Miles Traveled: 501; Current Location: Grand Canyon, AZ

Today marked the beginning of my temporary (I hope) life as a nomad, and I am happy to report that I have already stumbled upon a couple of very crucial life lessons. The first lesson is that the Magic Eraser sponge, when used to remove scuff marks from walls painted white, really is magic. The second lesson is that the Magic Eraser sponge, when used to remove scuff marks from walls painted pink, erases the paint along with the scuff marks and leaves giant white splotches for the new girl who is moving into your old room to figure out how to handle. In other news, the third thing that I learned today is to buy the awesome cowboy hat with the rhinestones and huge cross on it…. even if it’s $20.00…. even if you’re buying it as a joke. You want the hat. And if you don’t buy it, you will stop at every Love’s Convenience Store for the next 200 miles hoping that they have the same model. None of the other stores will have that hat, and you will be angry with yourself and forced to focus on the inadvertent new mission of the trip – finding the damn hat. Finally, I learned that though I’ve held the belief since middle school that I know every word to the Barenaked Ladies’ song, “One Week,” it isn’t true. I do not know most of the words.

Aside from these ,”goofs” as I call them, I am happy to report at one day in, “so far, so good.” I temporarily misplaced the hotel information for my first stop which delayed my departure from LA by about 20 minutes, but once I decided not to panic because I would “figure it out later,” I left anyway. And I did figure it out. And here I am. I had been planning my “costume” for day 1 for quite awhile, so it was amazing to me that the day had finally arrived that I got to put on my cut off jean shorts, T-shirt featuring a soaring eagle, plaid button-down, and a hat with the California bear on it

. Believe me, I was tempted on many a day prior to my departure to break this beautiful ensemble in, but I knew that it would be all the more special to wait until today. It took on a sincere meaning for me that the plaid shirt had belonged to my grandfather, and based on my favorite family joke, I know he too appreciated a good soaring eagle. It has never been lost on me that had all of my grandparents not trekked here from Europe many years ago, I might never have gotten the opportunity to see the biggest ball of twine or world’s largest cross. I’m not sure if I will make it to either of these wonders on my trip, but thanks to my grandparents, the opportunity is mine for the taking.

As most people who know me know, I quite sincerely moved to Los Angeles because when I was 10, I became wholly obsessed with the television show, “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Seriously. Ironically, I was more broken up about Tiffani (then -Amber) Thiessen leaving “90210” than I was about myself driving away from the city this morning. I say that because when I left LA, I did so without throwing a tantrum or violently hurling a remote at the TV causing it to break into three separate pieces. So in homage to those people who had a hand in bringing me to Los Angeles, I knew that the first site of America that I had to see was the Walshes’ house from the show.

After casing the neighborhood and getting my snapshot, I felt that the potential existed for someone to call the cops on me, so I took that as a sign to officially cast off for Arizona! Each time that I drive anywhere in this country, I am again reminded about how incredibly beautiful America is. America…beautiful… hey, someone should consider writing a song about that! Anyway, I am in the hotel now preparing for a big day tomorrow when I will explore the Grand Canyon and investigate whatever the “Wild West Experience” is since it is conveniently located across the street from my hotel and next to other popular tourist destinations, Wendy’s and Texaco.

Though none of the “big sightseeing” has yet to commence, I did manage to snap a few photos of day one. Please continue to follow my progress as I explore America over the next month! And if I do find twine, I promise I will bring it to this blog first. Only about 29 days and roughly 6,300 miles to go!