I convinced the Captain that we should buy a property that we could come back to if we tired of sailing. At first, he was hesitant. He didn’t think we needed property when we had a perfectly good sailboat to live on. He thought it a waste of money.
I argued (sympathetically, I thought) that if something happened to him, I would need to sell the sailboat because I would never take it out by myself. I needed to have somewhere to live, as I didn’t want to live with my kids, who would almost certainly treat me like an old lady. He wasn’t moved.
But when I said maybe we could find a property near Route 66 and he could blog about it, his eyes lit up. He loves Route 66. Off we went to start looking at properties. On this trip in particular, however, we had a destination in mind: Wellton, AZ.
Believe it or not, in spite of all the driving I have done between California and Texas, I have never stopped at a rest stop. Between 2003 and 2005, every month I would drive 12 hours to El Paso, stop at a motel, and then drive another 12 hours to my destination in Houston, which is where my then-future-husband (the Captain) lived.
The Captain and I decided to drive out to Wellton to see the property again while it was in that delightful place known as “escrow.” We didn’t want to pay for a motel room, so we bought an air mattress that would fit in the back seat of our car, once it was inflated. Supposedly, it would be like sleeping on a full-size mattress.
We also bought some chairs that had little tables attached to their sides that flipped up. We figured we would find a rest stop, stop and have a couple of drinks, and then go to bed in the back of the car before finishing our trip to Arizona.
We reached a stop off the 8 Interstate known as Sunbeam rest area. We decided to park our car at the first parking spot as you entered the rest area, and we placed our chairs on the side of the car facing the rest of the parking spaces.
It’s probably not as funny now as it was then, but as people drove by, we cracked ourselves up by judging them for their driving skills. Some drove by at too high a rate of speed for a rest area, some parked haphazardly, and others threw trash on the ground. Little did they know, as they entered our turf, that they were being judged. Harshly.
We also cracked ourselves up when, at 5:00 in the morning, we were awoken from our intoxicated slumber by the air mattress deflating, causing Tom to end up on the floor of the back seat of the car. I had barely woken up when I was sent into the same fit of giggles that I had been in the night before when we were judging other drivers’ skills. The dog was askew on top of our legs, looking like she refused to be awoken, causing more giggles.
Old people pay the price for partying late and then waking up early. We were in sleep-deprived pain. We decided to leave the rest area immediately since it was obvious that we weren’t going to be able to sleep any later. We figured we would arrive at the motel, take a nap, go out and look at the property again, and then return to the motel and go to bed early. No way were we sleeping in the car again.
We called the motel in Wellton that we had stayed in the first time we went out. It was still pretty early. A woman with a southern accent answered. She actually sounded a little too southern for Arizona. Without going into detail, we explained that we were in need of a room, and she politely said to come on out.
We arrived at the Desert Motel at about 8:00 a.m., but when we went to the office, the door was locked. Tom again called the number for the motel and the same woman answered the phone.
Now, I’ve heard that being told “Bless your heart” is a southern way of telling someone that they’re an idiot, but my heart has never been blessed before. I think she didn’t realize that we were going to be there as early as when we showed up. She said that her grandson should be at the office soon, to be patient, and “bless your hearts.”
The kid did show up and he gave us a room. We were as polite as we could be given that we were now a couple of grouchy old farts who needed to sleep.
We spent the day mostly comatose, although we did raise ourselves to go out and look at the property, as well as other places in the area.