In an effort to get back into the spirit of the road trip, I had to resort to desperate measures; the most hideously touristy palm tree shirt I could find. After pairing it with a trusty (see: cheesy) pair of aviators, I felt ready for a trip out to the Marine base in Twentynine Palms for a visit with my old friend Catherine, whose husband Joseph is stationed there. I have to admit that it felt a little weird rolling into a place where I probably have more hair on my face than the entire male population combined. Fortunately Catherine’s five-month-old daughter, Theresa, didn’t have too much issue with it, although she did try to steal some of it when it came time to say goodbye.After that we took a trip down to Riverside to hang with my cousin Sarah, whose husband Mark showed off his outdoor pizza oven by cooking us gourmet pies made from scratch. Sarah’s folks dropped by to hang out by the fire and help us mow through most of the dozen cupcakes we picked up from one of those fancy shops around the corner. They even managed to sneak a couple candles onto one of them to celebrate my last day of being a 34-year-old. All in all it was a much-needed mellow day.