It's about 5 months since the European escapades ended and I've been itching to travel for at least 3. An old roommate from London (the paparazzi skateboarder from California) emailed me updates as he continued his travels, making me more than a little jealous with his news of getting chased out of Florence by the undercover Italian employment police. So, after a difficult semester I made much too full of sleep, I'm indulging the travel addiction.
        No passports, several travel companions, and my own transportation: this trip should be nothing compared to the summer. Me, 2 roomates, and one random short Penn guy I don't really know are heading to Las Vegas from Philly tomorrow morning, arriving in time for New Year's Eve. A hometown buddy gave me a good heads-up in the form of a clipping from a men's magazine announcing that Vegas is a top party spot where "the street is blocked off so 30,000 [!] revelers can enjoy live music, a light show, and fireworks." A party city is having a larger than usual party night... should be interesting, to say the least.
        The trip's gonna be Vegas to L.A., up the coast with random stops and ending in San Francisco. A word of advice on self-driven transportation in the U.S.: don't try to rent a car unless you're 25. There are cost-doubling surcharges to those under this arbitrary age, hardly anywhere that will rent to those under 21 ( = me and my cotravelers), and nowhere allows the 20 and less crowd to rent a car and return it in a different city without prohibitively high surcharges. A truck, however, is a bird of a different feather. On the advice of a car rental agent wise beyond her years, I contacted U-Haul. Now, I'll be copiloting a 10-foot moving truck for 10 days. Renting to 19-year-olds is no problem for the most chilled company I've ever dealt with, and we've got 1,000 miles included for $250 (before gas, obviously), which is little more than a tiny car would cost one of the geezers "qualified" to rent it. I don't think U-Haul is expecting their truck to double as a hotel, but we should manage to return it in one piece.
        Tonight, we crash at a friend's apartment on campus: she's nice and our dorm's closed for the holidays. We'll train our tolerances with too many margaritas, hopefully making our 8 a.m. flight. Let the adventure, however it'll end up paling in comparison to my summer, begin.

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