So, in the middle of all the book-launch hubub, this happened:
Our little girl graduated from high school and is ready to go out into the world to conquer!
I can hardly believe how time is flying.
Just yesterday she looked like this on her first day of kindergarten:
And now she’s all grown up and heading out to college! How did that happen?
We’re hitting the road next week to take her, her brothers, her new comforter, a bunch of shiny new pens and pencils, towels, electrical cords, two bowls, a spoon/fork/knife, a shower caddy, winter clothes, her laptop, a desk lamp, a hamper, a wastebasket, a bunch of push-pins and frames, and all her other worldly belongings on a trek to her new school and her new life.
I hope to only cry a little bit.
(I’ll let you know how that goes…)
It’s dark. And late. And a Thursday night. And I’m standing in the parking lot of a California Pizza Kitchen laughing so hard there are tears rolling down my cheeks.
I’m standing there with two girlfriends — friends I’ve known since high school — and on this night, wiping the tears from all the laughter, just like every time I see them, I’m thinking Why don’t I do this more often?
But I sort of know why. It’s Work in the Morning. It’s Kids Have Practice. It’s Girl Scouts, and Baseball, and Water Polo, and Karate, and Full Time Jobs, and PTA, and School Shopping, and Soccer Practice, and Saxophone Concerts, and Gymnastics, and Football Games, and Cheer Competitions, and Tennis Matches, and All The Things that have kept us moms so busy for so many years.
Our kids are all about the same age. When they were all babies, or at least pre-schooling-age, we were still able to get together, my friends from high school. We’d let the kids play with each other while we all talked, or took walks, or crafted together, or whatever we felt like doing.
But as our kids grew older, we all drifted apart. Continue reading
Okay, back to the road trip:
Despite the fact I’ve lived in California all my life, I’ve never (as an adult) been north of San Francisco. And I’ve never (in all my years) been to Oregon or Washington.
So it was time to fix that.
I was so excited to see Northern California and higher: Napa! Redwoods! Oregon! Portland! Seattle! I couldn’t wait.
Unfortunately, Road Trip Day 2 began with some drama.
The drama: Nate had been feeling rather ill during the week leading up to the trip, and the first day we were on the road, he was feeling lightheaded. On the morning of Day 2, we drove through San Francisco to Café Roma, the café Superman and Rene loved most on our last trip there, and they began walking the steep San Fran hills to get their morning brew. But Nate and I stayed behind because he wasn’t feeling well. Continue reading
Before I go on telling about our most recent road trip, I want to interrupt myself to mention a thing we did on our last trip to San Francisco last fall, because it plays into the 2013 story. We took a really cool San Francisco food tour!
Chris and I had done a walking food tour in NYC, too (years ago), through Greenwich Village, and I wanted to try it in San Francisco when we visited last fall. It’s really fun to take a walking food tour — you get to walk through the local villages with a resident who knows everyone, and they introduce you to all the great mom-and-pop places and tell you little stories about the area.
In San Francisco, this was our tour guide, Blandina:
Man, I do love road trips!
We just finished a 10-day one that was fun, funny, tiring, relaxing, beautiful and adventurous all at once.
Our main goal on this trip: Get to Missoula to see oldest son in his college environment at the University of Montana.
But first: We decided to take a detour and go up the California coast this time so we could also see the Redwoods, Oregon, Seattle, and the Seattle-to-Missoula drive through Fourth of July Pass (Idaho) that he’s been taking and telling us about.
So, we were off! Continue reading