When my husband Jorge and I first visualized our year of fun with our 5-year old daughter, the one thing we both agreed on was going abroad several times and taking a good old fashioned road trip. Even though we have lived in Washington for almost 6 years, we have not made enough time to explore the West Coast, so we had no trouble planning our route. We started planning our journey trip from Seattle to Los Angeles!
Neither of us have ever taken too many road trips, and up until now, the idea of spending 10-days trapped in a car with a toddler seemed like downright cruel and unusual punishment for all. But the time seemed right as our almost six year old daughter is a flexible world traveler, and we wanted to slow down and see things through a different lens.
Off we set planning a trip that would be exciting for all. Actually, let me be honest here. I did the planning. In our family, I am the one who enjoys planning trips and combing through travel guides, blogs, and asking friends for their advice. My husband on the other hand is a willing participant who happily goes along for the ride. It’s a match made in heaven.
We are leaving this weekend and I’m focusing on a few positive things along the way. The first is time together to reflect, relax and appreciate our time together. The second, is adventure. Pure and simple. I would like to see new things, and have the unexpected (good stuff) take our breath away and leave us wanting more! And third, is good food and beverages (lots and lots of coffee included in that).
Our plan is travel along the Highway 101 as much as possible. We will depart from Bainbridge Island, because my daughter and I covered most of the Olympic National Park late last year. We will begin by heading South and catching Highway 101 after Olympia.
Another first on our list is not booking any hotels in advance. Now call me silly, but a relaxed road trip doesn’t include racing from spot to spot and instead allows for things to happen naturally. We plan to stop at different points along the way that seem appealing as they arise. When we get tired, we’ll find a place to stay. Our stops include state parks, beaches, aquariums, coffee shops, quaint little inns, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Monterey Bay and so on!
The last thing we have in store is surprising our daughter with several days in Disneyland. We don’t want to tell her in advance because we’re afraid that the number of “are we here yet?” questions will multiply exponentially and take away from the fun of the days leading up to this surprise.
Wish us luck on our journey! Follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting stories along the way. I’ll be sure to share photos after the trip is over and my scans are back from the film I am shooting.
For my fellow photographers who might be wondering if I’m taking my gear with me, the answer is yes, always! This time I’m taking one camera and one lens with me (gasp)! I am opting for my Mamiya 645AFD and my Mamiya 80mm f 2.8 lens (which is the equivalent focal length of a 50mm for a 35mm). I’ll also bring a travel tripod, my Sekonic Light Meter, lots of rolls of 120 film (Portra 400 & Fujifilm Pro 400H) and my Nikon speed light for any low light opportunities I don’t want to miss. All of this will easily pack into my favorite lightweight travel Lowepro backpack.