Can it be that Cobalt and I have already been in Los Angeles for four days? Well, three full days if you want to be technical…

Truly, it feels like a week; the past seven days were such a blur of activity — last minute packing and selling of furniture and whatnot, along with seeing friends for the final time. And then of course the drive across the country!

We left Saturday morning around 11am Eastern, three hours later than we had wanted to; but with finishing loading the car and cleaning the Chattanooga house and making sure we either weren’t missing anything or had it in a pile to be shipped to us later – all of this took longer than we thought. By the time we joined a lovely, hearty, goodbye breakfast with the in-laws it was 9:30am. ‘Twas all fine, though; we made excellent time.


Originally we were going to drive 3 ½ days but Cobalt came up with a brilliant plan to shorten that by a day. It saved us at least $100 because we didn’t have to stay in a hotel an additional night or eat out more. Sure, it was a little tricky to drive while tired; but our adrenaline was pushing us like no amount of caffeine could do (I did, however, get coffee the night I had to drive from 8pm-1am. That seemed to help because I wasn’t tired one bit!).

Sunset on LA trip

Fortunately, the time zones were in our favor. And so was the traffic. We really didn’t hit much traffic at all, except going through major cities (but even then it was merely slower, not troublesome) and construction sites (I suppose this is the time of year to pave 50% of I-40W’s roads and narrow them to 1 lane marked with crappy white dashed paint and uneven orange cones??).

We had to be careful, though as we DID had a slight disadvantage with over 1000 lbs of stuff in our car: the Honda sat low and the rear view mirror was blocked from all the stuff. Nevertheless after a couple hours of driving each, we became accustomed to the strange feeling of the hatchback (I kept thinking of The Little Engine who Could), helping each other with switching lanes and such to stay safe. We’d experienced a $250 speeding ticket last year and didn’t want to re-live that nor a wreck of any kind!

Stuffed Car to LA

Each night (Sat and Sun) we pulled up to a hotel around midnight. And thanks be to God who provided very kind receptionists who were not peeved that we walked in late (last year we met a very grumpy man who nearly made me cry from his terse tone of voice). And in the morning, though we were exhausted, God woke us up with the enthusiasm to keep going.


The drive also wasn’t super uncomfortable either, though we were aching by the end of the day simply by mere idleness and concentration and never got enough sleep until reaching Los Angeles. It that the desert wasn’t 1 million degrees this time (we drove through it in July last year).

No exciting stories on the road this time, such as passing a trailer on a two-way interstate and almost running into oncoming traffic. Or nearly running out of gas three times. Or eating crazy food. Or seeing crazy things. Or getting lost. We didn’t do any “site seeing” either because—obviously—we were too thrilled to see our new home. We considered stopping by the Grand Canyon because the road to get there was blocked last year due to a mudslide; or the beautiful Painted Desert; or a few restaurants we visited before. But ultimately we decided that doing so would lengthen our drive and cost more money. So we drove onward!

[I'll insert a video here soon of a short snapshot of the drive; but currently we don't have WiFi and the hotspot on my phone to use the computer isn't strong enough to upload a video]

I was mostly amazed how the most difficult situations that did occur during the 2 ½ day drive diminished quickly. Trying to find a rest area, a place to eat, the interstate entrance ramp or a hotel…All of these things are much more challenging than you might realize! And we didn’t plan them ahead of time because last year we tried to for our trip and it was in vain; we never stuck to the plan. But last year was also harder for some reason to stay on task (probably because we had over-scheduled our site seeing adventure! Haha). This year we always found these “wants/needs” within an hour as if we drove the 40W route routinely.  I suppose planning the trip meticulously last year helped to memorize/become familiar with the sights, smells and feels of the trip for this time around?

I’m glad of it!


Monday morning was my favorite of all. We had spent the night in Flagstaff, Arizona after 14 hours of driving–only 9 hours from Gardena, California! I was amazed that I even woke up early that morning because I was pretty tired (but perhaps I was a little jetlagged since we’d driven through another time zone). We’d set our alarms for 9am but I woke up around 7am, which was Eastern in my mind. Instead of sleeping longer we used that time to wake up without rush and also to enjoy a large breakfast at a diner across the street!

Galaxy Diner to LA

We ordered cream cheese filled French toast; a mushroom, pepper and cheese omelet with potatoes; and pancakes with syrup. My stomach was so full afterwards but super satisfied (all we’d be eating was fast food and snacks); plus, we didn’t have to stop for lunch which was so great!

We left the restaurant around 9:30am and calculated that we’d be at our home at 5pm, after switching back one more time zone. Our hearts grew so happy that I skipped to our car (while Cobalt watched me, laughing and skipping inwardly) in the parking lot of the diner!


The rest of the drive was a blur as I drove to Barstow, CA and Cobalt napped; then he drove through the vast of desert to Los Angeles while I read aloud Son by Lois Lowry; this helped pass the time. Once we entered the city of Los Angeles it was so hard not to get excited! But we had to remain calm so we could maneuver around the traffic and interstate merges safely.

Finally, we mounted the last interstate and the GPS said 5 miles away. Oooooo we’d be at our home soon!!!!!!

Then we exited…


And drove a mile…


And took a turn onto a road we’d seen before on Bing maps as we’d investigated the neighborhood while Joel and Katherine looked at the place…


Then we saw it…


…Our home that we’d only seen on video and through pictures…


…The home that we’d been dreaming about all summer…


House for 1st Time

I guess you could say that Joel and Katherine did a good job showing us videos and pictures of this place. Because I had the entire property mapped out in my mind—minus a few layout details I hadn’t understood. Needless to say, it was exactly how I imagined.


The only thing I hadn’t imagined was the smell, which smells kind of like a new car with fresh leather and shiny appliances. Fun fact, we’re actually the first tenants to live here which is pretty cool! I’ve never lived in a new house before; I’m quite used to the 1950’s, rundown, bad plumbing, gross wallpapered, mothball-soaked homes. And though I don’t prefer them, they are oddly comforting!

Honestly, though, it feels good to have a functioning dishwasher, a toilet that flushes completely the first time, granite countertops that clean with one swipe of a cloth, marble floors that are silent when walked upon and 10-foot ceilings that create beautiful reverb (I see many a musical and/or singing session in the future!).

It also feels good to be eventually sharing this place with good company.

So for the next day Cobalt and I will be by ourselves in this home while Joel and Kat are visiting Joel’s parents in Oregon. Friday evening they will join us for this upcoming adventure!

In the meantime, it feels like we are house sitting for the Gerlachs.

This dream hasn’t become reality yet!

1st LA Sunset

The first sunset Cobalt and I experienced in our new home, Monday evening.