A story starts with one word on a blank page.
A painting starts with one brush stroke on a blank canvas
A journey starts with just one step.
For most people.
For me, before I take that step a journey starts with lots and lots of planning.
I wish I could be so fearless as to just jump in my car and let fate take me wherever it will, but that is not and never will be who I am. I would be worried the entire way about the who’s, what’s, when’s, and where’s.
I gotta have details.
So began the epic planning that preceded my epic journey. But that’s part of the fun.
I pretty much decided to cruise Pacific Coast Highway from LA to Seattle on a whim. It had been on my bucket list since before the bucket list had a name, but never bubbled up to the top before.
Everything in it’s time they say.
We had already done the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to Monterey when our daughter was little, but my hubby hated it (he’s not a coastal hairpin turns with traffic kind of guy) so it never really came up again.
But I didn’t have to worry about what everyone else thought about it, this was going to be a solo trip. My trip.
Kind of liberating.
I planned this trip so thoroughly that I’m quite sure I logged an embarrassing amount of time on Trip Advisor and You Tube.
It was a brand new feeling to have as much time as I wanted, and a purse of hush money that was completely outside of our household and savings budget.
God bless retirement!
A road trip of this magnitude also has to be about the conveyance.
I had traded in the Mom car for a convertible Mustang GT after my youngest started high school. I was going to have to rely on my pony (the Mustang) to take me 1800 miles over one of the most challenging roadways in America, so of course I had it checked for worthiness. I was good to go.
I googled what I would need for emergency road gear and assembled it along with personal needs and creature comforts.
In short, it took three weeks to eliminate every possible unknown, besides what awaited me on the journey itself.
Still the question looming larger and larger through every step still was, WILL I BE ALRIGHT ON MY OWN?
And still I had no answer.
I was certainly fine planning it on my own. It was refreshing actually. Not have to plan and pack for anyone else but me. Not something I had experienced for 35 years.
If I’d ever known, I had long since forgotten what it was like to be a free spirit.
A free spirit armed with maps (my pony is old school, no GPS), an itinerary, reservation confirmations AND apps on my phone for weather and road conditions.
Maybe not so much a free spirit.
As my focus was narrowed to my Next Big Thing, I noticed a subtle shift in the tensions in my marriage. Our conversations became easier. Our time together more valued.
One day while I was marathon gardening (had to get it planted before the trip), my hubby took the pony and had a Blue Tooth enabled stereo installed as an early Mother’s Day gift!
Really nice of him, and really nice to have music. I created a Pacific Coast Highway playlist.
As I was packing the car, I noticed a little stowaway trying to make herself as small as possible. I felt guilty not taking little Lucy, but I would be focused on her and besides, some of the places I had booked didn’t take animals. I would miss her terribly but she would be in good hands at home.
The only thing left to do was leave, so on the first Saturday in May 2013 I started what was to be one of the most enriching, empowering, and visually stunning weeks of my life.
BUT, WOULD I BE ALRIGHT ALONE?
I needed to know.
Next time dear diary – LA to Pismo Beach