May 18 2007
I like to start my stories at the start, but in this instance it’s kind of hard to say where the start really is. Taking it to an extreme I guess we’d have to go all the way back to 1989 when I had brain surgery twice in 2 weeks and missed like the first 6 weeks of my freshman year in high school. That eventually led to me leaving Yakima (and my parents!) at the end of the 9th grade and moving to Othello so I could be with all of my old friends. It was during my sophomore (or maybe junior) year that I happened to sit in on a presentation of Walla Walla Community College on college day or at a college fair or something. Hearing about their “Irrigation Technology” program stuck with me and after a 2nd senior year and still not having enough credits to graduate, I decided I was over high school and moved to Walla Walla. I started classes in the fall of 1994 and one of my classmates/new friends was Brian Weinmann. The following fall Brian had a new roommate in Brandon from Prosser. Brandon and I quickly became great friends. In the spring of 1997 Brandon graduated from WWCC and moved to Pullman to attend WSU. At the end of 1997 I moved to South Beach and after 8+ months of vacationing, I started working at Lazerland. That’s where I met Chad and eventually his sister Kim.
So fast forward to the spring of 2000, and Brandon is graduating from WSU. Somehow we stayed in touch through the years and I had been dying for someone from Washington to come visit me on the beach. As a graduation present from his family, Brandon flew to Miami to hang out with me for a week or something. I didn’t have a car so I asked Chad to make an airport run with me. Kim tagged along too. Matter of fact, I think we went in her car. That was when Kim met Brandon.
Kim and Brandon on the night they met.
Kim claims that she didn’t really like Brandon that much when she first met him, but it looks like she’s getting pretty friendly with him here. (hey, who’s that big guy on the left? NICE VISOR, DORK!!) Brandon flew home a day or 2 later.
On the 2nd weekend of December in 2001 I flew back to Washington for Family X-mas. Flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle were crazy cheap! I mean, my round trip airfare was $105.50 and I told Brandon that he should come back down for a visit. His airfare was $111.50! My parents drove me back to Seattle so I could fly home and I met up with Brandon there. We flew to Florida together, and I had asked Kim to pick us up at the airport. She claims that when she saw him at the airport that she could tell that there was something different about Brandon and that she liked him then.
Needless to say, a lot of Brandon’s time in Florida was spent with Kim. Then he flew home and after a couple of months Kim flew to Washington to visit Brandon. And then he flew here a couple of times and I think she went there one more time. All of a sudden 2 of my friends were a couple!
Well, by the start of 2003 we were planning Brandon’s move to Florida! It ended up being one of the greatest road trips ever!
I guess this is probably where my post should have started but I felt that the background stuff was important for some reason.
So on May 14th, 2003,
Kim and I flew to Seattle Yakima. My parents picked us me up and we drove across the Cascades to Yakima. We met up with Brandon at Miner’s. Kim went home with him and I spent a couple of days with my folks. Kim had flown to Seattle a day before me. On Sunday May 18th Brandon said good bye to his friends and family and embarked on a journey with a destination of a new life in Florida. I met up with him and Kim (and Sadie!) in Connell Washington and we drove to Coeur d’Alene Idaho. It was only 2-3 hours of driving, but it worked out as a good primer for the following 6 full days of driving.
Here we are on Connell Washington. That was
3 4 years ago today.
This is all MY stuff! I even added more stuff once I got to Washington. Like a box full of CDs that I left at my parent’s home when I moved to florida, and a case of Widmer Hefeweizen, my favorite beer which wasn’t available in Florida at the time.
NO TURNING BACK NOW!! (This is one of my favorite pics from the trip, so I had to include it.)
I think this was in Post Falls Idaho. We had a contest to see who could go the longest without talking. Naturally, I won that contest! Brandon said it’s hard to breathe without talking. Whatever!
We stopped by Wal-mart for Red Bull (and other things). In the following days you’ll see how Red Bull was a big part of the trip.
More pictures here!