Trudi and Jane got up super early to head to the canyon for sunrise. They set alarms for 4:45 am so they could hit the south rim by daybreak. They got beautiful pictures and returned to the hotel. And then things went awry. Hereafter this moment shall be called “The Infraction.” Jane and Trudi decided to hit up the breakfast buffet WITHOUT US. That’s right. WITHOUT US. There was some heated group texting between Patty in her room and the offenders who were positioned in the hotel buffet area with heaping plates before them, no doubt. The rest of us were in on the group text as well. Patty’s first text laid the groundwork.
Patty: SERIOUS VIOLATION.
Jane: wanted to be Trudi-like and let you sleep
Patty: and do WE get breakfast?
Julie: The buffet just called, they’re out of food now.
Julie: Should we scurry down in yoga pants to join? I’m talking headbands here.
Patty: Going through your suitcase now, Janey, to enforce the disciplinary action
Jean: I won’t tell mom. She’s in the Shower.
Jane: Can’t talk now…Omelette
Patty: MOM!!!! They’re not following the rules!
Janey: Are Trudi and I still in trouble?
Patty: Noooooo, I can’t stay mad at you,….c’mon back.
Janey: Ok, love muffin ❤
Patty: Just not sure what you’re going to do for underwear.
Julie: Jane. As a friend. I saw your hotel room window open. Your undies are outside. Near the construction workers.
It’s the cardinal rule of girl road trips: Never Leave The Herd. And never ever go to the breakfast buffet without the rest of the gang.
This must be what if feels like when boy bands break up. Someone, usually the lead singer, goes rogue. But somehow we pulled it together and climbed back into Sparky. Before long we were singing together again…
Still in the Grand Canyon area, we headed off to the town IMAX theatre that was playing “Grand Canyon Hidden Secrets.
and on the way into the theatre we were given promotional lunch bags..yep, you guessed it. KIND ones. Amazing, right?
We decided to lengthen our driving day so that tomorrow won’t be so long, and made the necessary hotel alterations. Yes, we also made a few fart calls. Then we wound our way toward Seligman, Arizona, a town that embraces its Route-66-ishness. What a delight. We did encounter some difficulty with the law, but we flashed our Mayoral keys to the City of Bradenton, etc…it’s WHO you know.
Before long we were pulling up to the Road Kill Cafe in Seligman.
If you’re hungry for “The Chicken that Crossed the Road,” or “Rack of Raccoon,” this is the place for you. We didn’t try the “Bad Break Steaks” or the “Squirrel Lasagna ala Rode” but they’re probably top-notch!
We made a quick post-lunch stop at Snowcap, the local ice-cream dive…a jewel amongst all the other treasures of Seligman.
and when talk of the hotel led to hopes for a swimming pool and the thought of bathing suits, Jane and I decided to diet until the next stop a full four hours away. But then it wasn’t long until Happy Snacker Camp Time fueled by our favorite songs from Barry White, Billy Joel, and Jason Mraz.
And later the back two rows watched the movie “Kicking and Screaming” and Patty caught a cat nap…we generally agree that all the coffee scenes steal the show.
“Coffee is the life blood that fuels the dreams of champions” Will Farrell, in Kicking and Screaming.
We crossed into California and into the Pacific Time Zone. No coffee for us when the temps soar as they do here…we stopped in Needles, CA for a rest stop. We loaded up on bottled water. Sparky says it’s pretty hot out there..
118 degrees. I washed my hands and walked outside to see how long it would take for my hands to dry. 45 seconds.
And now we’re holed up in a hotel in Barstow, CA. We brought dinner up to one of our rooms and all got together with pizza, salads and wine. We watched CNN until we decided it was time to take a break from the reports of France and Turkey. Time for some happier news from the chapters of our favorite book, The Callaghan Girls.
Tonight we heard about how Patty loved watching Saturday morning Wrestling on television as a child. Jane said she got a certain look in her eye, and then Jane knew that she was about to be the stunt double for Patty’s wrestling opponent. Many a half nelson jeopardized this youngest Callaghan’s bodily safety…but somehow she lived to jump back in the ring another day.
Patty admits that it wasn’t always the easiest thing in the world for Janey to have her for a sister. Jane was the right girl for the job though and never minded it.
Patty said, but you know what my song for you is, right? Jane demurred.
Patty said it again. And then she pulled out her phone and brought up the song that might make you think it was a sentimental moment. It REALLY REALLY wasn’t. She was teasing Jane about how she walked all over her. It was Jane’s temperament to go along with things. It was Patty’s to see JUST how far she could take things.
And we howled with laughter…
“It must have been cold there in my shadow..
To never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way
You always walked a step behind….
And Janey said, “Yeah!!!! Because it was safer there.”
so we spooned each other like girlfriends sometimes do.
Tonight Some words from our Patti T :
July 15, 2016
As you know if you are reading this, six of us ladies are on a 2400 mile trip across the heartland of our great United States of America. At first we winked and nodded at each other, yes, behind our friend Patty’s back. Why wasn’t her dream to travel to Italy, an island somewhere way off the continent, even simply NYC or Chicago? But, to know Patty is to love Patty. We would do anything for her. Well mostly anything, you know, to see a smile spread across her beautiful face! So yes, we would go with her and help her fulfill her desire to travel the famous Route 66!
What we have encountered, because of Patty and her journey, from the night before leaving our beloved Bradenton, Florida until today, eight days, eight states, and 3 time zones into this journey, is not what any of us anticipated, or could have foreseen. You see, we left our everyday routines, with all their quagmires and stresses, and embarked on this journey that has changed our lives. What we have found is unimaginable. Simply put, we have found “the love.”
The love we have found is in the people. The beautiful people we have met. These people are the reality. Somehow, I think Patty anticipated them, just not to the depth of our findings. They all have stories, as does Patty. The people we meet every day, many times a day, all have jobs, opinions, lives, families, life challenges, and watch the news. Somehow, though, these new friends have time for each other, and for us, as we have time for them. Yes, of course, we have listened with heart, hearing their stories. We have loved hearing their advice for our Patty. We have seen them in tears, because they truly want the very best life has to offer to our friend on her journey.
Last night as we had dinner, discussing the shenanigans of the day that leave us doubled over in pain from laughter, the conversation came around to the question that people always ask; “What has been your favorite moment, or your favorite day?” Collectively we look puzzled, and search for the answer, but are sure in our response. There is no favorite! Indeed, every day has held blessings, and beauty, not only in the obvious friendships, deep and steadfast amongst us Sixtahs, but in the love from our new friends who were yesterday perfect strangers. The love they have been so forthcoming to share with us, and with our courageous leader, Patty V.
There was a young man at the Grand Canyon the other day who asked Patty about her story, after he had offered to take a photograph of us Sixtahs. Patty told him of her journey, and he hugged her tightly, telling her he wished her the best for her health and her journey. Patty told him, “it’s the love and hugs from perfect strangers that have given me strength.”
Keep it going…
Barry White’s “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything.”
My first, my last, my everything
And the answer to all my dreams
You’re my sun, my moon, my guiding star
My kind of wonderful, that’s what you are.
I know, there’s only, only one like you.
There’s no way, they could have made two.
You’re all I’m living for, your love I’ll keep forevermore.
You’re the first, the last, my everything.
—Barry White, Tony Sepe, Peter Radcliffe