The timing of my trip to Humboldt last week was also partially planned so I could make the loooooong drive back to San Diego with my mom on Friday. She was already planning to drive down, so I figured we could enjoy the time to catch up. Boy, did we ever!
We headed out very early, with the requisite stop at Jitter Bean for coffee. That place is the best! It’s the thing I crave when I visit Humboldt; I enjoyed every sip of my Almond Milk White Mocha. Yum! The drizzly rain continued as we left Eureka in the semi-darkness. As we drove Highway 101 through Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell, and Scotia, the fog was beautiful all nestled in the redwoods and fir forests. It was the perfect way to linger over this beautiful landscape as we left town.
The drive from Humboldt County to San Diego takes about 13-14 hours, depending on traffic. Would you believe me if I said my mom and I chatted that entire time?? It’s true. We tried to catch some of the Giants’ game (Game 3 of the World Series!) but the static made it hard to hear. We never tried listening to music. It was really fun to just talk, and talk, and talk with my mom. I commented, at one point, “Mom, this is so cool. There’s not many people in the world that I could talk with for 14 hours straight.” What a blessing it is to have such a close relationship with my mom.
On a Friday evening, there’s really no way to get through the Los Angeles area without hitting traffic. We opted to go through Pasadena and cut over through Ontario to end up on Interstate 15. We still ended up being stopped in traffic, but we told ourselves that it was undoubtedly much worse on I-5 through LA. After being in the car for over 12 hours, we started to get a little silly and giggly. In a classic “you had to be there” moment, we got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing. I was coming down with a cold and laughed so long and hard that my throat felt like it was closing up. I imagine it felt like an asthma attack. I manage to squeak out, “Stop! I can’t breathe!” My eyes were also watering so much that all I could see was the glare of tail lights. Not super safe when you’re driving down the freeway, but really funny nonetheless!
When we told folks that we drove all day on Friday, we got several “Are you crazy??” looks. But, other than the annoying traffic, it was really fun and special to spend that type of quality time with my mom. Now, having a daughter of my own, I appreciate the mother/daughter relationship so much more. I can imagine, in 25-30 years, how awesome it would be for me to enjoy that kind of time with Sienna.
Probably the most significant life changes I’ve made from the growth (aka “awakening”) I went through last year, is to value the relationships that are closest to me. I want to devote time and energy to building stronger relationships with my husband, kids, parents, siblings, grandparents, and close friends. Hence, this trip to visit my aging grandparents and reconnect with my mom, sister, dad, stepmom, and extended familiy was perfectly aligned with that value.