Lessons From a Road Trip

liv on a bike

Twenty days, 4,479 miles, 10 hotels, countless restaurants, 49 out of 50 state licence plates, billions of grains of sand and one huge pile of dirty laundry.  Our family road trip to Southern California and back is now complete.

Somehow we managed to do it with relatively few disagreements and no real disasters.  I also learnt a few things along the way.

tommy chair

I have a new appreciation for living life with less “stuff”.  You can only shove so much into an SUV right?.  I pretty much made it through the almost three weeks with two pairs of shorts, a few tops, two bathing suits, flip flops and my running stuff.  Oh, ya and underwear.  I think the one thing that I could not have down without was the two Tommy Bahama beach chairs we bought just before we left.  They’re the kind that you can carry like a backpack.  They have two pouches on the back.  One of which is insulted for your water bottle.  They are comfy and functional.  They made spending six hours a day at the beach tolerable.  Because it was really tough.

I am pretty useless at giving driving directions under pressure.  I can follow directions with no problem. Given enough warning.  I don’t respond well to being told to change into the right hand lane of a five lane highway on the fly.  Thank god for Siri.  She helped us (me) out many times.  With the exception of that one time on Northern California when she took us deep into a rather sketchy residential area and insisted that we had arrived at our destination.  No Siri, that possible crack house is not a Subway.

E surfing

Do not stay in Pacific Beach, San Diego on the weekend unless you are 25 and want to stand in line at a bar for two hours after spending the day at the beach.  Also, if there is a drunk guy outside your condo at midnight remember to lock your door or he may decide to pay you a visit.  Then he may reprimand you (punctuated with many curse words) for not locking your door.  Thank you to the fat ginger guy with one shoe for reminding us to always be safe.  FYI it was the girls next door who called the cops not us.

in n out

In n Out IS all it’s cracked up to be.  I have been hearing for years about In n Out burgers and how incredible they are.  Having not had a burger in close to two years I wasn’t sure if I would remember what a good burger actually tasted like.  It did not disappoint.  No, I did not have it animal style but never the less it was a great burger.  Did I mention that I was starving by the time we got around to finding it just off the I5 south of San Diego.  They have three items on their menu.  Burger, Cheeseburger and Fries.  Proof that simple is better.

No matter how many times you remind your almost adult son to remember to take out the garbage, it may not happen.  And yes, week old garbage is nasty.

Just because a hotel calls itself the Inn by Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey doesn’t mean that it is anywhere near Fisherman’s Wharf.  It may just be up the hill mere feet away from I5 and nowhere near a wharf.  Remember the motels you stayed at when you were a kid?  Rectangular courtyard surrounding a pool.  The registration lobby full of tacky brochures for the Enchanted Forest and Undersea Gardens.  Cute little wrapped up bar of soap by the tiny sink.  Air conditioner that rattles all night and causes your room to alternate between Arctic cold and then Amazon jungle hot.

Would I do it again?  In a heart beat.  Well, maybe after I get all the laundry done and the cat forgives us for leaving him alone for so long.  The Best Thing in Life is being away long enough to appreciate all that you have at home.


5 thoughts on “Lessons From a Road Trip

  1. candidkay August 17, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    First off, amazing packing! You managed to go minimalist for two weeks! That’s a dream of mine:). Second, I&O–I’ve always wanted to try. But never knew if lived up to hype. Thanks for the tip. Glad you had fun!

  2. George August 17, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    Glad you had a safe and fun trip and you got to do it with minimal packs of clothing😊

  3. camparigirl August 17, 2015 / 8:17 pm

    I don’t even eat burgers but two loud cheers for In ‘n Out!

  4. Miriam August 19, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    Sounds like a great trip! I was finally able to visit California twice during our time out west, and I enjoyed it so much. I don’t necessarily want to live there, but it’s definitely a place to see.
    Your writing is very funny, by the way 🙂

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