We had a two-week vacation, and decided that it would be fun to drive down the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California and then drop off our rental car and take a train back home. I’m calling this journey the West Coast Wander, and plan to blog about it every other day so as not to totally alienate those who have no interest in travel, and yet allow those who do to travel vicariously with us. Here’s the first in the series, if you want to start at the beginning. I hope you enjoy it, dear reader.
In many ways, an adventure doesn’t start when you set out, and it doesn’t end when you get home. There’s often much planning and research involved. I’m really grateful that I have a partner who gets into this portion of the trip as much as I do. Gone, forever, are the days when I did all the research and reservations and the other person just sat comfortably back and enjoyed the ride. If you are going to take a trip with someone, I strongly suggest you take a deep dive into the vacation prep. That’s a good part of the fun, and greatly adds to the anticipation.
In fact, not only does Dear Husband do much of the reserving after mutual discussion, but he also prefers to drive, just as I prefer not to. So I must admit that he drove all the 2250 miles himself. Suits me. But I did feel a tiny bit of residual guilt, because I’m sure I got to see more than he did.
He also did about 85 percent of the ritual schlepping of the luggage from car to hotel to car… rinse… repeat. Believe me, it didn’t go unnoticed. And he often has to do a great deal of work as we travel. He continues to bring home his fair share of the bacon even as we feast upon it. I’m ever so grateful for him.
I must confess that DH has a lot more energy than I do. By way of example, when we got home after this epic journey, I sat glued to the recliner, with my dachshund snuggled up against me, as if I had been dropped from a 50 story building. DH, on the other hand, immediately unpacked 90 percent of his stuff. In my single days, I had been known to leave things in my suitcase for months after a trip had ended. Since I no longer live alone, I wouldn’t think of putting things off that long. But the same day? Nope.
I did manage to put a load of our dirty clothes in the washing machine, though. I even turned it on. That counts for something, right?
Since I have a luxurious amount of vacation time (Union strong!) I have also gotten into the habit of having an extra day at the tail end of the trip to chill out at home before getting back onto the work treadmill again. So that night I went to bed knowing that I’d be able to sleep in. What a gift.
I woke up around 3 am for my mid-sleep pee, noted the time, and thought, “That’s cool. This hotel has its alarm clock in the exact same location as I do at home.” But wait! I was home! Yay!
As more evidence of the difference in energy levels, DH woke up bright and early, met up with some family to tell them about the trip, and, with their help, removed the trash from two miles of roadway in front of our house.
I slept ‘til noon. Traveling can be taxing.
In the previous posts, I didn’t talk much about the souvenirs we picked up along the way, so some photos thereof appear below. Neither of us are really into stuff, so we tend to focus on fridge magnets, stickers, and postcards, as they don’t take up very much space. And we do often get a Christmas ornament or two. They’ll provide us with many happy memories over the years. I hope that makes up for the mild post-vacation depression I am known to experience.
Ah, but what an amazing trip we had! The pandemic put its stamp on it in a lot of weird and unexpected ways. I never realized how I used to dance through life assuming that places would open themselves up and draw me in. Now, it gets a lot more complicated. Often reservations are required. Just as often, places are locked up tight, with no anticipated reopening in sight. I don’t think our world will ever be the same. That gave the trip a curious aftertaste. But I think it’s safe to say that, on the balance, a good time was had by all. As it should be.
One thing I just realized is that after two weeks driving along the west coast, with the Pacific as our constant companion, we never once touched the ocean. (Well, unless you count getting our shoes slightly wet when we visited the tide pools of Duxbury Reef.) How did we manage that? That’s practically a crime.
Hmmm. I guess we’ll have to go back someday. If so, I’ll be sure and tell you all about it.
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