Having landed rather unceremoniously in Santa Barbara last night, I thought I should post a summary of what it took to get me here. Santa Barbara and Shakopee are a little over 2000 miles apart, and an estimated 30 hours (if you drive like a normal person and not a grandmother). So, here's what I learned:
1. Stephen King novels make a great soundtrack for driving through the desert.
2. Bags of chips, bottles of water, and anything that combines air with sealing will pop with altitude changes. When this happens, it sounds like a gun going off in your car.
3. Dogs need to be taken out of the car and walked approximately every 2 hours or they begin to bounce involuntarily around the vehicle. This will add significant time to the overall trip, especially when you need to watch for specific rest stops and can't just pull over to run the dog around the freeway.
4. Lots more hotels take dogs that what you might think. This is awesome.
5. A 7% grade is a steep fucking grade. Don't be fooled by the little tiny percentage number.
6. The importance of an overnight bag separate from the rest of the luggage cannot be overstated. When you park at night, the only things you want to carry to the room are: the overnight bag, the dog, the doggy stairs, the dog's overnight bag, and all of your valuables. Also, the kitchen sink.
7. The last 90 minutes is the longest of the entire trip.
Now that I've gotten settled here in SB, I can only hope that my license plate serves as a universal apology to all Californians for my slow driving, confusion, and hesitation at lights. By the time August rolls around, hopefully I'll be driving 200 mph in a 10 speed zone just like the rest of 'em.
These, and countless other lessons yet to be learned, are why I'm here in California. Live, learn, love!