Thursday, March 22, 2012

I love LA

My apologies for not posting in a while. With Irene’s grandmother passing away, time ran out quickly each day while we were home. Along with all that we spent some quality time with the kids, re-landscaped the front of the house, laundry, visits with friends and family, getting our taxes done, fixing my daughters car, shopping, sorting through 8 weeks of mail, Dr’s apts, dropping our truck off for service…holy cow it’s great to be back on the road. Going home is soooo exhausting!! Irene says no more going home…it’s to stressfull.

Well as the title says…I love LA…we went back on the road on the 15th and picked a load up in Charlotte NC and ran it to Calexico California. From there we dead headed to LA and were instructed to pick up at the Nokia theatre. Upon arriving downtown Irene was driving and she started to get a little nervous about the tightness of streets. She wanted me to drive, but I told her that she had to do it. With traffic and the amount of people walking around it was tough. Let’s see…it was St. Patty’s day, there was a LA Kings hockey game, and a concert at the Nokia…wait concert? I looked at Irene and like I always say, you got this babe. She pulled us in front of the Nokia and I asked the ticket office where they wanted us still not knowing why we were there. They instructed us to pull to the loading dock on the rear street and they would let us in from there. That is when we learned that we will be hauling (to Texas) stage and band equipment for a singer named Arjona who is some pop star from Guatemala…sorry no cowboy hat or boots…never heard of him…even though he has won 2 grammys. After being cleared by security and given all the details the huge roll up door opened and I said to Irene…OMG, you better let me do this one…heck no she snarled at me…yes maam…I know my place. This was a 45 degree angle from the street backing down hill under the theatre while holding 4 lanes of traffic up…and there was a huge crowd gathering to watch this blonde bombshell back this giant truck underneath. They were cheering Irene on and some were helping watch to make sure she was clear on her blindsides while she backed. Honestly these people were having more fun with her than they did at the concert I think. Well my sweetheart got it in the dock on the 1st try. I taught her so well…lol This is when it became even better…there were 4 more of our company trucks due in, but seeing Irene and I were early they let us under the huge rolling doors and were given backstage passes and allowed to wander and enjoy…as long as I promised not to show up on the stage…Dang!

So we decided to wander downtown for a bit and grabbed an awesome dinner at Lawry’s Carvery and took in some sights. What a busy night it was, but it was awesome being down there. We headed back to the Nokia and decided to get some rest in the truck for our drive that awaited us…nope not going to happen. We may as well been sitting in the front row…Latin Pop music for the next couple hours blared through the Nokia…lol…the sound was great though so we enjoyed the concert from the comfort of our truck. When it ended we watched the band file into the limos that were waiting in front of us. The door opened to a mob of people that were waiting with banners and all screaming for this Arjona…who by the way was not even in the limos…he slipped out another door and disappeared…to funny! Well the roadies broke everything down and packed it up in our truck and a couple hours later we were on our way. Next Conway truck please…and the work continued. There were 5 of us hauling his equipment and we dropped it in Laredo Texas at our Terminal where Mexican drivers picked up and hauled our trailers across the border for another concert later that week…Adios Arjona!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our New York City Run...

Our New York City experience…

Wow! What a place to visit.  I’ve been in New York City before (once or twice), but experiencing it in the truck surely gives you a different perspective.  I am going to try to explain this experience the best that I can.  Let me start by telling you that Randy almost suffered a heart attack and that is putting it mildly.  Actually, I believe it was more like he was in need of squeezing the Charmin…LOL.  While driving on a six lane highway (three lanes each way) Randy started approaching a bridge and as he got closer he started noticing that the bridge had three different height limits.  That was strange he thought to himself.  So as he approached closer he could see the sign for lane one said 13’3” limit, the sign for lane two said 13’4” limit, and the sign for lane three said 13’5” limit.  (Now keep in mind that the height on our truck is 13’ 6”.)  Randy was in the middle lane and quickly changed to the highest limit lane…but by this time it was way too late.  His heart fell to the floor and he decided to close his eyes and hope for the best as he went under the bridge.  He was convinced our truck was about to be shortened by at least an inch.  As he looked up he noticed the concrete above him was broken out about 3 to 4 inches.  Evidently this was from other trucks hitting it over the years.  Wow that was close, I heard him say.  Our career had almost come to an end.

As I was sitting in the passenger seat with my camera in hand and going over one of the bridges in New York, I noticed a sign that said “Use of Cameras Prohibited”.  What?  Isn’t this a free country?  Well not only is the use of a cameras prohibited, but this rule or law is also strictly enforced.  Randy thought it may have something to do with 9/11.  Hmmm so I am thinking that if a terrorist truly wanted pictures or diagrams of the bridge, I am positive that they could Google it and find all the information they could possibly want.  So maybe, just maybe it has to due to the flash from the camera?!.  I could understand blinding someone with a flash while driving.  Ok so I managed to convince myself that this sounds reasonable and if stopped by police I would try to talk my way out of this one.  I proceeded to turn off the flash on my camera and the picture taking started.  I did look behind us to make sure that the cops were not after us.  After all the “Use of Camera’s is Strictly Prohibited”…lol

So back to New York City…I felt like the city was just suffocating me.  The high rises, all the vehicles, and all the walls around me, just felt very restricting.  I think that literally every square inch was accounted for.  We drove under a big high rise, which was strange.  It reminded me a lot of being underground, which I only seen in the movies, but you know what I mean.  Everything was so tight and snug and it seemed like there wasn’t room for anything.  Now mind you that we did not go thru the best part of town, and it was very gloomy and rainy outside.  I am putting some pictures for you to see.  Look at the pictures of the cemetery.  Even though the pictures did not come out very well, (I could not resist) look at how tight the grave stones are.  After we left New York City I felt like I could breathe again… there was a sky, air, and trees I always thought I could be a big city girl…guess I was wrong…just couldn’t imagine living like that.

Of course we did have some laughs along the way…as always.  Randy has a supply of 5 hr. energy drinks he keeps in the truck for when he drives at night.  This is by no means for keeping awake…just a little pick me up for when he feels flat.  Well one day he noticed one drink was missing and asked me if I had drank it.  “Yes” I replied and I proceeded to tell him exactly what I thought of his little drink.  Well, I told him, I know now why they say that it is fast acting.  Once the taste hits your lips and tongue, the nasty flavor immediately wakes you up.  It makes you want to jump out of your skin.  Oh, and do you know why they call it 5 hour energy ?  Cause it takes about five hours to get that nasty taste out of your mouth.  Randy busted out laughing and said he would have loved to seen the look on my face when I drank it.  LOL

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Missing the little things in life...

It’s funny how the simplest things in life become so valuable once you don’t have them.  I miss Randy grilling mushroom cheese burgers in the back yard for the kids; I miss sleeping in on my huge bed on the weekends; I miss the kids piling in my room one by one (even though I am not ready to get up) and wanting breakfast; I miss making the kids French toast; I miss our family dinners; I miss our family meetings that the kids oh loved so much;  I miss all of us on the couch watching movies; I even miss television; I miss driving out on the beach with the bubba truck; I miss going for walks with my husband;  I miss taking a shower or soaking in the tub whenever I want; but mostly I just plain miss all of US!

Life on the road is not easy, and one of the hardest things about this job is driving during the night.  I’m sure that eventually we will get used to it, but for now it is still a challenge most nights.  The other very hard part is trying to get a good night’s sleep.  Randy is having a harder time sleeping than I and he usually functions on 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day.  The roads are very rough and while the truck is running everything shakes and rattles making a lot of noise.  Some state roads are better than others, but it is hard to sleep when you are being shaken to death.  I used to kid around with my trainer about it when I was going thru training.  I was convinced that the vibration and bounce would make me lose weight LOL.  Remember those exercise machines from very long ago that had that band around the butt and then the machine would vibrate your entire buttocks?  Well we get the same effect in the truck except the entire body is shaken.  When we were deciding on making this life style change, a friend of my dad’s told me that the best way he can describe “over the road driving" is to compare it to prison.  Yea I can see how it can resemble prison, but with a beautiful and constantly changing view.  I enjoy driving very much, and I am not really itching to go home either, which is a good thing.  If the girls were home from college, then yes, I definitely would want to go home.  However, by staying out on the road I am avoiding the “empty nest syndrome”.  Oh and I also get to spend every minute with my wonderful husband.

There are many perks of this job.  At the top of the perks are the pay checks we get.  Every time Randy gets annoyed or frustrated, I just pull out one of our pay stubs and remind him of why we are doing this.  Another perk is that we can take time off any place in the entire country we want.  We simply tell the company the city we want to visit and the company has to get us there.  We can visit family or friends in 48 states (we can’t go to Hawaii or to Alaska).  On a daily basis we see breath taking sunsets and sunrises.  At night we see shooting stars.  We get to see all sorts of landscape.  We are starting to know Southern California very well, which I love by the way.  Sometimes I think that is where we are based out of.  By being on the road we are definitely eating better.  It is very hard to stop at restaurants to eat.  Mostly it is only truck stops that we can eat at, but we just can’t bring ourselves to doing so.  We decided that the best option for us is to eat in our truck.  We have a little fridge and a microware, and we shop at Wal-mart for groceries.  I think we have even lost a few pounds.  When we can get to a decent restaurant we do treat ourselves, but it is not very often.

Randy and I have everything to be thankful for.  We have great kids; great family and we both have jobs so we really have nothing to complain about.  We get to spend every minute together, which I’m still deciding if that is good or bad…ha ha .  I want to work hard as long as I possibly can so that I can help my kids out (and have a little fun).  In today’s economy it is extremely hard to get a head, but I surely want to try.
Please keep the comments coming.  It makes us very happy to know what you all think and that you are interested in our little journey.  Very best to you and your family…