Despite knowing that it would be a long drive, we didn't push for too early of a start. As a result, we did not get out of the house until 8am. It would be a very long day ahead of us.
We had four audio books in the car. Erik got those from the library and had been listening to some of them. One was a Mandarin Lesson; one was on China history; and two were on American history. All except the Mandarin lesson would have been nice to listen to, but right before we got out of the house, we opened a Christmas present Erik's sister sent us. It was a book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. Although both of us had read/listened to this book before, neither of us could remember the details; however, we both remembered it was a great book. I couldn't help opening the first page, but I also couldn't keep the pleasure of reading that book to myself, so I read it out aloud. I did it on the entire 16 hour drive and the subsequent nights before we went to sleep.
We took a break when we drove through LA. We met up with my friend Vivian from college when we stopped for lunch. She took great interests in Erik's braces because she was going through some serious debates (with herself) about that. It was good to see her again. Now I can say, I read Erik bed time stories. Actually, when we get back, I will try to find other good books so we can read them together. It's really fun this way.
When we pulled in the drive way at the rental house in Tucson, it was near midnight. Our friend Tom who arrived a day early was still up and about. Our vacation had officially started.