u.s. road trip…day 34

we woke up super early – had a really long drive ahead, and planned to pop by my big brother’s and drop off the gps he had loaned us (THANK YOU BIG BROTHER!!!  what a lifesaver that little gadget turned out to be!  least stressful road trip of our lives!) on our way to shoshana and brian’s place.

looking over the map, plotting our journey, we happened across something we’d both been dying to see…LONDON BRIDGE.

now, many of you may have heard this story, so skip to the next paragraph if that’s the case.  but we were told, whilst living in london, that there was a very funny story attached to london bridge, az.  robert p. mcculloch, the story goes, was this ridiculously rich bloke who went on to found lake havasu.  but there he was, on holiday in london, when he spied the beautiful tower bridge.  now, there are no famous songs sung by children in the u.s. about tower bridge, and so, as this was by far the prettiest bridge in london, he surmised that it must therefore be the famous london bridge – a simple mistake made by many visiting london for the first time.  ohh-ho-ho!  but do not underestimate the perceived hubris of  nouveau-riches americans!  as the story goes, the then decided he wanted that bridge.  no, not a replica of the bridge – that bridge.  apparently ‘everyone’ knew that he really meant tower bridge, but they were so shocked by the sheer audacity of his coming to a city and buying a bridge, only to have it dismantled piece-by-piece, with each piece numbered, and then flown to his home town of nowheresville, az, they just let the error turn into a famous story made even more famous by way of it’s hero’s inevitable demise.

except, i guess that story’s not true.  i’ve since been told that everything else is – he saw the bridge, he wanted the bridge, he bought the bridge itself, but he didn’t think it was tower bridge.  still funny.

at any rate, this is the bridge we have decided to detour to see.  we didn’t realize, however, that it was so far off the freeway we could have detoured to see nevada just as easily.  but it was a case of, well, we’ve gone this far already…we gotta keep going…and so on.  finally we come to a road called london bridge road.  cool!  we’re on the right track.  for a long time.  no sign of a bridge, or anything over which to build a bridge.  so we see this little lady pushing a stroller up the road, and chris says, ‘ask her if we’re going the right way.’  so we pull up beside her, and ask.  ‘yes,’ she replies. ‘just keep driving that way.’  i happen to notice that she’s pilipina, so i say, ‘are you pilipina?’  to which she replies affirmatively.  i inform her that we’re moving to the philippines in just a couple of days, and she asks where we’ll go.  ‘mindanao,’ i tell her. ‘mindanao?  i’m from mindanao!  where in mindanao will you go?’  ‘cagayan de oro,’ i tell her.  ‘no way!  i’m from cagayan de oro!  take a picture of my baby!’  it was hilarious.  seriously – there wasn’t a car, or another soul, on that whole long road.  but the ONE person we saw wasn’t just from the philippines – wasn’t just from mindanao – she was from cagayan de oro.  this isn’t a small town – don’t get me wrong.  but there’s less than a million people here, so what are the chances, really?

so we went to london bridge, parked across the street to not pay, ran over to the bridge, took a couple of pictures, ran back to the car, and got back on the road…

from there we just really drove…getting back to l.a. was a bit of a drag…traffic was bad, we were tired, and still had a few hours of driving ahead.  so we took a toll road.  holy crap – those things aren’t cheap, are they???  i mean, ok – it was a total of $5 to my brother’s, but that’s one-way, l.a. to south orange county…we tried in our exhaustion to do the math…that’s $50/week if you took it to and from each day!  wowzah. but that would, of course, explain why it was such…smooth…sailing…amazing views, hardly a car on the road…so this is how the other half live…

and that’s it!  that’s the end of our u.s. road trippin’ adventure!  we plan to do the eastern half of the u.s. one day not too far in the future…of course, it’ll have to be in summer…the cold was a little too much for my liking…but how amazing…how beautiful and wonderful everyone was to us all along the way…i guess the most poignant part of the journey was the realization that we have so much to be grateful for…so many friends and family  who welcomed us with open arms, fed us delicious meals, made our trip a little easier to bear…

if you’re all not sick of hearing it, thanks, guys.  you rock.

GRAND TOTAL MILES:  5639

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