The mission... to get my daughter Taylor to her new college for orientation. It was my turn, you see Eric had taken her to registration earlier in the spring, so now I was to take her. For some crazy reason we had decided NOT to fly, but chose to drive instead. I had always loved road trips and this one was not unfamiliar to me. I mean think about it. What better way to see a good portion of California and Oregon, right? The challenge however, was that in between the time of planning the trip and us about to leave for it we both for various reasons had to be back right after her orientation. No stopping and seeing family or sight seeing visiting favorite destinations. No, as soon as it was over we were blazing back home. This of coarse made it less about the journey and more about the destination which is not my preferred way of traveling. We made the most of it, however and I did manage to get in a few great photos.
Our first major stop was San Francisco, La Boulange to be exact. We had heard that Starbucks was beginning to add its pastries to our local stores and they were in fact based in SF. So why not? What better way to get the truth but go to the source and see what all the fuss is all about? Believe you me we now know why!
Thinking that we could avoid any major traffic we pulled into town just after noon. However, not used to driving its streets and remarkably attached to my daughters iPhone GPS, the one way streets kept me driving in circles until at last I found our destination. (To be honest this is something I do anyway with or without a GPS to argue with!) I could get lost in a fishbowl!
By the time we entered La Boulange we were starving and needing a rest room desperately. Luckily they had both. We ordered a few pastries to go, a dessert or two and lunch as well. We can honestly say we know why Starbucks is loving La Boulange. I was reminded of our vacation in Paris with one bite.
So after getting our fill it was time to get on the road, so we made our way to the car and beat the traffic...or not.
This took some time to get through and back to the interstate 5!!
The rest of the way is a blur of passing cars, stopping at various gas stations and rest stops, and eating way too much junk food to pass the time. Not to mention the in and out of static radio stations to add ambiance for the drive.
As we got closer to our evening destination Taylor realized we were about to pass through a town she had only seen on a t-shirt... Weed, California. Yes its a real town and yes she bought the "I heart Weed" t-shirt and various souvenirs for her and her friends back home.
After Weed the last part of the drive was magical and we were moved by the incredible sunset that began to unfold. I was reminded of God's canvas and thanked him for the ability to see and appreciate his artwork.
Or as my youngest daughter when she was little use to say whenever she saw the sun peeking through the clouds like this, "Look Mommy, its God."
Yes I took these while driving...is that wrong?
The next morning we ate at hit the road as soon as we could. We eventually did arrive at her campus and the landscape changed dramatically. I love the greens of Oregon!
Seriously where did the time go? When did she become a young woman?
After she signed up for her classes, got her roommate, took her testing and got a feel for her new campus the time had come to hit the road again...only this time we had a lot of smoke filled skylines.
|Fires had broken out in Southern Oregon and all throughout California on the drive home.|
Lastly every once in a while you see a photo but don't have the means to take it at the time. If you are lucky you have the opportunity to return to take it. This was that photo for me, this sign. I saw it on the way up, but couldn't stop to take it at the time. On the way home however, I told Taylor to please help me keep an eye out for it. To my utter delight we didn't miss it and had time to pull over so I could take this photo.
The funny part was that after I had gotten out of the car and walked a little closer to get the right angle for my photo it suddenly occurred to me what this sign was actually saying. Just then I said a little prayer, "Please don't let me go out like this..." and ran back to the car.
We have been back for a couple of days now and recuperated from our long drive. My digestive system has even recovered from its over indulgence of chips and gas station beef jerky. There is so much to see in between and through out both states,but I prefer a slower pace with time enough to really soak in what it is I am seeing and experiencing. Next time...hopefully.