Wow.Â I have forgotten just how much â€œfunâ€ it can be to drive halfway across the country.
Driving toward the memorial was somewhat stressful.Â However, driving home was pretty, although a bit boring at times.Â Plus, I am incredibly worn out.
I really should have brought more than just â€œTwilightâ€ to watch.Â Unfortunately, I can no longer read in the car, like I used to do for days on end.
I actually really over-packed, in regards to food, but thatâ€™s much better than ending up without enough.
We stopped at Trader Joeâ€™s in Albuquerque and picked up some things to try, and stopped to stock up on the way home.Â I think itâ€™s high time that Trader Joeâ€™s puts in a store in Fort Worth (email campaign, anyone?).Â I think this is the first time in 6 years that Iâ€™ve had yogurt-covered raisins.Â Their gluten-free stuff is labeled gluten-free, they have a list available, AND the gluten-free symbol is on the price stickers (on the shelves).Â How awesome is that?
If you make it to Trader Joeâ€™s, here are a few of my favorite picks:
Sweet Potato Chips â€“ oh my gosh, I could not stop eating these
Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla chips â€“ the bag has carrot & tomato, spinach & garlic, and red beet & onion chips.Â Mom will probably try to pile these to the ceiling, lol.
Spring Onion Noodle Soup Bowl â€“ I really liked the flavor of this â€“ it was light with a bit of spice.Â Bonus, all you have to do is put in some water and stick it in the microwave for a few minutes.
Licorice Scottie Dogs â€“ itâ€™s black licorice, the kind that gets really stuck in your teeth J
We ate at In-N-Out Burger three times during our trip.Â Each time, they carefully prepared my protein-style cheeseburger (wrapped in lettuce) and fries to keep them away from the buns.Â I really like going â€œanimal-styleâ€ with cheese and sautÃ©ed onions (though I like going sauce-less).Â The burgers were really good.Â The fries were different, because they were kind of dry and not really oily, but I really enjoyed them (especially with the cheese and onions).
We were only actually â€œthere,â€ in northern California, for a day and a half, so I just stayed low-key.Â I actually didnâ€™t ever feel like eating when they were having meals anyways, so it worked out fine for me.Â At the hotels, in general, I was able to have Yoplait yogurts (but I mostly stuck with the Chobani I brought), fresh fruit and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, plus juice and milk for my Mesa Sunrise or Trader Joeâ€™s granola.Â (We always stayed at the Choice family of hotels, because thatâ€™s where my dad stays on his business trips, and we stayed on points.)
As for the memorial services, they were really nice.Â I played the piano and sang a song called â€œAdorable You.â€Â My grandfather wrote the music and my grandmother wrote the words; we think it was when they were dating in the early 1930s.Â It was very lovely (so Iâ€™ve been told).Â Even though I had practiced it a few times, I had not had any big emotional reactions to it until I was performing it at the memorial.Â The graveside services were quite interesting.Â We werenâ€™t really there to mourn, but to celebrate his life.Â My brother and I got the chance to meet our cousins (our first cousins, and their kids our age and a little younger).Â Grandpa had made the choice years ago to be cremated and have his ashes buried (with a headstone) next to his parents.Â My grandpa had always loved trains, and had even patented a childâ€™s train many many years ago.Â His headstone had an engraving of a train emerging from a tunnel, and his memorial took place on National Railroad Day.Â How very fitting, for a man who had an entire room in his house devoted to model trains.