By the numbers:
4965 miles on the Summer Road Trip III
12 nights Leslie and I were on the road
7 nights Blaire and Jenna were on the road with us
33 nights Jenna was "on the road" including her nights at camp
19 nights Blaire was away from home
10 states Leslie and I travelled through
7 states Blaire and Jenna travelled through (missing Nevada, Arizona, Utah)
A couple of impressions from SRTIII that will linger for a long time.
First, how well everyone got along despite being in close quarters for literally 24-7. Every mile, every meal, every hotel at night and in the morning we were together. A few very minor spats, but the key words being "few" and "minor spats." I am very proud of the girls for their road-princess attitudes, and not princess in the "she's a princess" negative type way.
Second, how social media added to the enjoyment of our trip. As many know Leslie and I were posting often on Facebook, and the girls were putting pictures up on their Instagram accounts. The comments from a wide range of friends and acquaintances from their having been where we are travelling to and sharing their experiences to positive comments enjoying our photos and travels. It seems like quite a few people were on our trip with us as their vicarious travels brought us pleasure that we could drive them around the country. Added to this are the numerous positive comments to me directly from those who have waded through my grammatical and spelling errors in this blog updating our progress. Thank you to everyone for our support and at times cheering us on.
Third, here's the sappy part, how blessed I am to have the perfect travel companion for this and every journey. If any young couple asks me for advice before they get married I think I will suggest they take a very long road trip, by car, and see how well they spend so much time together without a break or a place to go be by themselves. That Leslie and I can do this year after year says everything about our marriage, our compatibility and our love for each other and many of the same things in life.
We ended our journey driving from Medford, Oregon to San Francisco to see Dad, Ankie and sister Sharon. It was a beautiful day out on Dad's deck, sunny, slight breeze and about 65 degrees. We visited for a while and then it was back into the Honda Odyssey for a short hop to Novato and Sharon and her husband Bob's home for our final night of the trip. A fantastic dinner of grilled tri-tip, baked potatoes and salad with some wine from George Lucas' vineyard and we were well nourished for our final leg.
For the first time we drove south from Northern California to Long Beach on Highway 99 instead of I-5. It may have taken longer but it was a much easier and enjoyable drive. There are multiple stretches with three lanes, the agriculture diversity is better than I-5 and most importantly the drivers are far less aggressive.
Of course what made the drive more enjoyable for me was having satellite radio and listening to the final round of the PGA Championship from 9:00 to its conclusion just before we pulled to the curb around 4:30. Yes, golf on the radio--thankfully my travel companions were okay with it, the girls watching videos on my laptop and Leslie engrossed in a book.
At 4:30 we turned off the van and unloaded for the last time, on this trip. Already thinking of next year's trip. The girls haven't been to Colorado. And of course we were so close to the Canadian border this year, what about heading north and driving home through our northern neighbor? Hmmmm, decisions.....
|The girls with their Aunt Sharon who spent many years |
at Camp Birchwood as a camper and counselor
|Dad, aka Opa, with his girls on his deck in San Francisco|
|Almost home! Just before we climb in for the final leg|
from Sharon's in Novato to Long Beach