Once we were in Carson City, and the rest of Nevada stretched out in front of us. We planned the first day to be the longest, since we were well-rested after 2 weeks of celebrating the holidays at snow-less (but Zumba-full) Tahoe. Before that, we had packed our cars full of stuff in Oakland and sent the rest of it with movers.
Nevada kind of gets a bad rep for being awful to drive across. Honestly, I've seen worse. The drive from L.A. to Vegas is awful. Nothing I've seen yet compares to the god-forsaken drive across South Dakota (which I did as part of my previous cross-country trip from Michigan to California in 2008). Throughout the whole drive, you have mountains in the distance on both sides, so it makes for an interesting terrain to drive through. Plus, I got to drive by Yucca Mountain, which holds a special place in the hearts of nuclear engineers throughout the country. I also went by Area 51. How many people can say that?
It wasn't perfect, though. We weren't really on a freeway. I mean, why would they have a freeway running between the 3 most important cities in NV?! So, if at any point we were stuck behind someone going 20 mph below the speed limit. We were stuck behind them for good. Annie refuses to pass people. Let's also point out that you have to stop and go 25 mph through the 4-5 random towns along the drive. Towns filled with nothing but modular homes. After this trek, I'm forced to wonder what percentage of the population of NV resides in a modular home.
Finally, we finished our drive just past Las Vegas. I begged Annie to let me go to the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. It holds my favorite chocolate place ever, Max Brenner's, and she didn't let me. I'm so deprived. We ate at Bdubs for dinner, since we wanted to catch the last of the BCS Bowl Games. They didn't have anything good left to cook, but we survived.
That's Day 1 of the XCD,