My dad spent the month of April mostly in Frankfurt visiting his mother-in-law and traveling on the weekends. He had wanted me to be able to join him and the wife over there, but it didn’t work out, so he decided to take me on a road-trip in the states and told me to bring my passport. I was able to get my neighbor, Dan, to watch the dogs and packed way too many clothes.
The day before my departure (Thursday) I decided to walk the dogs around the block. When I returned home I realized that I had dropped my phone along the way. I walked the block twice more and had random people calling it. I messaged people on Facebook to text my phone – still no luck, so I called the company and they told me to get a new phone so I could transfer my number and minutes. By the time I got home they were closed for the night, so I woke up early (Friday) and spent the morning on the phone with them.
Finally, I was told that they were going to have to send me a new sim card that would arrive after I left on a trip that could have me gone for three weeks. I was a bit upset (mostly because I wanted Caleb to have no difficulty in reaching me), but I wasn’t looking forward to the hassle of getting everyone else’s number again. I left a message on Facebook saying that I would be back when I got my old number, but I was sure to give the temporary one to my neighbor.
As if freaking out about that wasn’t enough I decided to take a relaxing shower and broke the handle off – the same one that maintenance rigged to stay on there a year ago. I suppose it was about time for it to quit (and not important enough that I didn’t bother to call). I left the house later than I would have liked to, forgot some of my dad’s things that I was supposed to return, and made it all the way to Gila Bend from a full tank (I usually leave with a half tank). I could probably make it the whole way, but it makes me nervous driving with the gas light on.
At the pump I’m told to go inside to use my card. The attendant asks how much I would like to prepay and I say $40. He tells me there is a message to, ‘call for verification’. Another attendant comes over, swipes my card, and she gets the same message. I use a different card and when back on the road call my card company. There was a charge for the $40 I authorized and that girl attendant almost charged me for $120 – glad it didn’t go through, but upset too.
The customer service agent tried telling me that the magnetic strip on my card was ruined. I told her it wasn’t the last time they sent me a new card (a month ago), so then she tells me that my card number has been compromised and my husband will have to call to order a new number. I’m upset and want to yell and cancel my card, but I like it, so I thank her. The company could have let someone run up my bill. I will have to take my power of attorney by the bank when I get home.
My dad can hear that I’m a bit tense on the phone when he calls to find out where I am. He runs to the store and buys me a Huvila Arctic Circle Ale (a Finnish ale) to help me relax when I arrive. Then gifts me with a mini porcelain pot key chain from Frankfurt and chocolate covered marzipan from Niederegger Lübeck. We watch some episodes of Freax Oder Stirb made by his friend Manuel Francescon that was released in 2006. It’s all in German, but some parts are easy for me to understand. It’s a different kind of show – one not to be shown in the U.S. yet, but that just makes it more intriguing.
We stayed up until 1:00 am and I slept in until 7:30 am (Saturday). Caleb called while my dad was in the shower, so he went out for coffee giving us some time alone. I’ve been spoiled on this deployment getting to talk to Caleb and see him so often, so going a week or two seems devastating. We were able to talk for 45 minutes or more before internet began messing up. Caleb finally figured out that he has to accept my photos for them to download and was extremely pleased…this whole time I thought it might be a Bahrain law on lewdness.
Figuring we wouldn’t be in Phoenix long and it had been a while since visiting my favorite restaurants my dad decided to make a day of it. We went to Gil’s for a chips and guacamole lunch with dessert at Saba’s – baklava! We stopped by Indo-Euro for samosas and Hobnobs, went by REI for dried fruit and a can of gas for the camp cooker, and WinCo for trail-mix and oatmeal. Then we had dinner at Oregano’s. We usually get the Guaca Tony (guacamole with thin pizza ‘chips’), but decided to try something different – sweet potato fries with garlic mustard and a Margherita pizza.
Full of good food and needing to get up early we went to bed early too – 11:30 pm. (Sunday) We made it to Wildflower Bread Co. before the Mother’s Day rush. I had lemon ricotta pancakes and my dad had some breakfast sandwich. We would both eat half leaving me the other halves for lunch and he would eat the leftover pizza from last night while finishing up a post about Germany. We leave the house at 3:00 pm heading to Prescott to pick up Caroline from a weekend of knitting with a friend.
We stopped at a Starbucks because Caroline was feeling sluggish and my dad got barked at on the way in, so after ordering his coffee he went outside to make friends. I tried a caramel crunch Frappuccino and we ended up talking to the dog owners for two hours about science, death, teddy bears, reunions, travel, pets, siblings, etc. We wouldn’t get home until 9:30 pm and I had a slice of rye with three cheeses and some spicy mustard for dinner with a molasses cookie for dessert.
Then I organized the Tupperware cabinet – matching bowls with lids. I will be taking some home, some will be given to Goodwill, and I found a dish for the cheese we will be bringing on the trip. A late run to Albertson’s for ice and eggs. I will boil the eggs and the ice will go in the cooler to help chill it from the desert heat before adding the food in the morning – with more ice. I was going to write after they laid down, but ended up watching funny cat videos on YouTube until 1:00 am. My dad kept me company for 30 minutes and then I was off to drool land with staticky hair.
In the morning (Monday), Caroline would drive herself to work and after making sure she made it safely we went to the rental car office and picked up a maroon 2013 Kia Optima that we were an hour late picking up. I called my neighbor and he assured me that my dogs had survived the weekend. We would not leave Phoenix until 1:30 pm, but my dad had planned for this and our first stop would not be far. It was determined that I would be unaware of where we would stop, but I knew we were headed north to Canada.