Friday, August 6, 2010

So Long

Day 1 of ‘merica Road Trip:

The last day of Dream Kamp was a long day indeed. Everyone’s emotions were high in a bittersweet way. On one hand after 2 action-packed months we would all be going home to what we all jokingly called, the Real World, Reality or Real Life, as if camp life wasn’t real and we were all on some magical vacation. One of the camp slogans is even “Life is good, camp is better”. On the other hand, we had all grown so custom to the daily life that camp offers, grown so use to each other, that we were sad to leave our summer home. Francesco, Sam and I would be starting our cross-country road trip once we left camp, which we were all very excited about. It was really all we could think about for the last couple of days. We would walk past each other and just say “Road Trip.” and the other person would echo it with more excitement “Road Trip!”

Before breakfast I ran up the hill to move the Jeep, that I was using all summer, closer to our cabins so it would be easier to load the car and get going later. Unfortunately it was dead and wouldn’t start. I found out that when I let Francesco park it a week before that he left the radio and lights on after he turned off the car. Silly foreigner. Thankfully the camp is full of mechanics and car parts. I put Francesco in charge of fixing it while I got ready for my class. My morning class was a little more lackluster than all the previous classes. They got half way through the Wacky Riddle Adventure Challenge and then once we got to the water part of the activity they asked if they could just stay there so we did. They did spend their time next to the water trying to decipher the code and finger out the riddle.

***What has roads but no cars, forests but no trees, rivers but no water, cities but no buildings?***

After lunch I was running around like a crazy person, packing, cleaning the cottage and saying my goodbyes. Because some people had to leave earlier than others and me and my boys were still around, we got roped into the afternoon water activity. It was fun getting to play with the campers one last time. Will they even remember me? My boss informed me that we had had a miscommunication about the way I labeled all my video files during regular camp and that he needed me to relabel all of them before I left. I was stressing. I told Amy we would be on the road by 5pm, in Austin by 7pm, in Houston by 10pm and it was getting late. I finally get done with my files, get my evaluation and pay check, the car packed and it’s after 7pm.

We zoomed through the hill country of Texas talking about camp and all the people and memories that didn’t seem distant until we left the gate of camp. Was it all really over? Did it really happen? In the beginning of camp I thought it would never end but once I got more accustomed to everything the whole experience zipped by. I ended up loving camp and I’m really thankful that I took a chance on the experience. I met some amazing some people, some not, and did some awesome things like zip-line across the Guadalupe River, horseback ride, SCUBA dive, rock climb and etc.

I love the drive from Hunt to Austin on TX 27, TX 39, through Fredricksburg onto TX 16, then to 290. You get to pass all the good Texas vineyards. If I had had more time I would have loved to snap some great shots or those quaint Texas antilandmarks. After this summer I’m starting to appreciate small-town Texas a lot more.

We got into Austin some time in the 9 o’clock hour and met up with Amy. I quickly de-packed and packed a smaller bag for the trip and got on the road to Houston around 10 something. 290 East was a breeze because of the time of night. I dozed in the backseat while the boys talked Amy’s ears off about camp even though she didn’t know the people they were talking about or the quirks and traditions they were mentioning. She eagerly listened and was genuinely excited to know what we did all summer. We rolled into Amy’s parents house, in Kingwood which is northeast corner of Houston, around 1am. I feels like we spent most of the day driving but I know that today was nothing compared to what lies ahead.

Tomorrow we will be in New Orleans. It’s my first time in New Orleans. I think when I was a kid we drove through New Orleans on our way to Orlando/Disney World but I really don’t remember much of that drive other than being nauseous and listening to Andy’s Walkman listening to the Transformers soundtrack. Stan Bush’s “You’ve got the touch, You’ve got the power” echoed through my head for 1200 miles. I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans because of the music history and the food. And on this road trip we’re using good ol’ maps. No GPS for us.

By the way the answer is a map, A map has roads but no cars, forests but no trees, rivers but no water, cities but no buildings. And on this road trip we’re using good ol’ maps. No GPS for us.

Amy writes a great travel blog, make sure you check it out here.

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