California Dreamin’

by Jane Moneypenny

One glorious week off. Vacation paid out from work. What does a single girl do between jobs?

Road trip!

Okay, this was only after I chickened out of going on an Alaskan cruise alone, but a road trip? Easy.

So a week ago, after a few back and forths, I booked a flight to San Diego for Tuesday and flying out of San Francisco on the next Monday. I was finally going to live one of my many dreams of driving the California coast.

After going home to New Orleans for Jazzfest, of course.

Needless to say, my last week has been filled with a lot of car time. Between the 16 hours driving to and from New Orleans, the 2 hours from SD to Loma Linda, the 12 hours from Loma to San Francisco and the who knows how many hours from SF to Redwoods National Park and back, I’ve become a woman of the road.

All in all, it’s been an incredible liberating experience. It’s rare that I have no plan, no itineraries, just driving north and seeing friends.The CA coast is breathtaking to the point that I forgot I was in the US and not in Ireland or Greece. Driving Highway 1 with the ocean to my left and the mountains to the right and Elvis on my radio. Can life get better than that?

After stopping in Palo Alto to meet up with the 2 guys that traveled with me to Puerto Rico over Thanksgiving, we headed up north to Bodega Bay, Mendocino and the Redwoods. What a trip! Winding roads around mountain curves, wind whipping our hair and slight motion sickness. What a dream!

I only wish I had more time to see more people, but I will say this: For all those people that tease me for keeping in touch with practically everyone that’s been in my life, I say “ha!” to you because free lodging and often free food really comes in handy.

Back home to Austin tomorrow and I’m the new kid again on Tuesday. Eek!