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When my husband and I were first dating, we decided it would be fun to take a vacation out West one summer and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I guess I sort of forgot, that at the time, I spent 3 hours a day on the road commuting and maybe sitting in car (no matter how gorgeous the view) would not really feel like a vacation.

I would have 400 miles in California to mull that decision over.

We flew out to San Francisco and rented a convertible Mustang which had red ants crawling out the glove compartment and center console. So we traded it in for a less cool car that also had a lot less wildlife.

I was out of sorts from the beginning of the drive. First of all, as a life long blonde, I had suddenly gone brunette just before the trip. It did not become me. And every two or three miles, I would look at myself in the visor mirror, scowl in disgust and mutter, “I hate my hair.”

I was also on this health kick where I was attempting to consume three liters of water a day. My bladder holds 2 tablespoons of water. So as soon as I would get back in the car from a bathroom stop, I pretty much had to go again. I would hold it as long as I could, fearing that Rick would rip the water bottle out of my hand and launch it into the Pacific ocean. For some reason, it never occurred to me to STOP DRINKING SO MUCH WATER.

We visited Big Sur which was absolutely gorgeous. We also spent a night in lovely Monterey. We took a walk by the Monterey Bay where a group of people had gathered.

Rick cheerfully greeted the group, “Hey there! We’re from out of town. What’s going on here?”

“We are spreading our grandfather’s ashes in the bay,” one person replied.

Okay. Good to know.

“We’re sorry for your loss,” we mumbled.

We finally made our way to Los Angeles to attend Rick’s best friend’s wedding. I promptly had my hair highlighted.

The wedding was at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I know. The god damn Beverly Hills Hotel. It was incredibly beautiful.

The one thing I really didn’t want to do at the wedding was catch the bouquet.  I just don’t think it’s fair to put a spotlight on all the unmarried women in the middle of a reception and make them fight like lunatics for the chance of getting hitched. It’s demoralizing.

The best way to not catch a bouquet is to not participate when the bride throws it.

Which is what I did.

Until a friend dragged me out onto the ballroom floor at the very last minute and the bouquet shot like a laser beam into my hands.

Everybody started cheering and the video camera was suddenly in my face. I think I had some kind of look of horror, embarrassment and having to pee.

It wasn’t pretty. Even with my new highlights.

Of course, I did get engaged that October. Quite happily.

So maybe some things are meant to be.

P.S. I have never taken another “driving” vacation.

P.P.S. I did not throw a bouquet at my wedding. Although I did make everyone drink a liter of water.

mama bird notes:

This post was sponsored by Allstate insurance (because I need money for wine and cute clothes). They didn’t tell me what to write. They just asked me to write about something driving related. To the best of my knowledge, they have no opinion on bouquet tossing at weddings.

Allstate is sponsoring this post because they want you to know about Good Hands Roadside Assistance. It’s pay as you go roadside assistance.  You don’t need to have Allstate insurance. There are no monthly fees. That’s right. FREE unless you use it. It’s super quick to sign up and you can register up to 5 users on your account. And they will not sell or share your information.

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12 Responses to you may not want to vacation with me on the pacific coast highway

  • Diane says:

    I lived in CA for a year so I can attest to the truth that you need good auto insurance with all those CA crazies around. Especially on a death route like the PCH! Thanks for weaving a little romance and reminiscing into the story too!

  • Becky says:

    I’ll see your driving vacation with your beloved, and raise you one driving vacation with my mom, dad and three sisters when I was about 10. **shudders at the memories**

  • Marinka says:

    Hysterical. But I don’t understand why you didn’t just wear a diaper like that astronaut woman who drove cross country to kill her romantical rival.

    • Hey, I had the exact same thought. While this may be unsettling and stalkerish to you, for me having the same thought as Marinka means my sense of humor is improving.

      Don’t be skeered.

    • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

      Wearing diapers isn’t as much fun as peeing by the side of the road all along the route; while your car partner is busy shooting photos of your exposed parts. That makes a ‘trip to remember’ and exciting photos to show everyone…no one ever fell asleep looking at my ‘trip photos’.

  • FranceRants says:

    Ha! I used to live in Southern California and the hubs and I would drive up highway 1. Right about Big Sur, I would get motion sickness. So I started to take Dramamine before Big Sur and then slept through the Big Sur drive – twice.

  • I took this drive myself with a few less bathroom stops. And no ashes. And I was blond in those days. So obviously I had a lot more fun than you did. Except for the inexplicable stop in Carmel to try to spy then-mayor Clint Eastwood, whom I really don’t care for. Go figure.

  • What a cute story! My boyfriend tells me I’m not allowed to have any water whenever we leave for a roadtrip because I do the exact same thing, hehehe… San Francisco is so beautiful!

kelcey kintner