We had a plan. It was a very good plan, too.
- Drive our daughter’s belongings to Oakland, leaving early Thursday morning.
- Unload U-Haul trailer, return trailer to U-Haul, give giant hugs and kisses to our daughter, then get back on road.
- Drive until my eyes are bleary, then pull over at closest motel to get some much needed sleep.
- Wake early, drive home (missing L.A. traffic if at all possible!).
- Arrive home early afternoon Friday.
Sure, it was a rockstar trip up and back, but it was totally do-able.
Until we tried to do it.
After a long day of driving WAY too slow towing a trailer loaded with all our daughter’s belongings, my nerves were fried. As I watched my husband shuffle boxes and cruft to the storage unit, I made a decision. We would not stay in a motel as previously decided ~ we were going to take the road less traveled.
That’s when I found us a room in Carmel. A sweet little place complete with a fireplace and jacuzzi tub. Heaven.
It’s been on our bucket list for years to visit Carmel and while we didn’t get to see much of the town in our 10-hour stay, the drive down the coast more than made up for it.
I’ve only driven the coast once before ~ way back in my twenties and I vaguely remember being terrified. It’s a twisty two-lane road with more drop offs than David cares to remember. Poor guy, he was the designated photographer and every so often he’d look down and get queasy.
But the views!
The northern coastline is vastly different to what we have in SoCal. Rocky, mountainous, with cows grazing in pastures right up to the sand in some areas. It was lovely.
So lovely in fact, David and I were dreamily making plans to retire there.
If we’d stayed with The Plan, we would’ve missed the opportunity to see wildlife *THIS CLOSE* to us.
We would’ve missed a rushing river that peeked through the woods.
Sure, there is plenty to see along Interstate 5, but we saw all that the day before. Gorgeous vistas of crops, pastures of sheep, cows, and horses. Orchards of varying sizes and colors.
I fell in love with California in those two days. What a varied state in which I live.
Where you have snow capped mountains a short drive from the surf. Cows lolling about across the street from sea lions (or they could’ve been manatees, I’m really not sure!). Forests lining the highway just a stone’s throw from rocky cliffs.
Taking a detour to Carmel wasn’t a part of The Plan, but isn’t that what spontaneity and serendipity are all about? David and I are happy that we took the road less traveled. Even though it meant we got into L.A. smack in the middle of rush-hour traffic, we didn’t care. The beauty we saw earlier in the day stayed with us through the clogged freeways and smoggy valleys of Los Angeles.
If you ever have a chance to deviate from the plan, do it! You never know what you’ll find and really, isn’t that what makes life exciting?
So tell us, have you ever altered course and found yourself somewhere fabulous? Where’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit, but keep putting off?