The Long Road Trip Part II: Driving Can Be Frustrating

This blog post is the second of four parts. The first part covered the preparation for the trip and the drive to Carson City, NV as well as the short stay in NV. This second part includes the drive from Carson City to Berkeley, CA, San Fransisco, Santa Rosa, Philo, and Ukiah, CA for the weekend of my cousin’s wedding and the several days after that. The third post will contain the trip from Philo, CA to Newport, OR, Seaside, OR and then to Kalama, WA. The fourth post will contain information about the stay in Kalama with my in-laws and the drive home to Aurora, CO.

One of the major reasons for this road trip was to attend my cousin’s wedding. My cousin Kim and I grew up spending more time together in the summers when I would go visit my grandparents property in Northern California. Juxtaposed next to their property was another piece of property that my dad had built a house on, but then following the incomplete house building my uncle took over the project and so my cousin Kim was also there playing, participating in Vacation Bible School, and generally being a good girl cousin. Turns out girl cousins don’t stay girl cousins and eventually turn into women. Women who get married to men.

After arriving in Carson City, Nevada and staying a day there we needed to continue heading west to make it to the wedding in Santa Rosa, California on Sunday. Instead of trying to drive upwards of 7 hours to get to Santa Rosa the day of the wedding we drove up the Saturday before by way of Berkeley and San Fransisco, California. We had two reasons to take this longer, waterier route: Sean Franzen and the Exploratorium. My friend Sean has been my friend since fourth grade when we were in a community play together. Once getting into college we went our separate ways but we’ve stayed off and on in contact and I was thrilled to get to introduce him to Evie and let Abby see him as a non-infant :) It was generally good to just see him and be able to chat, give him a hug or two and spend time with a friend who has often been a great encouragement. Sean picked up Pizza at a place in Berkeley called the Cheese Board. It’s vegetarian, it’s only one flavor per day, and there’s always a line. It was delicious pizza and I hope to sample some of their other flavors/varieties in the future. After he picked up the pizza Sean directed us to meet him down the street at a park where we ate some, laughed some, walked some, and generally enjoyed some fellowship. Sean is married but his wife was unable to make it due to some prior arrangements. I’m hoping in the future we’ll be able to meet and enjoy more pizza and time together.

From Berkeley we headed to San Fransisco where we intended to go to the Exploratorium. Its a great place to go and have fun as its a large children’s museum. Not as big as Indianapolis’ children’s museum, but still fun and well funded. The problem was getting onto the bay bridge which had to have been one of the more frustrating parts of the drive (thus the title of this post). We sat in a long line of cars trying to get through a handful of booths to pay the toll. We sat for about 30 minutes. I understand that’s not a long time compared to some places or days, but for a guy who works in his basement with a 0 minute commute, it feels long. We then went to the Exploratorium where the girls had some fun, and the adults did, too.

After leaving the Exploratorium we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and drove north to Santa Rosa to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Jane’s house. We stayed with them for two nights and got to catch up on various things. My cousin Greg, was in town from college to it was good to catch up with him. He is a football player and so his size was a bit daunting for our little girls :) Evie snuggled up to my uncle Jim and warmed up to him immediately. That was super cute, but I’m missing pictures of it, sorry.

Sunday was one of the primary reasons we were in California: my cousin Kim’s wedding. She and Jorge, her husband (now) were married at a golf course in Santa Rosa and the wedding was beautiful. Great pictures were a breeze to take (thought a little bleached out in a few instances because the beating sun really can whiten that which is not white, but is reflective). It was good to catch up with various folks there, too. I have created a set on flickr.com.

Monday we headed even further north to Philo, California. My grandparents and my Uncle Eric and Aunt Wilette (and cousins Hannah and Heidi) live there. I grew up spending summers and holidays on the farm there (and for a few years I lived on the farm as a young kid). I wanted my two daughters to get to visit the place – and frankly it was there that I knew I loved Jessica and I wanted to marry her. Yeah, I’m a sap like that :)

We had a great evening party there and I got to grill some food for about 45 people as well as so many others contributing some brilliant Hawaiian/Asian cuisine and American food. Oh, and Booneville/Anderson Valley beer. The day was hot, but the fun was hotter. Lots of food, fun, songs, family and friends.

Tuesday was a different day, as posted before, we went to Ukiah’s Adventist Hospital Emergency Room. It was quiet and not very busy. It was the place where we found out Jessica had had a missed miscarriage. You can read about Tuesday on the miscarriage post. That night, despite having had an intense day, I tried to help Abby, Evie, Hannah and Heidi build a tree fort. Due to old wood, rusty nails and a pretty low amount of drive we didn’t really build it. We had a good time chatting with various folks into the late night, but eventually I had to go to bed because early the next morning we would head up the Pacific coast into Oregon and hit Newport late into the foggy, coastal evening.
Hard to Focus on the Road

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