|Two weeks on the road?|
That's the very same question I asked. I mean, don't get me wrong, I grew up taking road trips with my family when I was young. We didn't take vacations by airplane. However, most of our road trips only covered three states: North Carolina (where I'm from), South Carolina, and Tennessee. To be honest, most of the trips were from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. Those are my fondest memories of road trips.
That being said, I usually travel by plane now. You see, my husband has worked for an airline for twenty-five years now. It's actually cheaper for us to fly somewhere than it is for us to drive. Gas costs money, you know, and usually more money than it takes to just a rent a car for a week in a city we can fly to.
I have traveled internationally and love it and, when given a choice for vacation for the summer, I usually opt to go abroad. This summer was no exception. My husband and I had planned and saved for six months to go to Israel to visit some friends. We were supposed to be there for two weeks. These are the same friends who lovingly hosted me for a week last summer in Italy before they moved to Israel the following autumn. We were very excited about seeing Israel for the first time with our friends, but the closer it got to the time to go, the worse the flight availability looked. You see, while we love the benefit of "flying free," we can only do so when there are seats available. Needless to say, there weren't seats available for us to go to Israel during the time period we needed.
Was I disappointed? Of course, but...I'm also used to changing plans due to flying standby. You see, even after all these years of flying standby, I still consider it quite a wonderful privilege. I don't take it for granted. I've seen things I never thought I'd ever see. I'm very blessed. So, with our plans for Israel off the table, my husband and I began trying to come up with "Plan B."
After learning our original plans fell through, I decided I really didn't care to get on a plane at all. Not this time. Not this particular vacation. I didn't really know what I wanted to do. When I told my husband this, he suggested we drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. It sounded interesting, so I let him show me possible routes on a map. We talked it over, I mulled it over, and...I still wasn't sure I wanted to spend two weeks on the road.
What convinced me?
I talked to several friends who had seen the different areas of the country we would be going to see. They all raved about how wonderful their favorite places were, and they just knew I'd love it. I guess I still seemed a bit unsure about agreeing to it, so - as the last week of school wrapped up - my friends continued to talk up the trip to me. They gave me great hints and suggestions and promised me I'd love it.
Once I agreed, my husband immediately took care of all the things we needed to have a good, safe trip. I should tell you what I mean by that. It means he made sure the Jeep was in good working order, he took out the back seat completely, and he made plans to secure the house while we were gone and asked our neighbor to gather our mail. That's it. We had no "official" plan, that was the beauty of it. We were going to take it day by day and decide - as we went - where we wanted to go, where we wanted to stop, and when we wanted to stop. It was one of the best decisions we ever made for a vacation.
(Because this was a two-week trip, it's too much to write about in one blog post. I have decided to post a little each day this week about different parts of the trip and include pictures to go with each part.)