She had to ask

Standing at street’s edge; waiting for the light.

A dynamic, vibrant, bustling world class city.

Next to us a young woman stands, waiting.

Poised, stylish, together, confident in her own skin kind of way.

An unlit cigarette in hand.

The signature scarf worn in that effortless and elegant way;

the way of Parisian women.

We catch a moment’s contact of eyes

and then return to our impersonal, stoic forward stares.

Waiting.

I sense movement to my left and turn.

She leans in, so subtly in her graceful way.

Parlez vous Francais?

She had not pegged us as tourists.

There was the chance.

She had to ask.

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Non.

But my eyes said more.

Merci.

Merci beaucoup.

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If Trees Could Talk

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert


We know that when we invest our hard earned money in a long term vehicle – we hope that when we tuck it away in good faith that the next time we see it, that it will have (fingers crossed!) grown from a tiny amount into something more than it was at the start.  We may make deposits along the way, keeping our eye on things as we go. But, we are never quite sure that the yield will be what we hope.

A few weeks ago, Kiddo and I set out on our annual vacation; another road trip of ‘epic proportion’. While last year we pointed our GPS in all directions south, this year we turned it upside down and put our focus on all things north.

All in all, our travels took us 1121 miles over the course of 6 days and 2 states and while I try to plan trips so that the entire trip IS the trip, we had a featured destination. We were going to live in a Treehouse for a few days!

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Here we go!

En route, we toured a brewery (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, anyone?), walked across a one of a kind bridge (Sundial Bridge), saw rivers, mountains, lakes and even a volcano (Mt. Lassen) a dam (Shasta Dam) and a classic old mountain town (Dunsmuir). We saw GIANT trees, wildfires and Elk. Coastal fog and a working Lighthouse. What you hear about the shortage of water in Ca is true – the dam is 143 feet below the crest, the rivers once raging seem so lonely down in the nearly dry river beds in some cases.  In one day’s drive we had puffy white clouds, heat nearing 100 degrees, pure sunshine, fog, wildfire smoke and rain.

Upon arriving at our primary destination on day 2 we were enchanted! Part of a larger outfit called Out-n-About Treesort, we stayed at The Lilly Pad – a Bed and Breakfast ReTREET in Cave Junction, OR!  Tucked away in the forest on a private 13 acre wooded homestead, and 36 feet off the ground and built around an old Cedar tree which proudly boasts no less than 150 birthdays.

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The charm of The Lilly Pad was beyond compare, Kiddo and I were both like kids at Christmas running around getting acquainted with our digs. First up was “uploading” our gear via a simple but ingenious pulley system.  I love efficiency!  Once inside, we were met by a queen size bed with down comforters, a mini fridge, bunk beds. Lights, giant windows where  you can roll up the tarps and be one with the branches and birds. A coffee maker (good coffee in that mini fridge too, I might add!). A sink. A toilet. Good living up in those branches. And, at night the path is lit with rope lights that look more like fairy lights.

But perhaps its best amenity was the seclusion. The quiet. The call to disconnect and then connect with what is most important.

Kiddo and I played games.  Silly games. He discovered Parchesi and remarked about how old fashion games were made with such clever thinking.  We made up games.  We hung out in the hammock and took endless silly selfies. We pushed each other on the swings.  We hung out and talked. And talked. We talked about unplugging. About his love for video games. We tossed around a business pipe dream I have and he egged me on for over an hour, trying to flush out ideas, offering many of his own (good!) ideas. He taught me how to hula hoop. Yes, you read that correctly, my ten year old son taught his 40 something year old mama to hula hoop. (I’ve always wanted to learn!)

Deposits into that long term account were being made, I could hear the coins hitting the metal.

We signed up for the zipline course the next day, six platforms, tree to tree and across meadows.  I must be honest and tell you that I wasn’t sure who was the kid between the two of us; it was a total blast. But, by platform three, I could see the look on his face. I know my Kiddo.  He was done. But to be done, he had to complete one more line from platform four – from 50ft off the ground up in a tree.  I left him standing there, went first and then got to watch him zoom in, performing each part of the process perfectly.  He did it. He was brave and held on and had a great zip. But, he knows himself and his limits and quietly said, “that’s it mom.”

I nodded and hugged him and told him how proud of him I was.  Then, I went on to complete the final two lines.  Whee-hooo!  So, this time, he grabbed my phone and took the pictures.

Later, we talked about limits, and comfort zones, and fun and trying and challenges.  And knowing ourselves.

Ching. Ching.  More deposits.

As we ventured on in our trip, we stayed in a couple of Airbnb.com homes.  We were welcomed by such gracious hosts and I felt grateful for being able to show my son a way of travel that is not always synonymous with the word tourist.  I got sick for a day or two and while that definitely is not a travel tip I suggest, you who have been reading here for awhile know me to be of the mindset that these are the things that become the stories. “Oh, remember the year my mom got sick on the road trip?!”  And, it revealed to me a kindness and compassion in my son that again reminds me what is most important here.  As I apologized profusely to him for missing a cool adventure because I about passed out from some kind of food poisoning, he simply said; “don’t let it take you over mom, things happen.”

Needless to say, the rest of the trip was a little subdued while I rallied. We drove through beautiful redwood forests, saw trees that made our 150 year old Cedar Tree look like a toddler. Hours in the car and giant trees are not high on the woo-hoo list for any ten year old, mine included. We talked, ate cherry sours (once I could stomach them again!), played Fact or Fib, traded air time for our playlists (which have many of the same songs!) and talked some more. We got serious when my son asked me about regrets in life.  What mine are, what his are.  I was honest and let him in on a few things I would rather erase completely. That’s how it is with regrets.

Ka-ching.

As we went on a short hike through the  Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, there were a few grumbles and groans about taking this hike in the first place. I promised there would be no more hikes (trust me, I was feeling about 40% at this point) but that it was important to see these amazing trees, that people come from all over to see them, learn from them and just stand and feel small in their midst. I also laughed and told Kiddo that I knew I would have to wait about 20-30 years before he would really get it.

And that I was willing to wait.

 

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It became clear to me in that moment what this trip was all about. We had some of the coolest moments of all time. We also had some miserable moments and we had some pretty boring, mile after mile moments.  But together we logged not just miles. Not just experiences. Not even just memories. Seeds were planted, quietly. Deposits made into my most important, most valuable investment of all time.

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A Horse, Of Course

The root word of courage is cor – the Latin word for heart.  In one of it’s earliest forms, the word courage has a very different definition than it does today.  Courage originally meant
To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

It seems that lately, the notions of bravery and courage are all around me, all around us, really. Sara Bareilles, in her song, “Brave” implores us to “let the words fall out“;  Katy Perry sings in “Roar” how she ‘went from zero, to my own hero” and Brene Brown writes in her book “The Gifts of Imperfection”

“Courage is a huge theme in my life. It seems that either I’m praying for some, feeling grateful for having found a little bit, appreciating it in other people, or studying it. I don’t think that makes me unique. Everyone wants to be brave.”

Last weekend, I knew I had to get away, get some space, get out of my routine and environment. Shake things up a bit. I sought out a location within driving distance but one that doesn’t hold too many associations or memories. One that would set the stage for exploration and the distractions that come with needing to pay attention on how to get there and where things are and what to do. One that would invite engagement with new people. One that would make my camera as happy as my soul. I drove nearly four hours to the rugged coastline in Northern California, a place I hadn’t seen in thirty years. (I am still not entirely certain how it is that I am old enough to have a nearly adult memory that is from thirty years ago? )

The time away was everything I needed it to be and as things often go, so much more. In the midst of my explorations, I discovered the opportunity to go horseback riding on the beach.  Without hesitating, I signed myself up for the adventure and didn’t give it much more thought.

Until.

Until I was sitting up on top of that beautiful animal, that thousand pound beautiful animal. And I recalled that the last time I was on a horse was in 1991, in the high Sierra’s on a very narrow rocky trail at 10,000 feet elevation. My mind immediately recalled the white knuckle feeling of that day, certain that horse was going to fall off the side of the mountain, with me attached to the saddle. Exhale. I am here to tell the tale!

My inner anxiety showed up and dammit if I wasn’t nervous about whether or not I could manage this horse. Immediately, I began the self talk: “Bon, these horses carry new riders every day”; “Bon, their insurance policy would be astronomical if these horses were dangerous“; “Bon, just be in charge of the horse, it needs to know you aren’t nervous“, “Bon, it’s only a few hours, for crying out loud, you’ll be fine“, and on and on.

I am saddled up on my horse, who by the way is a beautiful mare named Cloud. I am loving this, of course, because, wait for it, Bonnie & Cloud? Get it? Bonnie and Clyde? Close enough. I figure, it’s meant to be. Our trail guide begins giving some instructions to the small group of us, a family of four and me, as to who would go first and so on. I am instructed that Cloud likes to ride last, because, well, she likes her space.  I realize in that moment, that Bonnie & Cloud are going to get along just fine.  I planned this weekend’s get away because I really needed some space, and I get matched up with Cloud, who needs her space? Check.  Then the barn owner says, ‘Cloud knows her job very well, she’s completely reliable and could do this with her eyes closed”  Again, I am totally getting Cloud and I am pretty certain Cloud gets me. Who needs online dating; just sign up to go horseback riding.

Cloud

Cloud

The ride is gorgeous; we follow a meandering wooded trail, fresh from the deluge of the prior day’s storm.  It’s not long before the view opens up and all we see in front of us is beach, ocean, waves and the gorgeous blue sky.

See how far back we are...

Notice the ‘space’ between Cloud and I and the rest of the group 🙂

We make our way down onto the beach and follow along for awhile. My nerves are melting away, replaced with a smile on my face, really kind of a silly grin, that because we are of course, way in the back, no one can see. We have our space.

I am free.

Once out on the sand, we move along at a comfortable pace. We stop, take photos, enjoy the view. Along with people walking along the beach, reading books and walking their dogs. Tiny dogs, tiny barking dogs, tiny barking dogs yanking at their leash who spook a horse over a thousand pounds, who’s rider is an 11 yr old girl. Victory, the horse, can’t take the barking and rears and kicks and the young rider can’t hold on- she’s up and over and in the air and then on the sand before we realize what’s happened. I am behind her parents and they remain calm as she gets up, brushes off the sand, looks to her mom for reassurance and then gets.back.up.on.that.horse. Just like that. And we resume our ride.

I am impressed.

I am thinking about my 10 yr old kiddo. Would he have gotten back on? Would I have gotten back on? I know many adults who wouldn’t have. I tell her mom, riding just in front of me, as much.  I am of course thinking about this as we ride, thinking of how this experience will be part of that girl’s life forever, grateful on her behalf that this is now part of her, something she can can lean on in other moments that scare the shit out of her.  That she saw what she’s made of, even if she doesn’t realize it yet.

I make a mental note to be sure to tell her how impressed I am.

As we make our way back, we are on a pathway shared with walkers and cyclists.  As a couple ride by on their bikes, Cloud becomes skittish and abruptly turns towards the surf; I can feel all of her energy underneath my saddle, and I think to myself, “oh shit, here we go…”  I think about the 11yr old and something in me just calmed, and took the reins and pulled back gently. I think I probably said something to Cloud (and I am certain she understood me!). And thankfully, she opted out of her wild idea to go galloping down the beach. A woman always reserves the right to change her mind.

I exhale.

All the while, in my delightfully solo spot in the back of our little group, I am pondering a difficult conversation I know I need to have, and my trepidation about having it. Thinking about being brave.  Frustrated that I have to ponder it so much first.  Thinking about telling about my heart. Wondering if I should.  Thinking about an 11 yr old girl who got back on the horse. Another cyclist approaches; I turn around and tell the guy; ‘my horse here, she doesn’t really like bikes today…” but he didn’t hear me and  before I knew it, Cloud was jumpy again.  I was prepared, feet in the stirrups, reins in hands and ready to run if that’s what Cloud needs. Sometimes we just feel like jumping out of our own skin. I get it.

She’s cool.

When we returned to the barn, I tell the owner what a great experience it’s been. We laugh about Cloud’s aversion to the bikes; she sees those bikes every damn day.  It reminds me of the phrase we use sometimes when dealing with things we don’t like, “yeah, I know, but I don’t have to like it!”.  I comment about Cloud and say something about what a sweet horse she is; how well we were matched and the owner roars with laughter and says, “Oh, Cloud is not sweet. She’s strong, she’s reliable, she’s great with riders, but sweet? Don’t let her fool you; but, she is brave.

I am perplexed.

My face said it all, I am guessing, because the owner continues: “…that she prefers to ride last says it all. It’s the most dangerous place in the line – the most vulnerable to threat. She needs her space, but she can handle the risk“.

I took this gift, this experience, with me and headed back down to the ocean. I thought about the 11 yr old girl some more. I thought about the match up with Bonnie & Cloud. I thought about the conversation I needed to have.

I thought about what it means to be brave.  

Bonnie & Cloud

Bonnie & Cloud

Everyone wants to be brave.

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The Third Dimension

It’s a common comment among those of us who have been fortunate to have found a sense of, albeit unexpected, community by way of blogging. Finding kindred spirits in the spaces between the keys on our keyboards, by simply joining the conversation, one often started in the quiet of our minds, one that sometimes feels that it is just between our keyboards and fingers. We come across the words of another and find a resonance, something that feels familiar, puts words to something we have felt or experienced but haven’t yet found a way to articulate, or knew that we even could.

It is not news to say, that friendships have been formed, and bonds created, because we dare greatly, in this space. At least, I know that I do. I risk sharing from a place that often finds no other outlet.

To me, blogging is one dimensional at this point.  We write. We read.

If we are lucky our words jump off the screen and into the mind and thoughts of another. Even luckier, when as writers, we find out that our words, strung together like a strand of popcorn on a holiday tree, have an impact on at the very least, one other soul.

Connections are formed, and bonds begin to weave a web throughout blogland. Across miles, states, cities, time zones and even the international date line. We start to recognize each other in ways that both surprisingly and not surprisingly at all, feel so familiar.

Then, with some, we start to go beyond the boundaries of blogland, when we go off blog, ironically. When we realize that our posts, comments and the extra layers of conversation compel us to somehow require more conversation. More than can be contained or conveyed in a comment.

In jumping over state lines from comments to emails and messages, our blogs become two dimensional.

Last year I created my virtual bloggin’ road trip because I knew I needed to know some of these incredible people, I really wanted to take blogging into the third dimension and found the closest way to achieve this, if only virtually. If I could, I would in a New York minute load up my little Triumph and hit the open road, and ring some doorbells.To allow the opportunity for real time talk. In person.

I have just returned home from a trip down the east coast, working my way from NYC through Pennsylvania, and Delaware to end up in Northern Virginia, aka, Mimi’s neighborhood by way of planes, trains and automobiles. I emerged from Union Station in DC, with no need of a taxi or metro because instead, Waiting for me was Mimi and the awesome Karma Truck! Guys, it’s as awesome as it seems!

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What a cool moment, seeing her petite but magnanimous self waving at me from behind the wheel as I made my way to her with my 6’4″ nephew in tow, carrying my suitcase like a true young gentleman.  He’s studying at one of my old stomping grounds and I got to buy a poor starving college student a couple of beers at a fancy bar in a fantastic city.

Quick introductions between Michael and Mimi – imagine introducing someone that you are only just meeting?!  Fun! And then quick goodbyes between Michael and I.

How does one describe what happens next? Let’s just say it was awesome. How’s that? Kind of surreal too, let’s be honest, to be inches away, and hear the voice behind the sentences on the screen. The eyes twinkling. The smile on Mimi can light up a room! The mannerisms, the inflection. The conversation that was already real, just got that much more real. And true to form, Mimi wasted no time. In moments, we launched into a conversation that had been started and interrupted on email…Mimi just says, “ok, there is a lot to catch up on. Tell me about…” and off we went. Words flying back and forth. Nodding. Hmm-mmm-ing. Laughing. Agreement. Clarification. More. Stories.  Then, I got to meet Bogey and the Sirs. And Andy. And get a real sense of the amazing person driving that amazing Karma Truck. It was worth waiting for.

In the comfort of Mimi’s kitchen, it was blogging in in 3-D! Face to face. In the same room. Sustained conversation that flowed naturally and freely. I found myself realizing that the posts we have each written and read, are already part of our shared history. As if we had told those stories at that very kitchen table. When the frame of reference predates the time of meeting.

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Bogey – more adorable than I could capture!

At the end of our visit, while taking Bogey out to do his business, I asked Mimi if she had been nervous at all, about my visit. She was not. I was. But not for the reasons you might suspect. Friends of mine who do not blog, expressed mild surprise with  my plan to visit- and stay – with someone I had never met in person. I tried  to explain this community we have, but it’s just not easy. You may have found yourself trying to do the same at some point, and if you have found a way to convey all of this, let me know. Please? I was nervous that in real life, in the third dimension, that I would not be the person she had come to know in the first and second dimensions. That I would possibly disappoint. Mimi has answered that, eloquently and exquisitely, as no one but her can.

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This sits proudly in the cozy room where Mimi’s friends settle in for the night

I will gladly hop aboard the Karma Truck anytime, or wave it down with open arms if I see her come rolling down my street! Thank you Mimi, and yes, Friend:Good. Very good.

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And The Results are…

So, now that the Kiddo and I have been back from our Summer Bloggin’ Road Trip 2013, for two whole weeks [how did that happen?!] we’ve unpacked, gone back to work, back to school and the homework is piled on!  The three R’s seem to somehow multiply grade by grade! The new soccer cleats have been properly annointed with dirt and grass.  But, before we get fully immersed in post-vacation life, we need to announce some winners and award some swag!

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, however, let’s  review a little round up about California facts and trivia! I am impressed with the game play, googling, guessing and all around fun.

To recap, roadies, here are the questions and their answers!

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CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA:

QUESTION #1 (3pts)
Name one of the islands found in the San Francisco Bay. Bonus points if you can name more than one!

There are many more than I ever knew!  Some of the most well known are:
Angel Island, Mare Island, Yerba Buena Island, Treasure Island, Alcatraz Island, Alameda Island

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QUESTION #2  (2pts)
True or False?  California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.

(A few of us debated where the bulk of that wine actually goes…)

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QUESTION #3 (4pts)
CA is riddled with laws and litigation, so today’s question is inspired by today’s fun and games! Fill in the blank:
In California, in Los Angeles county, it is against the law at house parties to _________________.

a. serve alcohol
b. show home videos*
c. eat fruitcake
d. charge admission

*It was a general consensus that b. show home videos should be the answer…

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QUESTION #4 (4pts)
What small. CA town is considered the Earthquake Capital?

This question was largely overlooked AND caused some controversy – mostly among those of us who believe that we grew up in the town considered the Earthquake Capital of the World. Apparently, Google has other ideas.
The intended answer was Hollister, CA with an also acceptable answer of San Juan Bautista.  Parkfield?  Google, really? 18 people live there, what do they know. So, this question is tossed!

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BONUS ROUND (3 pts):
Which of the following CA towns is known as the artichoke capital of the world?

A. Greenfield
B. Barstow
C. Castroville
D. Artoville

Bonus bonus (extra 1pt) if you’ve ever HAD an artichoke!!

I was happily impressed learning that some of you very far away from little ol’ Castroville have enjoyed artichokes, and that some of you promised to try one! I know who you are and I don’t forget these things!

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QUESTION #5 (4pts)
Hearst Castle took 28 years to complete, and was designed by the famous and foremost female architect in California. Who was she?

A. Julia Morgan
B. Julia Roberts
C. Julia Stiles

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We had a total of 6 possible questions, bonus rounds included, for a grand total of 21 possible points.  

So, is the suspense killin’ ya?

and a drumroll please..

and a drumroll please..

And the winners are….

Who could it be?

Who could it be?

In first place, from nearly 2,000 miles away from California is
Liz, from Food For Fun!

And in second place, and from even further away, is
Lori, from Donna & Diablo!

Seems, the L’s have this one!
(Congrats ladies! -see what I just did there?  – You will need to send me a private message with your mailing address so that The Kiddo and I send your swag!) 

I loved all of your answers and it just made the trip extra special with y’all along for the fun and games!

But wait there is more!

I promised a random prize to someone, just for being a good sport and playing along!
So, everyone who took at least one guess got their name tossed in my Annie Oakley hat and The Kiddo pulled one name and dun-dun-dun…

…It’s Rick, our fantastic SF tour guide and Lyft driver!

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Notes From the Road

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Summer Bloggin’ Road Trip 2013

We’re baaaack!  

The photo above captures it all for me; the easy breezy carefree feeling of cruising down the highway, just The Kiddo and I, and the natural beauty we enjoyed in so many spots along the way.

I had a loose plan; a general itinerary of points A to B to C, etc., but when I asked Kiddo as we set out if he wanted to know the plan, or be surprised as we went along, he surprised me and said he wanted to find out as we rolled on down the road.  I suppose that it’s true, how apples don’t fall far from the tree; I love spontaneity and was thrilled he was on board for what we came to jokingly refer to Mama’s Mystery Tour!

A few notes from the road:

  • Apparently, a pound of cherry sours is not enough for a 9 day, 18 city, 871 mile trek through California.
  • An impaired cell phone, that loses GPS signal more often that it finds one, could very easily resemble a frisbee.
  • As fun as all the driving was, it seems that being behind the wheel for many days is not good for the waistline!
  • Blogging from impaired cell phone mentioned above requires the use of a part of the brain I didn’t know existed!
  • My blogging friends have great taste in music!  We had so much fun with all the tunes on our Road Trip Song List, and a special shout out to Lori for the awesome mix CD that accompanied us all along.

If you happen to catch the road trip bug, here are a few items that you might want to pack for your next trip:

  • Roadtrippers.com:
     Co-founders James Fisher and Tatiana Parent suffer from an incurable case of wanderlust. So, they decided to design a web and mobile platform that streamlines discovery, planning, booking and navigation into one engaging road trip planner. (This is how I learned about Googleplex and the Steve Jobs garage!)
  • Waze:
    (Shout out to Rick for showing me this great app at the front end of the trip!)

    Waze is the world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
  • Gas Buddy:
    GasBuddy can help you find cheap gas prices near you

The not-nearly-as fun-as-packing-unpacking is almost done, back to work today, school starts Tuesday, photos to edit are waiting patiently for my attention, but in these moments of being back, I am simply savoring the experience. The time out on the open road with my kiddo. Great adventures. Making memories. Creating new inside jokes. Seeing new places and old places through new eyes. Experiencing a rite of passage together. Having my son get to spend time with an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a granddad and more friends than I can count on two hands, all in one road trip.

And, while sitting on the beach in the photo above, our almost last stop, I quietly said, ‘what a great trip, huh honey?” not really expecting a nine yr old to answer directly. But he did. Oh did he.

“Best trip ever, mom.”

What kind of tour guide would I be, if I didn’t give you one last highlight? If you are viewing this on a Apple/Mac, an iPad, or iPhone, or listen to your tunes with an iPod, well this is where all those devices were, in a sense, born.  On the way home, our last ‘stop’ – we only stopped long enough for me to snap a photo – was a drive-by of the house where Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage!  We saw Googleplex and I wanted The Kiddo to see how something so big can start out so ordinary, so small.

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It all started in that garage

We are still working on the CA Dreamin’ Travel Trivia scores and the results [including the answers!] will be posted later this week.  I might even have a side-trip post or two; we shall see!  And, don’t forget, we have prizes!  In the meantime, thank you for riding along with us; it was so fun to have you as part of this experience, your comments and (sometimes humorous) trivia answers added SO much to our expedition.  I will leave you with a road trip song list highlight…the first time this song played, we were just heading out of San Francisco…thank you Lori!

…zoom-zoom…

Bonnie & The Kiddo

A Castle, A Campus and A Coast

Hello Roadies!

Though we are out of cherry sours, and may have slowed our pace ever so slightly, the adventures continue and the road trip carries on…

…a castle …
We spent a day looking into the lives of the rich and famous in an era gone by. Hearst Castle, visioned and built by none other than William Randolph Hearst is nothing short of opulent, stunning and rich with detail. It took 28 years to complete the masterpiece!

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Hearst Castle

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The Neptune Pool – come for a swim!

…a campus…
Our next stop was a look back and a look forward. We visited the university I attended for my graduate program. It was a study in contrasts – witnessing the incredible changes made on the campus over the years since my last visit, contrasted with the parts that remain not only unchanged but incredibly familiar; it was exciting to see the improvements and comforting to feel at home. But, it wasnt just a stroll down memory lane, it was also seeing it through the eyes of my friend who now works for this university and will be part of future change and so many young lives. And… exposing The Kiddo to life on a campus and all that his future may hold.

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The halls of academia

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My old building, with a ‘fresh’ face!

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Kiddo, I can just ‘see’ you here!

…a coast…

And yet another study in contrasts; one coastline but two different experiences. Just minutes apart but one is socked in with a freezing damp marine layer and the other glimmering in the sunshine. We have one more day in this seaside gem, guess which beach we are choosing?!

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Pismo Beach

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Avila Beach

And now, for your
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #5 (4pts)

…Googling encouraged… 🙂

Hearst Castle took 28 years to complete, and was designed by the famous and foremost female architect in California. Who was she?

A. Julia Morgan
B. Julia Roberts
C. Julia Stiles

The Road Trip is nearing the end of the road, but we may have one or two things still up our sleeves…you will just have to keep riding along! We love having you along for the ride 🙂

Until next time, you know..
Safe travels: wheels, heart, mind and soul.

Bonnie & The Kiddo