Friday, January 11, 2008

2,134 Miles, A Hero's Welcome to Cali, and Greg Kosin Makes a Deal with Dan "the Man"

That's what January 6th-10th pretty much boiled down to for me. Firstly, the cross-country drive was a fantastic experience. From 156 N. Montclair in Glen Ellyn, IL to the Sheraton in downtown Los Angeles, CA, my dad and I covered 2,134 miles, 8 states, 3 time zones, and half a tin of chocolate chip cookies.

Chicago to Omaha was quick and painless, short of the obscene amount of fog that shrouded the highly-touted, yet ultimately disappointing state of Iowa. We ended the day in Omaha, where I spent the night watching the BCS Championship at a friend’s place.

From Omaha we set out to reach Grand Junction, Colorado. Nebraska is a very flat state that smells like Champaign-Urbana on a bad day. Half of Colorado ain’t much better, though, until you get to the mountains. We stopped for lunch in Idaho Springs (just near Vail) and grabbed a couple of buffalo burgers. They were damn good, plus you get the added satisfaction of eating an almost-extinct animal.

From Colorado to L.A. was probably the sexiest driving we had. The mountains of Utah were snowy, icy, and filled with truck-drivers who saw out-of-state SUVs the way I see pigeons on the road: moving targets. Once we made it through the mountains and a small corner of Arizona desert we stopped in Vegas to grab a bite and gas up. (The only gambling I got in was losing a quick 100 pennies at a video poker game at the car wash.)

As we drove from Vegas to L.A., we saw the sun set. And then once we got over the mountains, we saw the sun set again. So, in my journey from Chicago to Cali, I got to literally drive off into the sunset. Twice.

Wednesday night my dad and I had a quick bite and a couple of drinks at the hotel bar and then hit the sack because the next day we had the lofty task of finding me a bed and a sofa and getting it delivered quickly. Thursday we found that lofty task damn near impossible until my dad sniffed out a warehouse clearance place called Al’s run by a guy named Dan. It was Dan’s job to move furniture as quickly as possible, which suited us perfectly, and dad was more than happy to get me a bedroom set, a living room set, and a table and chairs for roughly the amount of money my mother-God Bless her-spends on a coffee table. Add that with free delivery within 48 hours and Dan truly earns the sought-after moniker of “The Man”.


Munaretto said...

good to see that moving 2000 miles west hasn't caused you to lose any respect for Champaign-Urbana.

MJK said...

I will say this, Mike, I was in USC's bookstore and over heard some undergrad talk to his dad about playing Illi-noise in the Rose Bowl.

I think some of the people around here have bleached their hair so much that it's seeped into their brains.

Ko$inSteve said...

well its good to hear you and dad made it out there alive! i would have to say so far the best part of your voyage out there is eating those buffalo burgers, those were damn good, i remeber having two myself last time i was in calorado

LongLostBelushi said...

I can definitley empathize with your journey mark. As stated before, I drove from Chi to San Fran last winter. Our first stop was in Omaha as well. Upon reaching your final destination, California seems much more beautiful when you've driven 2000 miles to get there. I enjoy the blogs my friend. PLease keep us updated with all of your trials and when you run into Jim Belushi please proceed to kick him once in the shin for me. I have follwed suit and taken the liberty of starting my own blog that can be found at
Now we can have blog offs!

Jessica said...

hi mark,
did you contact your great uncle bob? I have his email address if you want it. he lives in seal beach.
your dad has always been the conservative one!! who do you take after? I am using jessica's mac to contact you but, it is me your aunt sandy.
I am sure that you heard about the weather in chicago. what a smart move you made. jessica wants to go to california too.
how are your classes? interesting? if you want to email me back I'm at or you can just email jessica. keep in touch.
love, auntie sandy

Anonymous said...

Maybe you may want to put a facebook icon to your blog. Just marked down the url, however I had to make it manually. Simply my 2 cents.