Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Join Me On A Twenty Fifth Anniversary Repeat of a Road Trip!

Twenty Five years ago, in July, 1987, my dear friend Karen and I decided to tag a few days onto the end of a conference trip in Los Angeles and take a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco.
In 1987 I was a busy mother of 2 young daughters, working as an RN in Labor and Delivery, teaching childbirth education classes part-time, and the idea of stealing a few days and taking a road trip was both guilt-soaked and exciting.  Our joke was that, when it came to guilt trips we were both "frequent flyers".  Isn't this true for most working mothers?
Karen and I set off in our rental car heading north.  Soon, we were singing out loud, pulling off the road for photo ops, and finally relaxing for the first time in, well, awhile.

We repeated this trip 3 or 4 years ago, bringing our mutual friend Billie along.

This year, (and you KNOW we had to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that first adventure!) we decided to head north out of Oakland and explore the area around Mendocino, working our way south.
Our lives have changed so much since that first trip:  I added another child and moved far away from my hometown (the only place I had lived), Karen was widowed and subsequently remarried, parents died, children grew up.  Now, Karen is anticipating the birth of her first grandchild.  We head south to co-host (along with her daughter's best friend) a baby shower in Los Angeles.  I'm hanging a show at the Long Beach quilt festival on the far end of this adventure.  Please, come along with me.
We are celebrating our lives, our friendship, and the joy of living each moment with intent and finding those exquisite moments along the way.

Day One (Sunday):  Karen flew from Kansas City, and I from San Antonio.  We met in the airport, got our rental car and drove north.  We realized that this was the longest we have gone without seeing one another since I moved to Texas in 1997.  It has been a year!  Needless to say, the radio stayed off and we talked nonstop.  As we moved north we enjoyed the gorgeous drive.  I hadn't been much further north than San Francisco so I look forward to seeing everything along the way.

When we arrived in Mendocino and found our B&B, no one was there.  The proprietor left a key and an envelope for us. We were taken aback to discover that our "room" was located elsewhere on a different property.  What?  Let's just say we were underwhelmed when we found it.  We agreed that we would prefer sleeping in the car to being in that place.  After some intense internet activity we located a couple of possible alternatives and off we headed down the highway!
We settled on Stanford Inn by the Sea, and this place has been a honey.
Dropped our bags in the room and we drove back into town to the evening performance at the Mendocino Music Festival.
We were uncertain about the vegan restaurant, but trust me when I tell you that the food in this place is amazing.  Much of it is grown in their vast gardens, and the ornamental gardens are equally amazing.  Other than breakfast and sleeping we haven't spent much time on the property, but I like that they allow dogs in the restaurant (under the table).
Part of the view from our balcony.

along the bannister outside our door.
A fun start to our trip!
We went from hot to cool weather.  Feels great!

Viver Brasil performed last night.

My breakfast:  portobello benedict. 
Absolutely delicious!
wild raspberries and an unidentified pink flower.
Anyone know what it is?
After breakfast we drove east of Mendocino on an increasingly narrow road.  We had just about convinced ourselves we were lost when we finally saw a sign for Montgomery Grove.  We parked and hiked up a (very) steep trail.
This image is to prove that we still have KROG
(KR, outdoor girl) in our midst!
These spider webs fascinated me:  they looked like little hammocks.

The shell of one of the giants

Can you see me? 

Evidence of a fire marked many of the trees.

There were several huge trees on the floor of the grove.
We were captivated by the sculptural roots,
now covered in moss.

This one reminded me of a giant coral

Tomorrow we head south to Pacific Grove.  It is a long drive and we hope to do most of it on Highway One.  We may skip around the SF-area to avoid the traffic.  Stay tuned!

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