The honeymoon is over! (Literally, not necessarily figuratively.)

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We did it! We survived fifty three days in the car together. And yes, we still like each other. I know! Amazing.

The last day was a piece of cake, even if it did involve a long, boring drive through the Arizona desert. We slept in a little bit – after all, we’d been gambling until the wee hours of the morning! (Mike will argue that sleeping until nine is NOT sleeping in, but if I paid attention to that sort of thinking, we’d still be in the middle of the country!)

I really thought Mike was going to want to gamble a bit before leaving Laughlin – so I was pretty surprised when he was ready to hit the road right away yesterday. It turns out he just wanted non-casino coffee and some breakfast. To that end, we found Jedro’s Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles, California. I know some of you go to Laughlin fairly regularly, and if you haven’t been to Jedro’s, you really should try it someday. It’s really kitschy and cheesy, and so much better than some lame casino buffet. (Before you object – I’m sure there are some delicious casino buffets – it’s just not our favorite thing – too much stress about gluten contamination and whether or not there will be anything Mike can eat.)

Our last bit of frivolous scenic route driving took us through Lake Havasu City, which is where my parents met and where we lived until I was five. We saw the London Bridge. It’s a bridge! It’s from London! It’s not falling down! We drove by my Grandma’s old house (which looks the same except the tree that used to be out front is gone.) We also drove down Manzanita Drive where our house was, but I couldn’t decide which house was ours, so I took pictures of the two most likely candidates and I’ll have to confirm with the parents which one it was.

Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot to do in Lake Havasu if it’s the middle of the day in the summer (it’s too hot to wander around) and you don’t have a boat. The lake was full of boats, and the water is really inviting – shockingly bright blue against the desert rocks and sand. It definitely made me crave our old boating snack (and my Grandma’s favorite) – some sardines, onions, and crackers. (Don’t judge it until you’ve tried it while sitting on a boat in the middle of a lake in the summer after you’ve been water skiing for a few hours. It’s delicious!)

Now, we could have taken the interstate from Havasu, and shaved an hour or so off our drive time, but Mike and I are both sick and tired of that particular stretch of I-10, so we opted to take the US 60 instead, which led us through a series of tiny towns. There was Bouse, and Hope, and Salome, and Wenden, and I think that Mike was beginning to believe that the desert was never going to end and we would be driving forever. Finally we made it back to Phoenix.

We walked into my parent’s backyard just as Sweet Caroline was blasting on the iPod. It took Luke a minute to spot us, but once he did, he got so excited that he quite literally knocked us down. I think he missed us a bit. My parents will use any excuse to have a party, so of course there was a crowd waiting for us! How fun! We swam, and ate, and had some beers and an all around great time.

So yeah, we’re home and I guess today we have to start our lives again…or at least unload the car and sort through all the pictures we took. My mom has taught Luke that walks happen at five in the morning, so we’ll have to work on teaching him that only she gives him walks at that hour. He also learned how to open their back door, so we are going to bust out the clicker and see if we can train him to close it as well. He’s a smart dog, so I think that’s an achievable goal.

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