Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day 8, Maine to Cape Cod, Mass.

I learned a very important lesson today. I will never again leave my mother a message on her answer phone saying that we had lobster and blueberries. She was not amused to learn that we'd had her "two favorite foods" without her. At least she pretended to be mad, but underneath it all, she really sounded delighted that we were having such a great trip. I know she was just playing with me (or at least I hope she was — with Mom, you can never tell for sure). I just can't imagine my life without her.

We drove down the coast of Maine, and were sad that we weren't hungry yet when we again had to pass Pedro O'Hara's Mexican Irish Cuisine. I really wanted to eat there, but ten in the morning is no time to be adventurous in the food department, especially after one of those wonderful free hard boiled egg and hockey puck donut breakfasts they include with your hotel room.

We did, however, manage to find the Nubbel lighthouse that had been fogged in on our way up, and I took some video footage and lots of still photos, and then also took a few group shots of some other people - only seven this time - in matching shirts who were vacationing together. This was a four generation group, and they were having a ball together.

Before we left Maine we had an unexpected pleasure when a car passed us, honking and waiving. Then we noticed something we hadn't seen in days, except on our own car: Colorado license plates! Let me say something here that Ruth deserves to have me put in writing. California is beautiful. It has such diversity of landscape that there is truly something for everyone. From Shasta's snowcapped peaks to Yosemite's granite half-dome; the giant redwood forests and the wonderful cliffs overlooking Route 1 along Northern California's rugged coastline; from Muir Woods to Disneyland, and spectacular vistas of wall to wall golden poppies exploding from the desert floor in the spring where nobody would expect a flower to be able to prosper, California is a land of contrast and beauty.

So why did I never feel at home? It's too crowded. People are in such a hurry that most of them fail to recognize the humanity of those living right next door. Beautiful hills are being terraced for McMansions that have no breathing space, and the schools are beyond crowded in most areas. Every road in most communities is overwhelmed by the number of vehicles, and it's only getting worse.

We had some wonderful times in California, met some people I will treasure for a lifetime, and raised three wonderful sons there, who (I would imagine) feel like Californians. I never did. I came from a more natural setting, not the suburbs. We always returned to nature; even when we had to spend time in a suburban setting it was never for long. So even though we spent thirty years in that same little house, it just never felt like it was where I belonged. I don't try to slam California — I understand the draw for people who like the fast paced lifestyle. It's just not my lifestyle. (It's also very expensive to live there, and — at least in Southern California — the weather is not at all to my taste. I love Winter.)

Now I'll get off the soap box and back to the trip in progress...

When we finished driving through Boston (wow, what a traffic jam that is!) and entered the long curve of Cape Cod) we discovered that we were heading right for Plymouth Rock. Well, we didn't get to see that, but we did get to see the National Monument for our Founding Fathers, which is an impressive statue. I'll put up some photos when we get to Ben and Ruth's home Sunday or soon thereafter.

If the rest of this trip is as much fun as this first week has been, then this is truly the trip of a lifetime. I think I've said that before. I'm sure I'll say it again. John and I always do seem to have such a great time when we take road trips.
The next two days will be devoted to Kelley's wedding, and I doubt that there will be internet access, so if I'm offline for a few days, such is life.

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