I’m back, finally. I had a very nice time in Arizona visiting my MVP buddies and somewhat less fun attending the in-law wedding. Many members of my wife’s family speak English, some not so well, and some not at all. I’ve really got to learn to speak Spanish so these visits are more enjoyable.
I rented a Chrysler Pacifica. I needed a vehicle to haul some people around and my choices were a Durango or a Pacifica. I went with the station wagon because it had satellite radio and a navigation system. The nav system really came in handy. It had a map in the middle of the speedometer and I would punch in an address to get turn-by-turn directions. Very cool. One time it sent me down a road where the bridge was out, so it’s not perfect. My first miscue was a wrong turn on the freeway in Phoenix. When you get off course, the nav system recalcs your route, which is nice. However, it takes four or five seconds to calculate and before it was done calculating I had already passed the next exit. I guess the “next exit” was the first leg of its calculations because every time I passed an exit it would start calculating again. After a few exits, I figured that out and just got off the freeway so it could catch up. Overall, it was quite handy to have.
It was also my first experience with satellite radio, Sirius I believe was the brand name. Over 100 stations, of which I was interested in about 5. I don’t know if I’d pay $10 per month for it because I don’t travel by car that often. I wondered how many DJs they employed for their music stations. If all the music is preprogrammed, the DJ could knock out eight hours of programming in about an hour. They probably have the same DJ that does classic rock do country and hip hop and just change their voice.
Thursday we had lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place. The food was terrific and terrifically hot. They had plenty of Tecate on hand, so the heat didn’t bother me. I also tried some of Nancy’s margarita, which was excellent. You wouldn’t think this was a very good restaurant by looking at it, but I’d definitely go back.
Thursday, I met Nancy’s uncle in Tucson. They call him Tuti, but his real name is Jose Cruz. The funny thing is that Nancy’s dad’s name is also Jose Cruz, and yes they’re brothers. It’s very George Foreman-esque. They don’t let names get too far away in that family. Nancy’s brother is Jose Angel and they call him Tito. One of Tito’s kids is also named Jose Angel and they call him Angel. You’d think having all these relatives named the same would make it easier to remember, but they all have nicknames that I have to remember too. I have the same name as my dad, so I shouldn’t be too hard on them.
Friday, I had dinner at Casa de JWalk. I learned many secrets about ribs and computers, but I had to sign an NDA so I can’t share them with you. JWalk has a very cool house with a music room and he and I jammed a little. He’s a very good musician and I had a hard time keeping up. My wife said I sounded good on some songs and on others it was like I couldn’t hit a correct note. The problem is that I don’t know all my blues scales. As long as it was in C, D or G I could keep up, but otherwise I was banging around the keyboard like an idiot. It was fun though. I also learned that Newcastle Brown Ale gives me a headache.
Saturday, the whole wedding ceremony was in Spanish. It’s a lovely language, but I didn’t know when I was supposed to sit, stand, or kneel. Normally I would just follow the crowd, but it looked like they go to church about as often as I do. There was a great band at the reception, but the music was too loud. I don’t necessarily dislike loud music, but I have a hard enough time understanding my in-laws when it’s quiet. I think I may have agreed to go on a cattle drive next October in Mexico.
It was nice to get away for a long weekend. The weather was good. I was the only person in Arizona wearing shorts, but that’s what I do when it’s 70. Now it’s back to an arduous three day week. How will I survive?