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And 2000 miles later…

It was such an easy decision. Flying to a wedding in California- with the cost of airfare on 4 seats, hauling 3 car seats, paying extra for checked bags, renting a car, getting to and from the airport- somehow all of that seemed so much more difficult than just driving to a wedding in California. Not to mention cheaper. Besides, this allowed us more time to get away, to make this into a real vacation. If you would have told me that logic jargon 5 hours into the trip, after we had stopped about 15 times and had only made it to Portland, I would have been strongly vying for the original option of flying. But no, I sat in the driver’s seat, munching on organic cheezy puffs and playing around on Facebook while the guy at the car rack store attempted to shim our roof rack, which was progressively separating from the car as we cruised down the highway. Yup, this was a bad idea. Then a friend in Seattle, via Facebook, suggested we check out a Kid-Friendly Brewery in Portland. That just happened to be exactly 0.4 miles away from us (according to Google Maps). So we adapted. We called Matt’s Brother-in-Law (it was his Birthday) and took him out to this awesome little Brewery (called Laurelwood, by the way, you should check it out). Because that is what this trip was supposed to be about- flexibility and people. We had no set schedule, only our self-imposed expectations. We quickly learned how strongly we had held those, and how limiting they were when we pridefully attempted to uphold them even when reality dictated otherwise.

So from there we sailed by the seat of our pants. And it was great. Where are we staying tonight? I dunno. Let’s find a cool campsite. Who are we seeing today? I dunno. Let’s Facebook them. We hit up parts of California we had both wanted to go to when we were California Residents, and never did. Day 1 we made it to Southern Oregon. Day 2 we camped at Clear Lake outside of Mendicino County. Day 3 we stayed with friends in San Francisco. Day 4 we attended the wedding of a very dear friend from college and stayed at a sweet Beach House in Santa Cruz through the morning of Day 6. Day 6 we stayed in Berkeley. Day 7 we camped at Lake Shasta. Day 8 we slept in our own beds.

I can’t say the trip was not without hardship. These girls spent a lot of time in their carseats. We watched Tinkerbell movie on the iPad about 8 times too many. There was lots of whining. There were lots of bathroom stops. All of our patience was tried on numerous occasions. Things never went as planned. But overall, we had a blast. I wish it could have been longer. I could have sat in the sun on the roof deck of that Beach House for another week. Like most of our travels, I surely want to go back. The best thing about trips like this is the dear, dear people we get to visit with. This trip was no exception.

There are a lot of images following, though this was 1 of the 3 cameras I was carrying (the rest of the film is at the lab), so I will exclude much commentary and let the pictures speak for themselves:

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[The first & most important stop after crossing the CA state line]

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[Camp at Clear Lake, absolutely beautiful campground]

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[Our car battery went dead here. Twice. I wonder why...]

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[These next three shots are destined for big wall prints]

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[We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge, but all three girls were asleep at this point and completely missed it. Therefore we didn't stop & all the pic's are through our bug-riddled windshield. Thankfully Matt had never been across it either, so at least one of us benefitted from the experience]

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[I call this one: Seattle Style rocks California Sun]

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[This was our view from the house rental in Santa Cruz. One house and a street to the beach]

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[Heading back north we camped at Lake Shasta, a place I have really wanted to go to. We could have stayed a lot longer, it was really beautiful!]

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[the end]

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