Our Journey Begins

I am unofficially unemployed, but I tried not to think of that last night, as I packed as much of my entire bedroom’s contents that would fit into a teal duffel bag and tweed suitcase.

I tried to sneak another bag, but it was instantly vetoed by my mother.

Considering it’s me – and if you follow From My Second Hand Closet, you know how much I like clothes – one teal duffel for just my clothes, for a whole month, is very impressive.

The suitcase has shoes, hair curlers, chargers, and any other random things that I thought I might need. Might need. . . I hate packing. You never know what you might need.

But just as planned and required, I was totally packed by last night (toothbrushes and such being the only exception), so all I had to do was roll out of bed, change, and haul everything to the van.

After saying goodbye to Jake, who had stopped by, we left the house sharply at about an hour and  a half after we said we’d leave, squealed in freedom ready to hit the road and never look back — and went straight to the local bank.


Armed with rolls of quarters for the toll-booths we’ll be sure to hit, NOW we were ready to go — after a gas station stop, where I attempted to Vlog a little.

However.. It doesn’t want to upload the video and I’m not techy enough to know how to … OH! I got it.

Nope. I don’t. I’m getting frustrated at it, so I’ll just move on.

The biggest part of our day was going to the Cracker Barrel in Kingman, Arizona.


Some people from church had told us about it, but I was getting a little skeptical at the word “store”. Was this a store or a restaurant?

We were welcomed by this lovely sign. Oh excuse me, it’s a neighborly reminder.



Nice. That’s like everything, we thought.

Turns out, The Cracker Barrel is a store and a restaurant. The store is crammed to keep-your-elbows-in capacity with candy, and bug eyed stuffed animals, and audio books, and glass yard decorations, and homemade quilts. It’s so frustrating that I can’t post the video of it.

At the back corner of the store was  a lonely looking girl behind a podium, guarding the entrance to the next room. She grabbed some menus and directed us to the restaurant side of the building, to our table.

The whole atmosphere feels old fashioned and country.


The walls were brown lattice decked with old cigar advertisements, scrub boards, and cowboy hats. The menus were brown paper, and there was a huge, man-sized fireplace still flickering at the far wall.


There was also this advertisement hanging beside my head. I still don’t know what it’s for, exactly.

I had forgotten we were in a normal town until I looked out the window and saw Walgreen’s across the street.

With the food, I have special memories associated with chicken and dumplings, so I ordered that. My mom and brother got the chicken BLT. It was all really good. I’ve never had dumplings come in thin triangular strips before, though. I’m used to a mound of mushy goodness. It was somewhat of a let-down, but still tasty.

My favorite moment, though, was when I asked our waiter, Daniel, about his ring. It was this huge blue, rectangle gem in the middle of a somewhat big ancient looking silver band.

He said that it was his class ring.

And see, on the side there’s a picture of a fireman, which he did want to be.

But couldn’t because of his asthma.

And his friend is really into BMX racing, so he was thinking of that, until he saw his friend have a huge crash and was like “ohh no, not for me.”

And his gem stone really is opal, but he didn’t have anything to represent his school, what with the fireman and such, and he went to “Kings-such-and-such”, which we admitted we don’t know where that is. So he said it’s a charter school, and I had to really refrain myself from saying “wannabe homeschooler.”

He also said the ring has a lifetime warranty. And his parents paid for it, so it was like $300. But they’ll replace the gem for free and resize it for free. And the company is near Vegas so he doubts they’ll go under.

He graduated last year, 2013, (like me, but I didn’t get a word in to say), and 2013 is on the side. It also has his full name engraved on the inside, he said.

I was grinning and enjoying this “conversation”. Finally he finished and smiled, “well I’ll get your order for you!”

When he left, mom leaned in to whisper to me, “you asked.”

Hey, Arizona people are friendly!

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