When the alarms went off at half past dark (although it wasn't dark, it seems to be eternally light in Vegas) we both responded with a groan and some less than happy expressions.
Knowing we had an early start meant we both spent the night plagued by lack of sleep and short bursts of dreams that we were late/ forgot to book the car/ missed check out etc. So at 6:30am it's safe to say we were seriously grumpy. Not the best way to start the big Vegas to Vega adventure!
However, we shook it off as the travel pros we are and dragged our 3925759375kg worth of luggage down to our conveniently booked Uber that took us to the rental place.
The guy behind the desk made no attempt to hide the fact he thought we were completely insane when we told him we were driving to Maine. He even choked on his coffee a little bit. To his credit, he did try to muster up a smile and a feeble 'it will be fun!' before trying to talk us into upgrading to an SUV for the drive.
He offered us a very generous discount but an extra $250 on top of everything else we already had to pay for? No thanks, we will stick to our basic Hyundai E-something.
After dragging our bags up to the parking garage we found our noble steed for the week. It's red. We have had notoriously bad luck with red cars in the past so fingers crossed this will go smoothly.
Or not. it took us about 30 seconds after finding the red car to realise we didn't have a key. What kind of rental place doesn't give you a key?! We stressed about it for a couple of minutes, trying to decide who was going to have to walk all the way back before we realised the car was unlocked and the key was on the central console. Road trip 1-0 BFF & Me.
After a quick (yeah, right) game of luggage tetris, a parking attendant who didn't understand our foreign licenses and a quick reminder of which side of the road we use in America, we were on our way! Next stop, Hoover Dam.
Yeah...we made it maybe 2 minutes down the road, missed the turning we needed, made an excessively large U-turn and then stopped at Walmart for a break.
Hardcore travellers such as ourselves need a constant supply of nutrition. Aka Cheetos, m&ms and cheese. We took this opportunity to stock up on all the things we needed for our roadtrip. Sleeping bags, pillows, snacks etc. Well, $140 later, my credit card reminded me that was a terrible idea. Note to self, never shop while hungry!
We finally made it to Hoover Dam and took some classic tourist photos (peep my awkward sunburn) with the state lines. Obviously. I don't think the other tourists were quite as impressed with our Dam related puns as we were. But Dam it, we were Dam funny!
We even decided to walk to Arizona and back, just for fun, before heading back to the car (but not before I had to conquer my fear of long drop toilets...) and getting on our way to our third and final state of the day - Utah!
Utah is FAR! The drive was really pretty, lots of mountains and pretty coloured rocks and we even saw some snow! But there was something soul-destroying about turning onto the highway and hearing the GPS saying "Continue for 487 miles"...awesome. Over 400 miles on one road takes it's toll. Even our infamous car karaoke sessions weren't enough to stop us getting a little brain dead.
The very worst of it though, came when we looked at the clock (which we had diligently changed after crossing into Utah to accommodate the time difference between Utah and Arizona/Nevada) and the time the GPS told us we would arrive and did a little happy dance that we only had an hour left of our drive! Woohoo!
Yeah. That was short lived. Turns out that while the car clock had been adjusted to account for the time difference, the GPS did not. So unless we could cover 127 miles in 58 minutes, we actually had 2 hours left. Not one. Whyyyyyy??
After one stop for petrol and 7 long hours in the car, we finally made it to South Jordan, Utah, to stay with a fellow Vega staff member, Sandy!
It felt so good to get out of the car and stretch our legs, even if I was walking like an elderly person that had had an accident as everything from my waist down had seized up from driving in the same position for so long.
The evening was filled with good food, great company and a super chilled atmosphere. One night on this trip we will go to bed at a reasonable time! But alas, today is not that day. Tomorrow we are heading further north to Yellowstone National Park.
Please consider this fair warning that you may not hear from me again as we will have either have been eaten by bears or frozen to death as it is due to be -5 and snowing. Pray for us.