Family Travel

Eastbound Day One: Visalia, CA to Gallup, NM

Headed back to Charlottesville. It’s been great to be back home but all good things come to an end, right?

Surprise, surprise, I’m bringing our youngest daughter back with me! Yep, Taylor is gonna be near Mom and Dad again. That means the family is together once again. We’re so happy.

Our Bug
Our Bug

For the next four days we’ll be pulling a trailer loaded with her things with us.

Today’s journey should take around 10 hours 30’ish minutes according to Maps and cover 739 miles. That is, of course, a best guesstimate. It’ll most likely take us around 12 hours what with pit stops and all. But the drive is really quite lovely.

Day one - Visalia to Gallup
Day one – Visalia to Gallup

I really do miss California. We are definitely California kids through and through. But now that COVID seems to be headed in the right direction it’s time to explore what the east coast has to offer.

Yosemite 2021 - Half Dome
Yosemite 2021 – Half Dome
Apple Development

macOS on iPad

It’s that time of year. Time for the Apple Developer community – and punditry – to make wishes for their favorite features to be added to their favorite OSes and hardware.At this point macOS and iOS are so mature I can’t think of any feature I’d like to have. I’m sure Apple will come up with something I’ll enjoy but we have so many features I’ve never touched as a developer. Some because I have no real need for them in my apps and some because I just don’t know they exist.

The only thing I keep coming back to is macOS on iPad. Why?

Well, now that macOS can run iPad apps it seems a natural fit to put all that power and openness on a smaller device. I can see walking into my office with my iPad, sitting it in a VESA mount next to my VESA mounted display, having it connect to my keyboard, monitor, and mouse and off we go.

It would take some time for Apple to make it work, no doubt, but iOS and macOS already share a lot of code. There will be plenty of things to sort out, like touch, but it’s not like they couldn’t do it if they wanted.

Consider swiping between the Mac desktop and Launch Pad. Launch Pad could act as you iOS springboard for all of your iOS apps. Perhaps you group them together or maybe the OS is changed to do something special for you. That way you could put yourself in that mode when you’re not docked and use all of your favorite iOS apps then move to the Mac Desktop when you’re docked and need Xcode to do your dev work.

It feels like a natural progression to me and I definitely do not agree with the punditry about keeping iPad pure. Offer two versions. A Pro model with iPadOS and a Pro model with macOS. Problem solved.

Let Pro users and Developers pick their poison.

I know which one is pick.



When you move away from your hometown you’re going to miss family and friends. It’s inevitable. I also miss my favorite places to eat, drink, and socialize. One of my absolute favorites is Exeter Coffee Company.

Staci and Jason Welch started this Exeter gem in 2017 and I instantly fell in love with it. The coffee is wonderful but the morning crew of misfits is the real reason to visit.

It’s a place built to socialize. No WiFi and working on your laptop is discouraged. It’s all about people and making new friends.

With COVID restrictions easing up it’s been a real pleasure to visit with the old crew. We’re able to sit outside, properly distanced, and enjoy each other’s company. The last couple days I’ve spent a few hours in the morning down there and I’ve loved every minute of it. I told Kim this is what I want to do. Spend my mornings with her, good friends, and good coffee.

If you ever find yourself in Exeter, California, make sure you stop by and see our good friends at ExCoCo and tell ’em Rob sent you. That will cause some confusion as there are three Rob’s that hang out in front of the place. Just say it was the handsome Rob. 😃


Day Four: Kingman, AZ to Visalia, CA

Today is the final leg of our trip across the country. It’s been a lot of fun but I’m tired and ready to be out of the truck for a while.

This morning I found a local coffee joint called The Human Bean. It’s a little walk up and drive thru joint. Perfect setup for a pandemic.

Here’s hoping it hits the spot.



Gallup, New Mexico, is a little town lining what used to be Route-66. It’s nestled a mesa. It’s one long strip of old businesses, many shuttered, some still plugging along.

Last August I spent the night here on my drive from California back home to Charlottesville. I managed to find a little diamond in the rough. A little coffee roaster called Gallup Coffee Company. Their coffee is quite good and I made a mental note, and blog post about it. So I had to stop and pick up a mocha on my way through.

As I drove up the street to the shop I was worried it had been lost to COVID like so many other places. I was pleasantly surprised to see it open with a few customers hanging out inside.

Time to drink my coffee and get back on the road. This little town has captured my heart. I love it.


Albuquerque, New Mexico

I love it here. I can’t get enough of the beautiful red sand and mesas. The sky is blue and it’s a nice 70 degrees with a nice cool breeze.

I’ve pulled over to eat, at a very exotic location; Taco Bell. No, it’s not great, but it’s fine and three tacos fit nicely into the number of calories I allow myself for lunch. It works for me.

I found a shady spot in the adjoining Sam’s Club parking lot and ate. I’m sitting next to a beautiful pine of some kind, at least I think it’s a type of pine?

Fahrni road trip tip. When you stop make it multipurpose. The stops are usually about going pee, gassing up, or eating. When convenient, do all three. I’ll do that this stop, even though I have 3/4 of a tank I’ll still top it off just because. It’s just a thing I do.

Here’s a picture of the tree. Maybe someone can tell me what it is.


Day Three: Amarillo, TX to Kingman, AZ

Believe it or not driving all day is kind of tiring. It’s interesting how I’d forgotten that. It’s still worth it. Our country is beautiful.

Here’s an interesting observation for you. Folks in Oklahoma and Texas aren’t masking. Service workers are but everyone else is running around maskless. It’s going to be a while before I’m comfortable in that environment. I wonder what it’ll be like in New Mexico, Arizona, and California? Guess I’ll find out.

Today’s drive is a short 747 miles and should take around 10.5 hours to complete.

Found a Starbucks this morning. Not missing coffee today!


Welcome to Conway, Arkansas

Well this mornings hope of finding good coffee went out the window. I got to the shop and they were closed. Most likely due to the pandemic. The sign said they hope to come back. I certainly hope they can.

I pulled off here in Conway because it looked like I had a nice choice of food options. I found a Panda Express and I like it so I got some Orange Chicken. Not a good meal but tasty. I knew diet would be kind of challenging on the road. I’m doing OK so far.

Anywho, there’s a Starbucks next door. Figures.

Where I plan to stay in Amarillo tonight has a Starbucks nearby. At least I’ll be able to get a coffee I’m familiar with.

Back on the road. Should arrive in Amarillo around 7PM, I hope.


Day Two: West Memphis, AR to Amarillo, TX

I’m a bit tired this morning, to be expected I suppose. I really do love the road. New places and interesting folks.

It’s raining here this morning and there isn’t a real coffee shop within 40 miles of my location. I’m gonna grab some hotel coffee and hit the road. My next update should be from Holy Grounds Community Coffee in Forrest City, Arkansas. Fingers crossed their mochas are good.


West Memphis, Arkansas

Went a little further than Memphis. But just across the river to West Memphis, Arkansas.

Traffic was fun in Memphis because the I-40 bridge is closed because it’s broken.

I’m tired. More tomorrow.