Round 2 – California, the drive home

Portland and northern California are pretty far apart. It was going to be a rainy drive south that would take 8-9 hours. I wanted to get started early so I wouldn’t have to drive as long in the dark. I asked Mom to be ready by 9 am so we could head out with a quick stop in Portland to go to one store and grab some coffee for the journey. I was trying to get myself ready and organized so I was just sending Mom texts to see if she was ready, since I was staying in the basement and there was no response. Finally, I come up to load the car and head out at 9:15 am. Guess who is still sound asleep and at least 2 hours from being ready to go? Mom! I admit I was a bit frustrated since it was going to be such a long drive day. But that is how travel goes, never have a strict plan because it will never work.

So I load the car and try to hide my frustration, other than making fun of Mom on Facebook for it. Finally, after 2 hours, she was ready and packed to go. We went to Made Here to grab some local Portland treats, and by the time we were in Portland it was time for lunch so we grabbed some noodles so we wouldn’t have to stop for a while. I also went over to Stumptown to get one more cortado to fuel the drive. By 12:30 pm we finally hit the road.

I wanted to make it to Jerri and Marc house on this drive. I had promised that if I got too tired I would stop in Redding to sleep for the night. Jerri and Marc live in the mountains outside of Mount Lassen, so the later we got the more chance of freezing and snow. So I was pushing it hard to get there but couldn’t go nuts because of the rain the entire way. I only stopped for gas and potty breaks until we made it to Redding. We didn’t stop to explore Eugene or Ashland because of my hurry.  When we made it to Redding, Mom wanted me to stop. But I didn’t feel like trying to sleep in a hotel when I could already be at Jerri’s. So we grabbed Arby’s to go (the only fast food of the trip) and continued on. We finally made it to Jerri’s after 10:30 pm. But honestly, the craziest part was when I crossed over the California state line. In a few days, I would be home, I’m back in my state.

The next day, Jerri and I went out an old barn looking for some barn owls that live there. Unfortunately, they were super well hidden so we never spotted the owls. But the sky was cloudy and trying to rain, so it was gorgeous just to explore the barn. We then headed back to pick up Mom and grabbed a tasty lunch at Carol’s Cafe.

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It was time to pick up the kids from school, and it was exciting to see them since they had already been asleep by the time arrived. We went to show Mom Lake Almanor, so she also got to see some sites. Dinner was super tasty, slow cooked pulled pork sandwiches. Another home cooked meal for the journey. Plus, I was able to get a group photo with everyone!


I also got some extra time to play with Jerri and Marc’s dogs – Piper, a German Shepard and Fargus – 10 month 3 types of Mastiff mix. The dogs are gorgeous. I’ve always loved Piper, but Fargus is a total heart stealer.

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The next day Mom and I were heading back to the Bay Area. But first Jerri gave a tutorial on Lightroom so I would be able to edit all my photos when I returned home. I learned so much and definitely needed the lesson. I haven’t looked at any of the photos on my camera yet, that’s a project I was saving for home. So all the photos on this blog are from my phone. But now I can edit the photos from a real camera 😉

Mom and I continued down the mountain canyon and further south into California. We had one last stop before we made it home to Oakland. I had asked if Karis and her family could meet us for dinner in Sacramento on our way home, but instead she invited us over for dinner at her house. Another home-cooked meal. I was getting so spoiled, especially since I don’t know how to cook. We had a traditional Brazilian meal with beans, rice, and tri-tip steak. It was so yummy. I think the beans and rice were some of the best I’ve ever had.  It was so much fun to see Karis and enjoy dinner with her beautiful family. They are so warm and full of life! But it was getting late, and Mom and I had planned to be in Oakland that night.

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So we headed out for the last drive of Round 2 of the journey. As we were driving, Mom asked what I was thinking. I said I’m just a bit overwhelmed at it all. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m feeling a bit emotionally low tomorrow. Even though it’s been amazing and I’m grateful, it’s a bit like the day after Christmas feeling knowing that the journey was about to be done.


We finally make it to my apartment in Oakland, which my Mom had not yet seen since I had just moved here in June. We unloaded a few things we would need in the morning and headed in. Mom liked my apartment even though it’s small. I got Mom situated, and then quickly made my way to bed. After three months, I was finally sleeping in my own bed. I would get to dream of the journey I just completed and everything that I had done.