This 24-hour slice included over 300 miles of driving (one way), but the important middle, 10 hours worth was slow and easy, an on foot existence. Join us here at Two Writing Teachers each week and write your slice.
We got to the Grapevine, a long uphill climb that lifts you out of Southern California into the central part of the state, in less than two hours. I always felt like north should be uphill. In this case it is.
Descending into the Central Valley you see nothing but vast, continuous acreage. I couldn’t help but think of the water shortage, water politics and the amount of produce this place generates.
After endless land, the GPS led us off highway 5 onto strange routes that cut through little towns, strawberry fields, and green rolling hills over to the Santa Cruz mountains.
Fog and cooler temps met us as we wound up to the pine-decorated northern California coastal town of Santa Cruz: a town of college students, older hippies, surfers, homeless and a few affluent folks. Average California town? Just one of the many archetypes that exist in this diverse state.
We pulled up to our 23-year old’s place and it looked good, clean and put together, as did he. When your kids go away, you don’t know what to expect. Knowing the kid I knew at home, this was a surprise..
We spent the day, with our first born, our oldest, eating, talking about politics, his studies, his work, reading, Shakespeare. We walked around town. Spent and inordinate amount of time in a used book store. Stopped for another cup of coffee. Purchased some shoes, for him for me, socks for Dad. Walked some more. Hmm. Time for dinner? Had an amazing meal featuring fantastic pesto sauce at a very hip place showing a continuous loop of Coffee and Cigarettes, a bizarre but at the same time fascinating movie, as we ate. After dinner we talked and walked some more. Got some ice cream. Finally, time to call it a night.
Dropped him off with a promise to get him for coffee at 6 am. Amazingly he calmly agreed. Next morning we pick him up for coffee and pastry and then after a hug and goodbyes, start the drive home.
Even though the drive was crazy fast, it seemed to be a leisurely time-warp like experience. Just being together for about ten hours. Enjoying each other’s company. These moments will stick with me — just like photographs that line our walls, tables and desks of them when they were little ones, bigger ones and graduates. Unbelievable. Exhausting. But good.
So good to see him.