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Let’s play catch-up

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2007.

We know it’s been a while since our last Griot Update, so lets play catch-up, shall we?


On Tuesday, July 31st we began our cross-country driving trip from Chicago to Oakland, CA. The booth, driven by a professional driver, made a pit stop for repairs and cleaning before meeting us in Oakland on August 6th.

Driving our two mini vans, our trip took 4 days traveling along the I-80 through 5 states. We stopped overnight in Cheyenne, WY, Omaha, NE, Salt Lake City, UT, and Reno, NV. Toccarra and Brianna drove the Grey Goose while Michelle and Rose commandeered the White Horse.

Rose and Michelle: Early to rise but late to every hotel

The White Horse takes a side trip after Rose and Michelle dragged it to a 4 a.m. sunrise in Cheyenne, WY

Toccarra navigates the Grey Goose

We stayed at The Plains Hotel on Central Avenue in Cheyenne. The website describes it as “The historic, charming, 1911 National Historic Landmark Hotel of Cheyenne Wyoming. Host of famous guests, designed with Western High Style decor”. We’re not sure if the bricked in windows in Brianna’s room reflected “High style decor” but the little bugs that ran her out gave it a rather rough-neck appeal. The rest of us fell out pretty fast cause we were drowsy as a cowpoke at dusk.

The Cheyenne Depot Plaza

Hollywood meets Cheyenne: The Musical

After a long drive through the Plains this was a sight to behold

Ahhh, sunrise in Utah

Rose does her bird dance on a salt lake

The last stop before Oakland was Reno, land of sunshine, deserts, mafia money-laundering and gas station slot machines. We stayed at the luxurious Days Inn Reno. Our rooms faced the picturesque I-580 freeway and the hotel pool faced a roller disco and “the hood”. As Rose, Michelle and Brianna lounged by the pool they were serenaded by the honking of passing cars, men on bikes and on one occasion, the local drunk.

Blow some luck on ‘em

We finally hit Oakland the following day. Here we’re staying at the Lake Merritt Hotel just across from Lake Merritt of course. Our rooms are huge with full kitchens and for most of us, separate bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms (sorry Rose but we picked first). The place is in transition from a hotel to becoming Barbary Lane – a residence home for gay and lesbian senior citizens. Now, how Bay area is that?

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