Final west coast night

It has been a wild and incredible couple of weeks. My son and I have seen things we both always, yet never, imagined. I guess, maybe, life is like that – there are things you anticipate and others you can never expect. It seems all one can do is roll with it with as much grace as one can muster.

When my son and I initially started planning this trip, our primary goal was to see Seattle, do some hiking, perhaps see a friend a two. What the vacation turned into, though, was pretty different. There wasn’t nearly as much hiking as I had imagined, however, there were miles (10+ today) trekked. And the hills of San Francisco are no joke, by the way.

Our trip evolved organically. Quinn picked a beginning (Seattle) and I selected an end (San Francisco). We sketched out some things we wanted to see and made contact with friends with whom I hoped we might spend time. I made reservations for accommodations to book end our time and figured out a few nights with friends in between.

With plans in place for both Seattle and San Francisco, my son and I were both a little uncomfortable with the lack of much of a plan for Oregon. We were really interested in a seeing Crater Lake, but the threat of fires and a general sense of eagerness to get to California, prompted us to push through what I know is a scenic state far too fast. It was all about getting to San Francisco, especially after my son said he was excited to be there. Teens don’t often express enthusiasm, much less excitement. Take your parenting moments, people.

We spent a single night in Eugene and didn’t really even give that town a fair chance.

That’s kind of funny, actually, because I’ve recently felt a bit like Eugene myself.

But, I digress.

The drive through southern Oregon and Northern California was absolutely stunning. It isn’t often that an experience lives up to the hype, but this one most certainly did. The coast was ruggedly beautiful and the smell of the trees was intoxicating. The 32 mile Avenue of the Giants was magnificent and the swimming hole I double backed to access was as perfect as I imagined it would be. And don’t even get me started on the blackberries. Yum.

Creek life

Our five days and six nights in San Francisco went incredibly fast. There was so much joy and laughter and “bitching,” and wine! It couldn’t have been more fabulous. I’m not even kidding about that – it was the most idyllic location for a break up I’ve ever had.

I left Albany in love and return feeling the same way. I love the experiences I get to enjoy. I love the chance to take 2+ weeks away from home to expose my son to a world new to him. I love my life and can’t wait to see what’s next.

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