Lens-Artist Challenge #215 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

“Life is a journey, not a destination….You are the artist, paint what you will.”

For our challenge this week, John from Journeys with Johnbo encourages us to share images that focus on our journeys, possibly the modes of transportation which took us there. Or to even share images of places we discovered while on our journey.

I think my love for travel started when I was a child. I couldn’t tell you when exactly it started. But if I had to guess it was the trip, we took out west when I was about six (6) years old. It was so exciting because this was my first plane ride. And from what I remember we saw a LOT of the country – everything from The Hoover Dam to The Grand Canyon; San Diego to Disney Land, and lastly to San Franciso. I remember it being so much fun I cried (literally) when we had to come home.

“A photograph is a return ticket to moments already gone.”

Yes, I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life to travel to many places here in the U.S. and to other parts of the world. And I’ve pretty much been on all forms of transportation, too: planes, trains, automobiles, sailboats, cruise ships, helicopters and yes, even The Goodyear Blimp!

But one of my most memorable adventures was another trip out west which Michael and I took Christmas of 2011. We couldn’t decide where we wanted to go, so we narrowed it down to three (3) places. We wrote the names on pieces of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a bowl. I don’t remember which one of us drew the winner, but we landed on a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Our motto for the trip was “No map, no plans, no place to be.” It’s a line from Toby Keith’s song “South of You.” The only parts of the trip planned were our airline and rental car reservations. And so, on Christmas Day we headed to the airport and boarded a plane to San Diego, CA

Once we landed and picked up our sporty Mustang convertible for the trip, we headed to our first stop just outside of San Diego (Carlsbad, CA) for a quick visit with our nephew and his family.

Our activities for the day included lunch, a walk on the pier, and a visit to Mission San Louis Rey de Francia – Oceanside, CA. You can tell the boys were quite warn out from our day’s outing and scooting around in the convertible!

The real adventure of “no map, no plans, no place to be” started when we left San Diego. Our first stop that day was lunch in Laguna Beach. It’s definitely the artist colony it’s known for.

We didn’t stop much that day because we were too busy enjoying the coastline scenery. But, by the time we reached Los Angeles and navigated our way through the traffic, we decided to call it quits for the day.

We pulled into Malibu, just in time to grab a place for the night. And, since we didn’t have any reservations, we had no idea what we were in for when it came to hotels. We were lucky enough though, to find a wonderful little inn on the ocean and were greeted the next morning by a cute seagull at our balcony door (which was at the foot of our bed).

Day 3 – More driving, but we didn’t care, the scenery was amazing. We stopped for the night at Moonstone Beach in Cambria. THIS was the downfall of “no reservations.” We ended up in a dive of a motel. It was one of those places where you wouldn’t dare take your shoes off, let alone get under the covers! But it was a small price to pay for a beautiful sunset.

After that fateful night when we were ready to stop for the day, we would go to the nearest restaurant/bar and ask the locals for their recommendations……they never failed us.

“Due to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”

~Charles Kuralt

This is one of Michael’s favorite quotes and it’s so true. We may not have been driving coast to coast, but the quote is still appropriate for our south to north journey on the PCH. Afterall, if we had chosen to take the interstate look at all we would have missed.

Our last stop just in time for New Year’s Eve was San Francisco. We decided to return the rental car and walk or take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) instead. We wrapped up our trip with a nice dinner catching up with some longtime friends.

Thanks, John for this wonderful challenge. It was fun re-living this road-trip and all the wonderful memories Michael and I enjoyed together.

Next week it’s Sofia’s turn. Be sure to follow her at Photographias so you don’t miss out on her theme.

Until next time,

~donna

15 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Challenge #215 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

  1. Excellent photos! Love the idea of tossing ideas into a bowl and picking one-Randy and I will have to try that! Would love to get back out to to the West Coast! 📸💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry I’m late to the party on this one Donna! As an East-coaster I’ve spent more time than most of us in California. We have good friends (former neighbors) in Carlsbad as well as good friends in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Pasadena. So we get out there every other year or so, and are headed back this November, Covid be damned!!! loved your story, your boys sound asleep, and the horrific motel we’ve all experienced at least once LOL. Terrific post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve spent much time on the coast as well, so this post resonates with me. It’s the kind of story I envisioned in people’s responses.
    Coincidentally, my first plane ride was from L.A. to San Diego.
    I also love that Charles Kuralt quote.

    Liked by 1 person

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