Later this morning I am driving up the California coast to San Francisco to spend some time with Jackie!. I am going again in two weeks for an epic girls’ weekend, but timing and circumstance worked together to allow me this extra bit of time with her. I am desperately looking forward to holding that girl in a tight hug.

Mike has made this drive countless times without me, and countless times with me, but I have never made it alone. In fact, I’ve never made such a long drive alone ever. It’s a very easy drive (get on the 101 freeway, drive 375 miles, say hi to San Francisco) so I’m not worried about the technical aspects of it. It’s an eight-hour drive, and the only time I normally get eight hours alone is when I’m sleeping. And I haven’t slept for eight hours straight in…well, probably not in years.

out the window, by annie

The thing that worries me the most about being alone for eight hours is where my mind might go. I have only recently gotten better at being alone in the car, but that’s never more than a forty-five minute drive, tops. With the heavier nature of this trip and the upcoming milestones in my life, I’m worried I’ll get bogged down by the morose and just cry behind the wheel for the entire length of the coast.


When I told Mike my worries, he told me to look at it from a different angle. Normally when we make this drive we have a child in the car, so we are always very focused on getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Also, we have to play annoying amounts of kid music. This time I can stop when I want to (I might want ice cream! Or a crab cake! Or maybe I can even pee in private!), or take pictures at scenic overlooks. I can listen to whatever I want to on the radio. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to my music on a car stereo. I might even download an audio book, although I have no idea what I would get.

Basically, I am going to focus on the unique opportunities this trip will afford me – most importantly, time with one of my favorite people in the whole world. I can’t wait until this evening, when we’re camped out on the couch eating junk and watching junk, talking and laughing and doing our best to pretend that we are still the carefree girls we once were only four short years ago.