Winter. California winter, to be sure, but it is winter and I've had enough wet and cold so that cabin fever is setting in and I'm getting the itch to travel. Once upon a time, long, long ago, I did a lot of traveling. My father bought my mother a new Buick every two years, and every new car meant a road trip to "break it in." No more than 50 miles per hour for X number of miles (100? 500?). This was well before freeways so we weren't holding up traffic. A favorite destination for these biennial outings was the Hotel El Rancho in Santa Maria, a town known for a once-a-year tri-tip pit barbecue and beans festival. A shorter trip might find us at the Miramar Hotel in Santa Barbara on the coast. Towards autumn, we might go to Yosemite National Park. My dad wasn't much for tent camping, so we stayed at the Ahwahnee Hotel. We all enjoyed the evening campfire and park ranger talks, but especially the firefall from Glacier Point after dark, when a huge bonfire was pushed off the cliff and embers cascaded down. They no longer do that, but it was spectacular. I've been to Yellowstone National Park any number of times, and never failed to be amazed at Nature at her finest there. When I was 15, my mother and I took off on a road trip and ended up in Vancouver, British Columbia. That trip was when I learned to drive, really drive. My dad had taught me the rudiments in the empty parking lot at Santa Anita Race Track, but that was nothing to driving through the mountains of Washington. I remember him clinging to the door, yelling, "Slow down! Slow down!" Mother was made of sterner stuff. Long vacations meant a train ride, possibly to the east coast or even to Mexico City. Just walking into Union Station in Los Angeles was exciting. Hawaii was on my itinerary twice, and I loved it. Later in life, one of my greatest experiences was going to eleven countries overseas, a trip never to be forgotten.
Ah, well. That was then, this is now. Even if it weren't for the goats, chickens, dog, and cats, I know I wouldn't leave here if a trip were offered. Going as far as Cameron Park fills me with dread.
Omigosh, it's snowing! And I'll be stuck in the cabin...again.