Morgan Hill? which is were we are right now. Woo-hoo!!!
The Blossoms family, less two buds, are having a vacation in this city next to San Jose. Too bad Gino and Mickey weren't able to join us because of work. At first, I myself was undecided about this trip also because of work, but now I believe I needed this break.
Heeding some friends' advice, we decided to get a rental car instead of taking the van. Renting may be more expensive than driving our own, but considering wear-and-tear and mileage, it seemed more practical in the long run to rent a car for a trip like this. We paid extra for comprehensive insurance. Peace of mind costs money sometimes...
We left Saturday night and slept over at my mother's apartment in Seattle. This gave me time to chat with her once again and do my pedicure. I did my fingers too! I can't remember the last time I had a manicure. I think I was still single then. Hahahah... Now my nails on my toes and fingers are solid pink with white spots. Fancy!! My mother gave me the idea.
We left at 4:30 the next morning and began a 17-hour trip to California. Bud drove most of the way. I only volunteered to take the wheel when he was already dangerously sleepy somewhere in Oregon. I was reluctant to drive. First, I didn't know the route. Second, I wasn't familiar with the car, a new Ford Crown Victoria, the model used as a police car. I'm used to driving an aging Honda Accord, not one that glides on the road and has push button everything. It was making me car-sick. Nevertheless, I tried to overcome my fear and let Bud sleep for a while.
"Pa'no ba 'to paatrasin?" I asked as I was trying to back up from the parking lot at a rest stop. I didn't know how to use the shift stick located behind the steering wheel. My car had it on the floor. After getting a little help from Bud, I drove off. Within a short time, I was enjoying the car.
I was the driver for almost two hours on a very scenic part of Interstate 5. Mountains, trees, hills, winding roads... The forests were so lush and green. Lovely!
I drove carefully. For me, the road signs "65 mph radar enforced" or "patrolled by aircraft", are very effective speed deterrents. At lunchtime, I parked at a rest stop and handed the wheel over to Bud.
Gabriel complained of a headache and carsickness, and we had a long way to go. Both him and Markus kept asking how many more hours to San Jose. Bud and I were having body aches.
We took several short stops along the way to gas up, stretch, rest, eat and use the washroom. If we hadn't been aiming to reach our destination before dark, which was between 9-10 pm, we might have stopped longer.
We were on I-5 for a long time. I think it was already in Sacramento, CA when we started to take different freeways--505, 680, 101--to get to Morgan Hill.
Past 8 pm, nearing San Jose, the boys were already very restless and impatient. Bud was in a hurry to beat the dark. I was watching out for speed limits and police cars that I missed the exit to I-101.
"That's 101! We should have exited," I said as we drove past the exit. I was the navigator. I was doing fine until this point. Bud's stress level shot up. The freeway we were on were four or five lanes each direction. Many vehicles were driving over the speed limit in my estimation. And we missed our exit!! What to do?
We took the very next exit, turned left to wherever hoping to see a sign that will get us back to the freeway. Fortunately, we found it. "101 to San Francisco. 101 to Los Angeles." We were headed south, which meant we should take 101 to Los Angeles, but we almost missed it again. Finally, on 101 South, we heaved a sigh of relief. Then Gabriel barfed! That was his relief. Poor guy took after me. I was like that when I was much younger.
The next goal was to find my sister-in-law's house. Thanks to BCAA, we had a triptik that showed us every turn from our house in British Columbia to her house in California. Exhausted, we were at her doorstop by 9 pm. Very grateful to be safe and sound. Albeit spent.
More stories and pictures next time...