Nothing Changes If You Don't
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have wanted to visit the California coast for many years. More than ten to be precise. I can’t quite remember when the convertible became a part of the plan, but hey, it was definitely a part of the plan. I learned about The Bixby Creek Bridge quite a while ago too, and began reading about it and viewing photos of it. After also learning about vision boards and such, I decided to make sure my focus was on the bridge as often as possible. I really wanted to make the trek to see this bridge in person. So in April of 2007, I downloaded a photo of the bridge on my phone and began using it as my wallpaper. Even though I am the app queen and the photo was always covered or obstructed from view, it was there and I was seeing it. I made my phone and the photo of the bridge my vision board.
Now, besides thinking and dreaming of this trip, there were several times I looked at flights and accommodations in order to make the voyage. Somehow, I always made an excuse. I didn’t have the funds available, or I didn’t have enough time to travel and make the trip worthwhile. But one of the main things that held me back was myself. I wasn’t confident in myself enough to seriously entertain the thought of taking the trip solo. Well, I have both grown and shrunk in the past few years. My confidence has grown. My waistline has shrunk. Losing weight has encouraged me in so many ways and one of the biggest payoffs so far was losing the fear to make this trip even if no one else was able to go with me. Couple this with the sudden passing of my dear friend Monique in August of 2018. She was the poster child for living your best life and the spokesperson for eat, drink, and be merry. Her death made me realize that I should no longer wait until the perfect time to do damn near anything. The perfect time exists when you create it. So I did just that. I booked a plane ticket, secured hotel rooms, and made a reservation to rent a convertible. I was on my way.
Please understand that I still had some bits of fear about going on this adventure by myself. Especially after listening to my mother virtually panic and worry every time she heard about ANY event that took place ANYWHERE in California. From the wildfires to the mudslides, I had to convince her that I would be miles and hours from where those things were taking place and that I would be alright. With that mission accomplished, I was ready to roll.
I decided to make the most of my long weekend from school for Martin Luther King’s birthday. He stood for freedom. I was going to explore mine It all made perfect sense.
Here was my plan:
Fly from Detroit to San Francisco on Friday evening and spend the night there.
Drive from San Fran to Monterey on Saturday - via The Pacific Coast Highway - and spend the night there in Monterey.
Drive a little further south on the coast Sunday morning to see the Bixby Bridge and then return to San Francisco for dinner, drinks and a concert with a friend of mine who lives there.
Head on back to the airport on Sunday morning for my flight back home to Detroit.
Sounds like fun…yes, I know!
After teaching all day on Friday, I headed to the airport. I was so excited about everything that was to come that I could hardly contain myself!
Even with the government “Trumpdown” that was still in effect at the time, I breezed through security with no problem. I really felt sorry for the TSA agents, doing their jobs so diligently and and not being paid. Even though there was a bit of a line, I guess a lot of other people feel the same way I do because no one was complaining and no one seems upset. That’s a good thing.
As I sat at the gate my mind danced around images of blue water, mountains, winding roads and convertibles. I tried to imagine how I would feel and what this trip would hold for me. But the furthest I could go was just being open to any and all opportunities and experiences that came to me along the way. As I boarded the plane and prepared for takeoff I just tried to make sure I was giving off nothing but positive vibes. I guess I was because everyone I encountered greeted me with smiles, kind words and compliments. And I had no problem returning them.
Touchdown in San Francisco!!!! I love the casual swag of the airport’s decor. There are cute little seats and tables in various places. Although people look quite comfortable there and it’s very inviting, my excitement won’t let my feet stop moving. It’s 10 PM California time which means it’s after 1 AM Detroit time which means I am exhausted. I’ve been awake since about 4:30 AM. But this excitement and adrenaline though…
I make it to pick up my rental car. The gentleman helping me is so kind. I really do appreciate how thorough and attentive he is. He finishes up with me and I go around the corner to the parking garage to get the car. The attendants there are wonderful as well. Then the question I was waiting for. “We have two convertibles available. Which one would you like?” I opt for the navy blue 2019 Ford Mustang Convertible. I’m thrilled. Once I got my luggage in the trunk, I snapped a few photos before taking off. The coolest thing to me is how the Mustang Pony logo projects on the ground once you unlock the doors. I still can’t figure out how they do that. But I LOVE IT!.
My hotel is very close to the airport. It’s in an area called Millbrea. After inputting all of the info in the GPS, I’m off! I stop at a 7-11 right near the hotel and pick up some water, snacks and a few bananas. Side note - I love bananas, and they have really come in handy when I need a quick and healthy bite on the go. I check into my room and get all settled in. It is now after midnight San Francisco time and as tired as I am, I cannot sleep.
It feels like a dream is coming true in front of my eyes. Even though I’ve looked at several trip planning websites and guides, I want to be crystal clear about my route tomorrow to get down the coast. I go back on my phone and tablet start doing some more research. And up pops this website. I swear, I have never come across this site in all the time I have searched. But it’s right on time. The person who created the site has traveled quite a bit. One of the trips she did was the exact one I am planning - a drive from San Francisco to Monterey via the coast. She made several stops at scenic locations along the way and described them. More than that, she outlined her entire trip and included the Google map to accompany it. How happy was I to find out that I could put her route into my phone and follow it directly!?! Now I’m really amped, but I have to settle down and try to get to sleep so that I can be at 100% for my first full day in California.
I decide to get quiet and just lay still. I meditate for a while and all I can think about is how grateful I am. My meditation morphed into me just talking out loud and expressing my thanks. It was truly a spiritual experience. After a while, all I could say out loud - over and over again - was I am grateful for what was, what is, and what will be. I said it out loud on repeat until I fell asleep.
When I woke up, my heart, mind, and soul were ready to take on the world.