Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeward Bound

We’ve been slowly inching our way back towards home and to reality the last few days. It’s hard to believe our trip is almost over already and we’re both back to work on Monday.

Determined to continue to enjoy our vacation while heading home, we took a detour off the highway in California to drive along the coast for awhile. After a series of narrow, windy roads, we ended up on an even narrower, windier road that had our van just kissing the edge of cliffs. While the detour added on about five hours to our ETA, it was completely worth it. There were hardly any other vehicles on the road and the views were magnificent. Huge waves splashed against giant rocks jutting out from the water with mile after mile of whitecaps and rock cliffs.

We spent a night at an…interesting RV park. I cannot tell you how many times Gerry and I have arrived somewhere, looked around us, looked at each other, and started humming the song from Deliverance. This was one of those times. The mobile home for the owners was nestled in behind several rusty pickup trucks, an abandoned hot tub, several garbage cans, a huge mound of 20 or so garbage bags, a half-inflated rubber dingy boat and a collection of various tools and scraps of wood and metal. There were also a couple of shacks that teetered precariously on the edge of a cliff and looked like they’d keel over with the next big gust of wind. The place was full of campers and RVs but none of them looked like they’d been used in the last 20 years or so.

We should have just turned around and kept driving, but we didn’t. What kept us there was the view. We backed up into our spot, five feet or so from the edge of a rocky cliff. From there, we could look out at the endless ocean and down at the jagged rocks with the waves pounding against them (there was also part of a fence dangling over the edge five feet from us where land had once been—I ignored that). The view was worth having to cringe in the bathroom that looked like it was used more for flicking cigarettes and ashes into than anything else. For the sake of the view, I closed my eyes to everything else around us and just soaked it in.

And in the morning, Jaxon excitedly came and grabbed me from where I was washing dishes “Mommy! Hurry! You’ve got to see this!” When I got outside, I was shocked. Looking down from our cliffside, I was delighted to see a group of seals lazily sleeping away on the rocks below us. So cool! Yeah, I can hold my breath in a disgusting bathroom for this.

Last night was another memorable RV park after a day of driving through the Redwood Forest. This one was on the site of what used to be a drive-in theatre. Every Saturday, the owners hook up a projector and show movies still, but only for guests at the RV park. We were disappointed that we were there on a Wednesday and not a movie night, but still thought it was neat to be able to stay there. Since it was St Patrick’s Day, they had a free dinner for everyone with corned beef and cabbage. While we were at the dinner, one of the staff members mentioned that we should keep Jaxon up late because they were planning on showing Cars that night. It seems they also thought it would be a great treat for him.

So last night we cleaned the windows on our van, snuggled up with our pillows in our bed, and watched Cars on the drive-in screen. It was a great way to end the day, even though it did make for a very tired and cranky little boy for today’s drive.

Tomorrow we’re planning to hit the outlet stores in Seattle and then be home in time for supper and sleeping in our own beds again. It’s been an incredible adventure and I’m sad to see it coming to an end already. We made some incredible family memories and had a lot of really special times.

Every night at supper, we talk about what our favourite things have been on our trip. Here are some of them:

1. Disneyland (of course), specifically, getting wet on the rides at Disneyland.
2. Sand sledding at White Sands National Monument (and all the times we wiped out and rolled down the dune).
3. Our first bike ride of the trip where we stopped to look at the cacti up close.
4. Stopping on the side of the highway to climb a mountain (where Jaxon and I both landed on cacti and screamed in pain).
5. Indoor skydiving.

Now we just need to figure out a way to win the lottery so we can quit our jobs and do this traveling-around in a van thing fulltime. Hmm…any ideas?

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