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Are Road Trips Ever What We Think They Will Be?

Judy skyped in for the meeting, but her video had frozen so we posed like her for the photo (tho some of us don't know our left from our right)

On Friday, April 13 I successfully defended my dissertation, “Reconstructing My Mother.” It still seems so surreal…  I’m not sure if any of my committee members actually asked me questions!  Perhaps I was in an Ojo daze. My sister had come a few days earlier and we’d gone up to Ojo Caliente for a couple of days of soaking in mineral hot springs, massage and yoga.  And to take my mind off the impending defense.  In my head I knew I would pass, but I was afraid I would cry (I did) and not speak articulately about my work (which I think I didn’t).  Thanks everyone for the support and comments on my work. I’m eager to dig in and get the next revision(s) done.

Anyway, after my sister left I had planned a road trip. To San Diego. I just got it in my head I would drive to San Diego rather than fly and rent a car. This of course meant two days out and two days back…  and fewer days in So Cal.

Thankfully my friend Georgia came along for the ride and kicked in for gas money.  We stopped in Tucson on the way out, and I got to see my friend Caroline– who treated me to an awesome dinner of margaritas and munchies at a local cantina (with a lovely outdoor patio).  Georgia was such a good sport, she even humored my attempt to drive home the scenic route, avoiding Phoenix….  it was lovely, but long!  You can see from her smile she’s good fun to have around.

In San Diego I was a bit of a vagabond, staying first with Julie and Mirna and Baby Emma, then with Ralph, then with Amy and Eber.  I had dinner with Karin, fish tacos with Susann. I also caught up with other friends at the LA Times Book Festival where we participated in a showcase event at the LA Times Book Festival.  We had an awesome lineup of readers and it was a lot of fun.  Georgia and I represented Albuquerque, and I think we did rather well.

But the thing about road trips is, well, you spend a lot of time on the road. And in the car.  And my body is not as young as it once was.  Sitting for hours on end makes things ache.  And four of my days away were spent on the road…  again, thankfully Georgia was a lot of fun to hang out with!

Now, I have to face reality of what’s next.

Job interview scheduled for Monday.

4 comments to Are Road Trips Ever What We Think They Will Be?

  • Dale

    Congrats!! I’m happy for you, I’m proud of you! I’m relieved to hear things went well even if as a colored blur in ‘surreality.’ You’ve passed some milestones lately, now hang on to that wheel, the journey is long from over. All the best =)

  • Haw! Jenn, love that pix and what an honor to be part of your Dissertation Committee. I’m sorry we didn’t get time in San Diego (or at the Book Festival). As for me, I love road trips, but the thing is, the journey is often over before you arrive at your destination. No matter. I’m hankering for one soon.

  • Awww. That looks like a great Dissertation Committee. :)

    Congratulations, Jenn!

  • Jenn,

    I wanted to visit a friend of mine in Portland. I have known Nancy for close to 40 years, but hadn’t seen her in over ten. In a moment of insanity I thought why not drive to Portland? My friend Selene loves road trips, and loves driving her hybrid car (which gets 40+miles to the gallon).

    We made the trip in one day (12 hours) a Monday. When we saw our first mileage sign for Portland (400 miles!) we shouted “Hooray! We’re almost there.” We’d been on the road for close to 4 hours by then. We continued shouting, “Hooray! We’re almost there!” every time we passed by a mileage sign that indicated we were indeed getting closer.

    I spent the first day in Portland recovering from the drive. My brain was on road-trip lag (sort of like jet lag but without the time changes to explain the inability of the brain to form complete sentences). I spent two days enjoying my visit (I will blog about the trip down memory lane — it was an interesting one), then got back in the car on Friday to head south.

    This time, we stopped to stay overnight in Redding (about 8 hours into the trip). It was another three and a half hours in the car on Saturday to make it home. Once again, my brain went into road-trip lag.

    Long story short (which I have already failed to do), I have discovered that a 62-year old body is not really designed for long days in the car. I think my days of marathon road trips are in the past. Sigh!

    And . . . congratulations, mazeltov, hallelujah, and awomen on your MFA. Talk about your road trips! Let me know how your job interview goes.

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