Becky Jean and her Baggage


11am Tuesday:  Becky Jean and I had brunch at the Country Cat, to celebrate the day before our great departure.  We had been drooling for weeks over an image of some challah french toast on the cover of Portland Magazine.  It taunted us.  When we stepped into the restaurant, there were lots of empty tables.  Next to us, a little old lady also waited patiently to be seated at any one of them.

Bubbling over with anticipation for our mouth-watering delight, Becky Jean couldn’t quite contain herself, basically exploding with excitement as she towered over the unsuspecting elderly woman.  Looking a little terrified, the lady suggested that we not get our hopes up too high for the so-called amazing french toast, lest we set ourselves up for inevitable disappointment.  But we couldn’t help it.  We were looking forward to our first of what would be many, taste tickling adventures.

Yes, it was every bit as good as we imagined.  In fact, it was better.

5am Wednesday:  Becky Jean was dropped off at my place this morning by her boyfriend.  (Let’s call him B-Star.)  With the trunk full of paintings, we filled the back seats, with her luggage behind the passenger seat, and my luggage behind mine.  It was a perfect fit.

We left Portland.  She told me that B-star was upset because she went to have special french toast with me instead of him.  Aw, I almost felt sorry for poor B-Star, but I could feel my heckles raise from the guilt trip he gave her over it…

Dawn came as we flew south along the I-5 corridor.  Eyes burning, we paused in Medford for a short nap and a quick grocery run, then stopped again in Ashland, for espresso and a bathroom break.

“How far past Ashland is California?”  I asked, only moments before spotting the Welcome to California sign.

We cheered.

Pink bushes dotted the edge of the freeway and big birds of prey soared overhead.  We discovered Mt. Shasta, a magnificent sight, as we inched our way down the map.  We passed through some gorgeous wine country.

5pm:  It was a solid 12 hours of driving before we reached San Francisco.  Two hours before landing, when we realized we still didn’t have a crash pad, we  had a brilliant idea.  We called the nicest fitness center in town and scored ourselves guest passes!  Turns out, the biggest challenge in SF is finding a place to park.  Once we figured it out, we ventured on foot, first to the fitness center, where we showered, changed, and worked on a game plan….

See Part 2.


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