Mostly settled in my new home away from home here on St. Augustine Beach. I like my new writing spot and I’m beyond grateful to be here, safe and sound.
It’s Monday, April 17th. I left Peoria, Arizona, where I wintered, exactly one week ago. Leaving was with great emotions of the mixed variety. I had to say goodbye to Son Michael and his sweet family. We spent Easter Sunday together and said our goodbyes. I shed a few tears. Both Adi and Ben gave me tighter, longer, hugs than normal, and then Adi, all snuggled into me, lightened the mood by saying, “Nana! Make sure you take a shower today.”
Leaving meant I was going to the beach where I would spend two weeks in solitude resting, reflecting, reading and writing, and then I’d meet BF where he would end his epic journey and we’d resume the life I love.
Like I said, mixed emotions.
The journey here was a blessed one. Google Maps will tell you the drive from Peoria to St. Augustine is 2,102.6 miles, 30 hours. I figure we added 50-60 miles and maybe an hour plus with a detour to spend the night with our cousin in Rio Rancho, NM, and another to have dinner in Oberlin, LA with BF.
By The Numbers
6 Number of States we drove through
6 Night’s Lodging
1 Airbnb that was adorable
1 Vrbo Beach House that was . . . let’s say, disappointing.
1 Hotel where I returned the key and TV remote and said, “We won’t be staying.”
1 Play day (San Antonio) Would love to go back there someday!
5 Days in the car. That’s five full days!
¾ Audio books completed (We picked a boring book and I just couldn’t abandon it)
1 million: bugs killed on our windshield
0 Car problems (Love my Subaru!)
0 Wrong turns (Thank you Sister Navigator)
2 Delightful detours
3 Time Zones
6 Safe arrivals
0 Speeding tickets (Whew)
2 Number of days it took me to figure out how to use my cruise control
There are some things I just can’t enumerate, like the peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cheese sticks, and protein balls we ate on the road. Or the long stretches of beautiful or non-descript highways we traversed. The patches of wildflowers on the roadsides. The few scary traffic situations we endured, and frightening bridges we drove over. The laughs and the catching up about family and friends from way back. The discussions about childhood in which my sister and I just don’t remember things the same. The times I just wished we were there already.
The Whole Sister Thing
If you have a sister, maybe you’ll understand this: We love each other and yet, we can irritate the heck out of each other. Push buttons, bring up sensitivities, wounds, and childhood trauma like no other person can. Given enough time together, we’re probably going to have a blow-up. I’ll admit, I’m the bear, but she’s the poker. Fortunately, we took care of that back in Peoria before we even packed the car. That’s just how it goes with us.
And then, we parted, appreciating one another and grateful for our adventure. As far as our family of origin, we’re all each other’s got. She’s the person who shares my history like only a sibling can. We have to play nice . . . most of the time.
One evening, we were talking to BF on the phone and I was complaining about how many miles we had left to go. He said, “Remember, Ladies, I’m doing this same trip on a bicycle.”
I am notoriously an impatient road tripper. For this trip, I was able to just put my butt in the seat and drive. I did what I had to do to get here with a positive attitude. Mostly. I think. And while I’m grateful for the experience and grateful Karen was willing to join me, would I sign up to do it again? Let’s just say if the opportunity arrives, I’ll do more research into other options.
One more thing, I have never seen a flatter, wider, more walkable beach!
Such an awesome experience! Love the details. 💗