August 11, 2014
Justin and I made the long trip using a Tacoma Truck to Albuquerque New Mexico , last August 11, 2014. Google Maps indicated that it was an eleven hour drive, but we're humans, we have to take pit stops , take bathroom breaks, or buy food along the way thus making it more like a twelve or thirteen hour trip.
Passing through three States: California (San Diego and Salton Sea Southern deserts), Arizona, and into New Mexico, I found the view along the way to be breathtaking. The hue and color of enamel brown of the Arizona deserts, the adobe red stiff cliffs and gorges while entering New Mexico is sure is spectacular, the steep climbs on Mountains along the way made a nice visit to Nature and a soothing welcome to an otherwise boring drive.
Justin and I took turns driving, but I couldn't sleep while he was driving. We didn't use a GPS device rather relied on a printout of a Google Maps Directions, and the car's Odometer to figure our way through three States.
When we reached Albuquerque New Mexico, we checked into one of those Extended Stay Hotels which is equipped with a Stove, Microwave, a kitchen sink along with the usual amenities of a Hotel room. I liked the Kitchen amenities because it allowed us to warm food, cook meals for Dinner and Breakfast.
Originally, I planned on letting Justin fly into Albuquerque and let him figure his way around, or arrange for security of his belongings. I'm glad I listened to Gloria and decided to take some vacation off from work and do the long-drive trip instead and assist him with his College Orientation days. It relieved Justin of the burden of: arranging Hotel accommodations; of moving from Point A to Point B; preparing and cooking warm food; and allow him to concentrate on the two day College Orientation event itself.
It is the first time that Justin left home at age 18 and the change is somewhat stressing for him.He had to say goodbye to friends and family back home in San Diego, California, and adjust to a new environment, to a new life. I assured him that years of training with the AVID Program prepared him for this very exact moment, of life in College and everything will go well. He would have to learn life being independent from here on. But I know Justin's capabilities, his determination to finish College, and his can-do attitude. This boy has grown from the innocent inquisitive young boy to a grown up, determined and matured young man.
Someday, he dreams of becoming a U.S. Army Nurse, so he's majoring in Bachelor of Science in Nursing and also joining the U.S. Army Reserves' Officers Training Corps.
Came Tuesday, August 12 early evening, I had Justin Drive me to Albuquerque Airport. He was still teary eyed and can't believe he was on his own from there on. I gave him a big hug, assured him that everything was going to work out just fine. I then caught a flight back to San Diego.
Good Luck my son, be strong, do good in school, study hard and earn good grades, follow your dreams of becoming a U.S. Army Nurse Officer someday.
We all love you.
A pose with Justin at University of New Mexico's Center, Duck Pond area.