As promised here is the story of my boyfriend and I’s trip to California to deliver my son’s Mustang to him. Yes, I’m a little behind in my trip posting…guilt, I feel guilt (not really).
A little back story on this post. My parents generously took my son’s car into the shop to get it all checked out, and they paid for the minor repairs. It was then approved to be driven to California. And we only known each other for a little less then three months. He has an adventurous spirit just like me…
On the Tuesday before Turkey Day in 2017 around 11pm I realized that he is just as adventurous as I was. We had both worked that day, then came to my house and packed all of the things my son needed us to bring down to him and we packed small bags for our things as well. Fredy asked me if I wanted to leave that night, and without hesitation I said, hell yeah, let’s do it!
We got into the mustang and headed to Safeway for some snacks for the road, and at 12:10 am we drove onto I-5 and headed south…here we go!
Fredy took the first driving shift. The weather was horrible, it was a dark and stormy night. We made our first pit stop at a rest area about an hour from Portland around 3:30 am. Stopped for gas at 4:16 am, and made it into Portland at 4:52 am.
We were hungry and tired…found a Denny’s in Woodburn Oregon and decided to stop. There was an odd assortment of characters eating breakfast at 6:00 am in that Denny’s.
After breakfast we were so tired, we thought we could get a little bit farther down the road before stopping, and we were right. We made it out of Woodburn and were driving towards Eugene when Fredy stopped at the nearest rest area and we grabbed the big blanket in the back seat that we were taking to my son, and we reclined both the front seats, locked the car door and fell fast asleep.
We woke up an hour or so later to the sun hitting our faces, and lots of big rigs parked around us. The sleep felt so good, but we needed to get driving again. I kept thinking how smart it was of us to leave the night before instead of waiting until morning. We would be in California before we knew it!
We made it to Eugene at 8:40 am, then at 10:10 am we stopped a little outside Florence to use a very nasty port o potty…it was dang stanky, but the view was amazing!
We were about to follow Highway 101 all the way to San Francisco, was loving the cold air of the ocean. It was raining and blowing, but that wasn’t going to stop us from stopping in lots of areas on the route. Fredy had never been down that way and we were definitely going to be tourists. Plus, every time I get close to or to the coast it totally recharges me, gives me my power back!
We starting to get hungry around 12:30, so we stopped at a restaurant on the coast that was pretty rustic. There was a guy there with his kids and he must have really loved his meal because after he finished his plate he burped…loudly! It was gross, the food wasn’t that good!
By 1:30 pm we were back on the road and trying to figure out the blue tooth stereo system in the car. I finally broke down and called my son to get some intel on the stereo…made me feel old. When I had him on the phone the blue tooth part of the system started to work, but when we hung up it stopped working…oh well, back to finding radio stations that weren’t in spanish or country music.
We made it the large Babe and Paul Bunyan statues. It reminded me of when my son was young and we went on a road trip down the coast and stopped to see those same statues and my son pointed up at what appeared to be Babe’s balls…make your own mind up after seeing the picture!
At around 4:30 pm on Wednesday we finally made it to the Redwood Forest. Ahhhhh…hugging trees again. It was still raining, and it seemed to start raining even harder when we parked the car and wandered thru the big trees. It was beautiful, peaceful and energizing all at the same time. Those trees always make me feel so good, and I had hoped that Fredy was feeling the same way. Recharging again…
We left the forest just as it was getting dark and drove as far down the highway as we could. The weather was so bad we couldn’t see two feet in front of the car. The two lane highway was flooding, and cars were driving on the other side of the highway and throwing water up on our windshield. the mustang is not the best rain car…the hood was way too long for us to see over it. we decided to get a room as soon as we could find one. I went on my trusty cell phone and found a hotel about 30 miles down the highway before I lost cell service.
Eureka! We made it to Eureka, California to get off the highway and to get some rest…and a shower! The hotel was so nice! Wish we could have explored the outside of the hotel in the daylight though! We could hear the ocean all night outside of our hotel window that we had opened. But we left really early the next morning. We needed to make it to Twenty Nine Palms before night fall.
It took us 15 and a half hours to get there, but we made it to our destination before 10 pm. We didn’t even stop for food…just snacks at gas stations. We encountered windy roads, whoopty do’s, shooting stars and soft shoulder road signs. We also stopped just before the golden gate bridge and drove up to some look out points! It was amazing to see the bridge. And then we drove over the bridge, the big beautiful bridge.
Every time I go thru or think of San Francisco three memories come to mind. One: When I was three my family moved to San Pablo, California for a year for my dad’s work. San Pablo is in the outskirts of San Francisco. I have some memories of that time in my life, but it’s limited. I do remember going to preschool there, and I also remember my mom’s sister Julie living with us for a while there as she was in the last couple years of her life. Two: taking a road trip vacation when I was thirteen with the family and driving by our old house and my dad getting honked at by the rude Californian drivers behind us. Three: When Quentin and I rode in a bicycle caddy on our way back from our tour of Alcatraz during a road trip to Disneyland! Now I have a fourth memory, of me and my love driving my child’s car thru the town.
Once we were close to the hotel, I texted Quentin to let him know we had arrived. He met us in the parking lot and kissed and hugged his Mustang! Not sure if he was happier that I was there or that his car was there. He gave us his key to the hotel room, and as we made our way to the room, Quentin took his car for a quick drive around the parking lot.
My parents were already in bed when we got to the room. Fredy went to bed as I stayed up to catch up with my son. Every time I’m able to catch up with him in person, it always humbles me to see the man that he has become. I’m so proud of him. So proud that he does what he wants, and lives in his own truth.
It took me years to realize that I needed to live my own life according to me, and I’m so happy that Quentin has realized it sooner then I did. So proud.
Friday morning we all woke up and went downstairs for the free hotel breakfast…not too bad in the way of food! Then as the parents went back to the room to relax, the rest of us went for a drive. We listened to not PC music in the Mustang while doing errands with Quentin. Miss those days.
Went back to the hotel and it was time to go take a tour of where Quentin had been living. It’s all secret squirrel what we saw there, so no comment on that.
We did get to shop at the store on base…christmas presents were purchased!
After the tour we went to an authentic mexican restaurant, amazing food…but no beer served there. But don’t fear…after lunch we went back to the hotel, and before pool time, we walked to the grocery store next door to our hotel and purchased beer. Ahhh, beer, sun, family and pool…heaven! Then to a BBQ restaurant…they all ate meat, and I didn’t.
After dinner we all decided to head back to the room and play virtual games on Quentin’s new gaming system. It was so much fun!
The next day the parents and Q drove Fredy and I into the Joshua Tree National Forest. It was amazing to see!!!
Then they drove us to the bus station an hour away. It was Fredy’s first time on public transportation…I told him it wasn’t going to be ghetto. But, I lied. There were all sorts of characters on the bus; druggies, moms smacking their kids, women talking loudly on cell phones about their indiscretions…typical bus behavior. It was awesome! We rode the bus five hours to Vegas.
Once we arrived in vegas we got an uber to the car rental place, then to I love sushi (cuz Fredy loves sushi), then to the hotel! I’ve never truly been in Vegas with a love before, always with the girls, so it was a new adventure for me.
We had an amazing night out on the town! Our flight was moved to Sunday night instead of dark o thirty on sunday morning. We spent the day driving around vegas. National parks, the pawn store, a venezualian restaurant, then to my new favorite restaurant, Texas de Brazil. Found a new favorite drink that I believe I can only get in Vegas…Cai Pirinha. Fredy ordered me the first one in lime, then I ordered the second one in Mango. So yummy!!!
Fredy and I then watched the sunset in the desert outside of Vegas, then returned the car to the rental place and took a shuttle to the airport.
We flew out around 10:30 pm then made it to seattle after midnight. We had to spend the night on an airport bench at Seatac. We woke up around 5 am to lots of people sitting around us drinking coffee and eating breakfast. We then took the 6 am shuttle to Burlington. Once we arrived home, we got a taxi to my house and we both had to work that day! What a whirlwind trip!!!
Lesson learned: When driving a mustang with tinted windows anywhere, be prepared to be asked to race on any stretch of road that has two lanes in the same direction.