All posts tagged: road trip

The Streaks Continue!

What a month for baseball! During August, I’ve seen four major league games in four different cities and was able to cheer four home teams to wins. For the Nationals, they are on a ten game winning streak. Five of the last six have been by walk-offs. Last evening those two streaks converged. Candice and I had tickets for Thursday’s late-afternoon game between the Nationals and  Arizona. The Nats came into the contest having won 9 in a row, including a terrific walk-off win the night before. We arrived early enough to pick up our Ian Desmond bobble-heads (Desmond is the one to the right of catcher Wilson Ramos in the photo at the top of the post) and with great anticipation for another magical evening. But while picking up the Desmond bobble-head was easy enough, the Nats needed someone to pick up their offense.  They hit well enough – until a runner touched second base.  Then the Diamondback pitchers all turned into Cy Young. Twice the Nats left the bases loaded, for crying out …

Observations From the Road (The “Thankfulness” Edition)

Tuesday, August 19th (and day #19) – is the last one of the cross-country Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour. Later this morning I’ll be flying home.  I can’t wait to see Candice and Andrew (who leaves for his senior year in college on Friday morning).  But I also want to put a wrap on the wonderful two-and-a-half weeks Claire and I had on our exploration of this amazing country we live in. It has been an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve had several parts of this series where I’ve thrown together random thoughts that I’ve entitled Observations from the Road.  For those who want to see them in order, you can find them here as: The First Edition The Central Time Edition The Prairie Edition The Jeez, Montana is a Big State Edition The We Made It (Well, In One Sense) Edition The On the Edge Edition So this grouping of random thoughts wraps up the Observations From the Road posts as well as the series on our cross-country tour.  I’ve entitled it …

Moving Day

I have to admit – of all the planning I did for our cross-country tour, I had not given much thought to how emotional Day 18 of our Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour would be. But Candice seemed to know, when she sent a text this morning that indicated we should “guard our hearts as you step out of this special time together.” Claire, of course, just said, “Dad, you’re not going to cry are you?”  Well, of course I am. Claire said she felt she was “back home in Claremont” when we went to Eureka Burger last evening for dinner.  I felt that way when we picked up our sliders at Some Crust Bakery for breakfast.  I can’t tell folks on the east coast how wonderful Some Crust is…but you just have to take my word for it. And Claremont is one special little village. We fell in love with it the minute Claire visited Pomona, and we take every opportunity to come to this magical part of Southern California.  Some Crust …

We Made It (This Time for Real)!

We made it!  And unlike James Dean we didn’t have any Highway 46 crack-ups. Claire and I completed the driving part of our cross-country tour (both the width and the length portions) on Sunday – the 17th day of our journey – when we pulled into Claremont around 7:30 local time.  We’ve put approximately 4,500 miles on the rental car and have been through 13 states. I’ll write more about this segment of our travels later, but I did want to capture one bit of Americana from Sunday’s drive.  As we were tooling down California Highway 46 between Paso Robles and Lost Hills, we passed The James Dean Memorial Junction.  Hmmm, I thought, I wonder if this is where James Dean died in his car crash. Sure enough, a couple of miles down the road we came to a store and gas station with a huge likeness of the famous 1950s actor pointing to the entrance. The Atlas Obscura (who knew such a thing existed), provides this background for the junction: The California junction of …

Fun in the City by the Bay

Say Hey! I do love San Francisco. On two picture-perfect summer days, Claire and I have had fun exploring the food, the museum life, and – yes – the unexpected treasure of a Giants baseball game – in this city by the bay. We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday, the 15th day of our cross-country tour, and we stopped just short of the city to have a light lunch. Cavallo Point is a former army base turned into National Park and luxury resort.  Their website shows a stunning shot of the Golden Gate Bridge with the words A View With Rooms. Truer words were never spoken.  I had visited this wonderful place with colleagues a few years ago to learn about the ways the park service was working with private interests to re-imagine and reconfigure former Army bases. I was taken with it then, and I wanted to show it to Claire as part of our trip. We drove into Cavallo Point as the clouds cleared from the bridge, and while my shot from the porch of …

Eating Our Way Cross-Country

Whatever mind came up with the idea of Dungeness Crab Tater Tots with Crème Fraiche…I like the way that mind works! Careful readers will have noted that Claire and I are eating our way cross-country on the Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour. Heck, you don’t even have to be that careful…we’ve been all over the food.  We’ve gone local with dollar hot dogs at Progressive Field in Cleveland. We carbo loaded in Chicago. Don’t even get me started on the cheese and cream in Wisconsin.  One of the highest read posts of this series has been the You Want Nutrition…Eat Carrots! note from Madison. Once we made it to Seattle (how did we do that without exploding?!) we went vegan at Plum Bistro. Suffice it to say, we’ve eaten local and we’ve eaten well. Last night, at the wonderful Chalkboard restaurant in Healdsburg (thank you again Yelp!) Claire and I thought to actually take pictures of each serving of the small plates we were splitting for dinner. The Crab Tater Tots were what …

Redwoods and Coastlines…The Main Course

Wednesday’s visit to see California’s redwoods and coastline turned out to be the appetizer.  Beautiful as it was, it couldn’t hold a candle to today’s visits to forests, coasts, and wine country. Thursday – the 14th day of our cross-country tour – was the main course. As is the case with much of the best cuisine of California, it did not disappoint. Claire and I left Eureka around 9 a.m. and headed south on Highway 101.  About 45 minutes into the drive we stopped for gas, and as fate would have it the manager had come out to fix the printer on our gas pump. When he saw our license plates he struck up a conversation, and finding out we were traveling cross-country, he immediately said, “You have to drive the Avenue of the Giants route.  This is the old road that criss-crosses 101, and in slightly more than 30 miles it has many of the huge redwoods in the region.” Oh my…was he ever right. And are we ever glad we took his advice. …

Observations From the Road (The “On the Edge” Edition)

At times, Wednesday’s ride seemed as long as a California redwood is tall. Claire and I were on Day 13 of the Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour (a.k.a., the “length of the country” portion), and perhaps it had to do with it being the 13th day, but there were some weird things happening along the way.  We left Portland, Oregon at 8:30 a.m. and didn’t arrive in Eureka, California until around 6:30 p.m. for what was supposed to be a 7 hour trip.  (Darn those Google maps algorithms.)  The portions on the “straight and narrow” path of I-5 could give a guy and his daughter the blues.  Rest areas that we really needed were closing up due to “bear activity.” Ah, but those crooked roads through the mountains, the redwoods, and along the beautiful California coast…now that’s when we felt we were alive and on the edge of the world. We had to take I-5 down to Grants Pass.  The Oregon landscape is changing and beautiful through this part of the country,  but …

Efficiency Isn’t the Point

One could look at today’s itinerary for the Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour and think that our main goal was to go from Point A (Seattle) to Point B (Portland) as quickly and efficiently as possible.  But those who think that way miss the point of our cross-country trip. We avoided most of Interstate 5 – the main line between Seattle and Portland – and struck out from Gig Harbor, Washington, to get to Astoria, Oregon on the coast via the crooked road. And think of what we would have missed had we taken the straight and narrow way. Why, we wouldn’t have known that Montesano, Washington is the home of the Tree Farm.  (It says so right on the sign.) We would have missed the fact that South Bend, Washington is the Oyster Capital of the World. Given the amount of “working forests” one sees in this section of the state, I suspect this is where America’s supply of paper is produced. And who knew that McCleary, Washington will be celebrating the …

Flying Fish, Hipster Neighborhoods, and Wonderful Friends – We Must Be in Seattle

After the long and draining drive on Sunday in our Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour, we spent Monday resting, meeting up with friends, and simply enjoying Seattle. I always love my trips to this Northwest city, but none more so than this visit when I was able to share some special places with Claire, who was seeing it for the first time.  On recent business trips I have discovered a new favorite hotel in Seattle – the Paramount – and so we woke up Monday morning smack in the middle of Seattle’s downtown. But we didn’t wake up too soon.  We needed the morning to catch up on sleep and exercise and to finish up the previous day’s blog post, so we had a leisurely morning. And – as you can see – my late nights have caught up with me and these posts are now coming out the following morning.  (I know that a few folks are reading, because at least one family member called Candice to make sure we were okay …