking about anything. Who didn’t? After that we realized we needed a change. Things were getting weirder and more difficult every day. Fast forward to late March this year. We drove across the country with everything we owned that we didn’t get rid of in a motorhome with a kid, a large white dog, and 2 cats. We stopped in Kentucky and dropped off the cats with my sister to stay until we could find a house in our new state. Since they were done terrorizing my sister’s neighborhood, we set out on Friday to go get them. Road trips on the right side of the country are way different than the ones we are used to on the left. My husband still yells at other drivers even though they can’t hear him, “Where are you going, Stupid?” and he still quizzes the kids on the state capitals the entire time. Connecticut’s is Hartford. A huge hot damn and hallelujah that he forgot his harmonica this trip. Everything else about driving on this coast is different. For example, leaving San Diego and driving east consists of hours, days, miles of sand. That’s right, sand. Sand and weird smells. Billboards advertise for lawyers that can help you get out of Mexico jail if indeed tequila did make your clothes fall off or for a south of the border dentist if you need a root canal for $6. That goes on for like ever and then you get to where you are going. By then you have a dirty car, you’ve stopped to buy alien jerky, you got a ticket in Gila Bend, AZ, and you finally purchased gas for less than a week’s wages per gallon. East coast road tripping is totally different. On our drive from North Carolina to Kentucky and back we’ve seen about a billion trees, a few hundred lakes and rivers, enough Cracker Barrel’s to last a lifetime and most of the names of the towns end in “ville”. We passed the World’s largest knife store but I’m not sure if they have a ton of knives or one really big knife. One billboard dared us to go to Rock City, no thanks, and another told us to say no to pornography. Noted. We saw 13 billboards that said that Jesus loves us and just as many for an adult bookstore. We bought something called “Sweeter Tea” but threw it out when we read that it provides 137% of daily sugar allowance and we got boiled peanuts but I refuse to eat those soggy things. Gross. Gas is under $3 a gallon and everyone is polite. We definitely love to travel by car. Lots of laughs, junk food, and memories made. By the time we get home we will have put more miles in on road trips this last year than most people do in a lifetime. We love to travel but now I think it’s time to stay home for a bit.