It was a little strange pulling out of my driveway on the Morning of May 4th, the first day of an eight-day Miata adventure, which would include PSMC's participation in the San Diego Miata Club's SEARCH FOR MADONNA event. You see, for one thing, I was in the driver's seat and for another, Tom hadn't been running around like crazy getting the car packed, looking at his watch and just going through his pre-Miata adventure antics; he was already at work. That left me to do the 'pre-Miata adventure antics' which of course, included packing the car and constantly reminding my daughter that we were running a bit late and did she make her bed and clean the bathroom up and by the way, could she walk the dog really quick while I finish up? And I found as I drove out the driveway that maybe, just maybe, those last minute packing chores and pre-adventure antics should be mine in the future. I mean, after all, it left me no time to think about my poor old crippled dog looking forlornly at me as I 'abandoned' her to the backyard as I took off to have fun without her. And if the morning were any indication of the fun we were to have, then it was going to be a grand adventure. The top was down, the sun was out, the hint of summer was in the air; you couldn't ask for more.
We slid into Kirkland around 8:45 AM to hook up with Dustin and Andrew Locke, our tour hosts for the first part of the trip. The plan was to do a two-day speed run to San Luis Obispo, home of the infamous Madonna Inn, stopping one night in Ashland, Oregon (my home town) and another in Capitola, California (Andrew's old stomping grounds). And speed run, it was. I've never traveled with men before who didn't have to make a pit stop every hour on the hour; in fact, we only made two stops: one in Portland for lunch and to top off the gas tanks; and one when I needed the pit stop. The only other thing of interest in zooming down I-5 was trying to get a picture of our hosts in their car. Every time I would slide out to go around Dustin, the bugger would slide out in front of me; I would slide back in the right lane and so would he â€“ right in front of me. It took some finagling, but we finally managed to get the picture.
When we hit Ashland, Dustin and Andrew went directly to the hotel to check in, but Stephanie and I had to do the thirty-second tour of the ol' hometown. That included the drive through Lithia Park, cruising Main Street and checking out to see if the old Safeway store with the tile mosaic of the Shakespeare Theater was still standing (my dad did the tile work â€“ and yes, it is still there). For dinner, Andrew and Dustin decided on whatever could be delivered would be the perfect way to end the day, but for Stephanie and me, dinner at Callahan's, an Ashland establishment since 1948, was in order. Plus it gave us a good excuse to finally drive on some wonderful backroads and to check out my childhood home.
Day Two dawned the same way as Day One: not a cloud in the sky, summer in the air and another early morning to hit the road. Stephanie and I had to be in Sacramento at noon to have lunch with my brother and my niece, so we were on the road by 7:30 AM. Dustin and Andrew chose to sleep in and would meet us later in Capitola.
Day Two of freeway driving and still nary a peep from my 'co-pilot' on when it would be her turn to drive. However, she was busy learning to take pictures while zooming down the road â€“ a skill that came in real handy when we hit Hwy 1. We did manage to stop a time or two at vista points for those wonderful photo-ops; after all, we were on vacation even though we had a pretty strict time schedule. And in spite of taking the time to stop to take pictures, have lunch with my brother and getting stuck in a San Jose traffic jam; we still made it to Capitola before Andrew and Dustin.