We left Los Angeles around 10am (I must note that an hour into this trip, Pep handed me a brand new 75-300mm lens for my camera) and didn't arrive at the Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel, Nevada, until 7:30pm. It gave us just enough time to laugh at the video library (VHS, and mostly unwatchable/ruined) of alien-themed movies and TV shows, have a mug of wine, and settle in to our maybe-clean bed in our wood-paneled trailer, named "The Howie."
I LOVE the Little A'Le'Inn. It is so perfectly weird. I went once before, in March of 2013, but only stayed long enough for a breakfast that I couldn't fully enjoy with my hangover. This time, we stayed. We woke up early, had a good meal, and then spent our Valentine's Day driving down the Extraterrestrial Highway and onward to Utah, avoiding the poison that is Las Vegas in favor of wild horses and nothingness.
We stopped at the Alien Research Center, a dome with a HUGE metal alien hanging out in front, and just when we thought they were closed and we wouldn't be able to explore, a Yorkshire Terrier (??) came running up to us, seemingly out of nowhere, and someone opened the door. We somehow timed it so that we arrived at exactly 10am; we didn't know it, but they open at 10 on Saturdays.
We didn't visit the black mailbox at Area 51, but we did pull over for a few minutes to get out of the car and experience the complete and total silence around us. No breeze, no life, no sound. It was some of the heaviest, most glorious quiet I have ever heard, and I've heard a lot of quiet.
Nevada was the worst of the driving - it was long and hard to look at (that's what she said?) and I was so excited to go to Utah and Arizona, neither of which I had been to before, that I didn't care much about Nevada overall, but it was a perfect stop on the trip and I'm glad we did it.
I thought for a while about why I tend to revisit places. If I have money to spend on travel and the time to do it, both of which are rare - why would I opt to visit the same place twice? I think it's just because if I don't feel like I observed enough, I'll go back and study it some more until I feel that I've truly seen it. It's also different doing things with Pep - places I've gone alone or with friends are of course different with him. I want to show him the things that have had an impact on my life in some way. I usually do this to people because I want them to understand me, and I know sometimes I'm not easy to understand, so I show them what I've seen and felt and hope that it makes them feel the same. I don't have to help him though; he gets me on his own, which means I don't have to think, I just get to have fun with him. And I am so thankful for that.
Best Valentine's Day I've ever had!