Yesterday marked the end of our professional lives as well as the end of our Bay Area residency. (Actually, it was the end of my professional life. Joy retired four months ago and as is so often the case, she waited for me to catch up to her.)
This morning we loaded our SUV with our bikes, our TransAm camping and cycling supplies, a small set of casual clothes to get us through the next month before we actually start our TransAm, and our dog, Brighton. Our destination is Round Rock, Texas by way of Yosemite, maybe Death Valley, maybe Santa Fe, the Oklahoma panhandle, Arkansas and Houston. (A meandering route with the goal of hitting nature highlights, visiting Joy’s cousins, and getting me closer to my goal of 50-50-7: 50 states, 50 countries, and 7 continents. I’m at 33-38-6 as of March 26.) Once we reach Round Rock a little over a week from now, we will hand the SUV keys over to Joy’s sister and, more significantly, entrust Brighton to Linda. Even though he’s going to family, giving Brighton away will be the hardest part of our new adventures. (Look for a future post on that topic.)
Our first day as itinerant philosophers was a great day and we hope it bodes well for the rest of our adventures.
We started by visiting Squeeze In in Redwood City. It was our favorite breakfast hangout and it seemed like a fitting place for our last Bay Area meal. As she always does, Joy ordered the Zweifel (zwy-full) – “apples and bananas sautéed in butter and honey and folded into an omelette with peanut butter and bacon” (but get it as a scramble so the peanut butter gets distributed better). Awesomeness. If you’ve never been there, go!
Our main goal for the day was to visit Yosemite and see the waterfalls running in full force. We’ve only ever been there in late summer and we always kind of had to imagine their grandeur. They didn’t disappoint. While we were there we also picked up our national park annual pass – we hope to use this a lot this year.
Because we had Brighton with us we couldn’t do any hikes, though we did enjoy strolling around the valley a bit and treating ourselves to ice cream in Curry Village. (I refuse to use the new names. It’s still the the Ahwahnee, damn it!) Walking with Brighton is always amusing. As Joy says, he is a major chick and little kid magnet.
Although our overall plan is to camp three out of four nights we are spending our first night on the road at a hotel. By the time we got past Wawona it was starting to be dusk and we didn’t want to figure out all the camping stuff in the dark. We’re staying in a La Quinta hotel – they’re very accommodating to folks with dogs. This is the first time I ever we’d stayed in a dog-friendly hotel where they didn’t put us in the smoker’s room. Kudos to La Quinta chain! They also get a thumbs up because when I called to make a reservation I decided to go with the retiree thing and ask for an AARP discount, which they happily gave me. Kinda liking this retirement thing!