Thursday, October 28, 2004

Day 1 - Portland, OR to Santa Nella, CA

October 16, 2004

We were both up early and eager to hit the road. Originally, we had planned to be on the road by 6:00 AM but we knew we had a long day ahead of us so we managed to leave by 5:30 PM. In spite of our best intentions, we were both up late last night, packing and getting things ready, so we were both rather tired. After snapping a couple of quick photos to document the beginning of the trip, we set off. It's still dark, of course, but the fortunately there isn't any rain.

Today's journey was to be 695 miles and take us to Santa Nella, CA. Driving the extra long distance today allowed us to have a shorter trip tomorrow and get us into Anaheim early enough to spend some time in Disneyland on the day we arrived. Mapquest gave us an estimated driving time of 10 hours 30 minutes, but that seemed a bit unrealistic. In my mind, I was thinking it would take us 12 or more hours. I was just hoping to arrive before dark, as I don't like driving in unfamiliar territory when it's dark. Our goal was to maintain an average of 60 miles per hour (including all stops for restroom breaks and gas). Every hour we would check the mileage and see if we were on track. We were able to stay on target during the day's journey.

The drive was uneventful (fortunately). Jason popped in the first of our 30 mix CD's that we had made for the trip and we settled down for the long drive. Later in the morning we opened up the box of Hostess Frosted Donettes and munched on those for awhile.

To pass the time, Jason got out the camera and took a few pictures out the window. There wasn't a lot of traffic on the road, so when we reached the Oregon/California border I was able to slow down enough for him to get a decent shot of the "Welcome to California" sign. He also took pictures of the sign for the Sims Road exit near Shasta. For those of you who know me, The Sims is my favorite computer game. I didn't have very much time to play during the week before we left and it was weighing on my mind a bit that my Sims family was left in major chaos the last time I played. I like to have them all tucked into bed and the house clean before I close the game. He also took a picture of the sign for the Proberta/Gerber exit. This sign has always fascinated me since it sounds like a woman's name. If I ever need to assume a false identity, I think I'll use the alias Proberta Gerber.

We made excellent time, arriving in Santa Nella at 4:30 PM, eleven hours after we left. We checked into our rooms at the Motel 6 and were given 2 rooms on the ground floor, just a couple of doors away from the office, just what we wanted. We backed the car into a space right outside my room and within a few minutes, we had unloaded what we needed for the night. A quick look at the back of the TV revealed that there would be no problem hooking up the VCR that we had packed. So we decided to go have dinner and then return to watch a little TV before turning in early for the night.

Dinner was at Split Pea Andersen's restaurant where they make the best pea soup in California. The best pea soup in the US is made by my mom in Oregon. We both ordered the Traveler's Special which consists of pea soup (all you can eat), rolls, crackers and a beverage. We both ordered the vanilla shake. After eating two bowls of soup a piece, we ordered dessert to go.

Back in the room we watched some TV, ate our dessert and then felt our eyelids begin to droop. We decided to make an early night of it so we could be on the road early the next morning. Jason went back to his room and we were both asleep by 7:30 PM.


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