My days up to this point were relatively manageable. A couple hours here and there with plenty of stops to break up the monotony of the open road. But Day 4 was different: 600+ miles from New Mexico, across Texas and Oklahoma and into Missouri. With my gas tank full and my audiobook loaded up onto my phone, I was ready to take on my longest day on the road.
Day 3 started off strong, because according to the beautiful itinerary Mom crafted for the trip, I didn’t have to leave Flagstaff, AZ until noon, which allowed for a major sleep in. Did I sleep in? Of course not! By 10AM, I was fed, showered, dressed, had published two blog posts and was itching to get on the road.
In my pre-departure phone call with Mom, she reminded me to enjoy the journey. It’s so easy to think about getting to the next destination and forgetting that driving through this country, exploring its features big and small, might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I can’t take for granted. With her wise words in mind, I hopped into my trusty steed George and headed east!
After a goodnight sleep and an incredible breakfast courtesy of Aunt Georgie, I said goodbye to my family and pulled off into the next leg of my trip. Day 2 was a big day, because I would be seeing two of our nation’s most recognizable features: the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Seeing as I have no idea when I will be in the Southwest again, stopping at both was essential.
I’m already behind with posting, but it’s okay! It means I’ve had experiences that have made me forget about my laptop and just enjoy the moment. I had already anticipated that my first day of travel, though not the longest, would be the hardest, because it was the day I would officially leave LA behind. But I had lots of fun things in store to distract me! So, let’s start for the beginning:
If you had told the fresh-faced Elon grad who arrived here in July of 2015 with a dream and a cardigan that she’d be turning around and heading back east only two years later, she would have laughed in your face. The solemn sympathy of your expression would have made her mad, spurred her to prove you wrong. But, alas, that is the truth: After two years and change in the City of Angels, I am packing up my Jetta, George, and heading back to the land of dropped R’s and the reigning champion New England Patriots.
Yesterday afternoon, I posted the photo above: me, in all my sweaty, rosy-faced glory, hanging from the ceiling, wrapped in the silks of the yoga hammock. This was the end of my Air Foundation class, which uses the suspended hammocks to stretch and strengthen the body, sometimes doing classic yoga poses three feet off the ground.
I can see what people see when they look at this photo. First of all, I’m hanging from the freaking ceiling. Trust me, I know how awesome that is. But I also look strong, agile, flexible. You can see how my arms are holding me up, seemingly with ease. With my toes pointed, you can see how toned my legs are. Maybe I’m not doing a full split, but my body reads like one practiced in the art of fitness.
But as I’ve written before, social media only shows a moment, a cleverly crafted, meticulously manicured moment. As much as I love this captured moment, I am prouder of the things that led me to this point and I want to show how much truly goes into a fitness moment like this.
I, Casey Brown, am a self-proclaimed expert at finding new books to read. It feels like I, at this point, know all the places to look for book recommendations. There’s Pinterest and Buzzfeed and the “Customers who Bought This Also Bought” section on Amazon. There’s Instagram accounts, Twitter feeds and the What Should I Read Next website. But even as an expert finder, sometimes, the suggestions feel very repetitive.
Gone Girl. Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Beautiful Ruins. We Were Liars. Don’t get me wrong, I love any and all book suggestions (and I loved all the books I just mentioned), but it’s sometimes hard to find a something entirely new, one that hasn’t appeared on half-a-dozen “Must Read Books for your Book Club” lists. But it looks like Bustle has a surprise in store for me (in an article entitled “12 Books Everyone in Your Book Club Will Love”… who would have guessed?!) It was a little story called Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman.