Well, we finally made it!
For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been planning and orchestrating a big move for the last few months — which is the primary reason I haven’t been posting more here of late — and just last week we set off on the road headed for our new seasonal home in Santa Cruz, CA. Because of everything we needed to have with us and be able to do while “on location”, we ended up deciding to bring both of our vehicles. Last Friday when we drove out of Missoula, both Sylvia the van and Cherry the Subaru wagon were expertly loaded — not quite to the gills but close — with clothes, food, entertainment, Feeleez products and shipping materials, Fairy Food, a yellow dog with accoutrements, two kids also with accoutrements, and two brave adults behind two separate wheels.
Our first stop was in Bellingham, Washington — a novel adventure for us all. We stopped through there, though it was decidedly not “on the way”, in order to do a live version of our newest workshop, Building an Emotionally Safe Household/Classroom. We met with a dozen parents and caregivers at the Wheels of Life School, a gorgeous, well-equipped and inspiring little school not far from downtown Bellingham. Both the grown-ups and kids we met there were such a warm and welcoming group, and we had a stellar time sharing and talking with them all. We also got to spend the night and morning with some of our dearest friends, old Missoula kin who’ve been in Bellingham for several years now, and had an absolutely perfect time getting to hang out with them some. We did not for some reason get a single picture of our time there…
Our next stop was down the hill and around the bend to Portland, where we stayed with Natalie’s sister Em. Her place is so cozy and such an artifact of our children’s growing-up that it feels like we have our own routines, associations, and even nooks of experience there. It’s like a home away from home in many ways, and even though it has steadily changed over the years, it always feels like there is a place for us there. A new adventure for us in Portland this time was the odyssey that is Vodoo Doughnuts! None of us had ever experienced this strange and wonderful culinary oddity before, and though we’d of course heard tale of the bizarre creations coming out of there, we were admittedly still somewhat ill-prepared for the spectacle itself…
You have to stand outside, like you’re waiting to get into an exclusive nightclub. People look around talking about what kind of doughnut they might go for — the one with Fruit Loops breakfast cereal on it, the apple fritter (the size of a child’s face) schmeared with icing, the giant chocolate-iced princess-decorated “cock and balls”, or maybe a dozen box of “classics”… Then once you get inside, the amusement park line continues to wind back and forth, suddenly spitting you out in front of a surly cashier (who will not hesitate to sound a bullhorn if you are too slow in approaching the register), and from the glistening array of spinning pastries in the display cases and/or the vaguely alluring descriptions on the menu overhead, you are (quickly, please) to select an appropriate sugar-death, before being run over by the anxious, salivating horde behind you. The rock music beats out a steady pace, the images collage and upend your sense of reality, and the smells of various doughnuts stupefy you into a point-and-pay type transaction, before you’re shuffled out the door with a handful of edible bling.
Echo got the Blue Raspberry.
Xideka got the Bubble Gum — which not only makes you feel like you’re mixing gum with pastry (ewww!) because of the unreal bubble gum flavor of the icing, but also comes with a piece of Double Bubble for dessert! After recovering from that — and believe me it took a while 😉 — and enjoying another day with Em and some of our other Portland loves, we set off again.
Here’s Mount Shasta (which, even from a hundred miles away, sticks out in your view like a sore volcano), along with a rear view of my caravan companions.
Here’s our spot in Santa Cruz, which the girls have now aptly named, Garden Pearl. Bubble celebration in the balmy SC afternoon air. Our first (of innumerable) trips to the “dogs allowed” beach; and it was warm enough to run around and play bare-footed in the surf — and not just for the canines… So here we are, folks! From Gus to Garden Pearl we’ve made our first (hopefully yearly) trek… If you’re in the neighborhood, give us a shout!