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October 22, 2004: Seattle trip - On the road again

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When we put in our order for the Prius we had hoped it would arrive by the time we went up to Ashland in May. Of course, that didn't happen and it took two more months before it finally showed up at the dealers so we could drive it away. But that desire to take our cute little car on a road trip didn't go away just because it came late. Add to that the recent opening of the new Science Fiction museum, as well as the fact that neither of us has spent much time (if any) in Seattle itself, and suddenly plans for this weekend's road trip were born.

We packed up as much as we could on Thursday night, but the nice thing about driving, as opposed to flying, is that if you forget something you can always turn around and go back for it so there was no stress. I had to get up early anyway because I'd promised my mom I'd meet her at Curves to work out before we left. Once I got home from that it didn't take us much longer to toss everything into the car and hit the road.

The first stretch of the drive up to Seattle is not very exciting, mainly because there is nothing remotely exciting about I-5 pretty much its entire length through California. I suppose it helped that we'd driven this part before, back in May, so had a better sense of how long it would take us to get to Ashland, and a few years back I flew up to Portland to meet Richard (who'd been up there for work) and we drove from Portland to Seattle to spend the weekend with my little sister and her family. It was just the stretch from Ashland to Portland that was a big mystery.

I drove the first leg, while Richard either dosed or read. He packed his mp3 player so I had plenty of music to sing along to. We lunched at wonderful little vegetarian restaurant in Ashland (their baklava was divine), and then got back in the car and drove and drove and drove. At one point, back when I had no idea quite how long it would take us to get from Ashland to Portland, I suggested we might have time to swing by Powell's books, which I have heard great things about but have not yet seen. However, we didn't hit Portland until long past dinnertime and by that point it was dark and raining and I was sick to death of being in the car and most of all I did not want to make my little sister have to wait up for us until the wee hours of the morning just so we could stop and see a bookstore. So we stopped off at a Denny's for dinner because it was right off the road and then we got back in the car and peered blearily at the directions and a little less than three hours later we were pulling into their driveway and finally there. No matter how much you are looking forward to seeing the people you are going to see, or how much you love the people you are in the car with, 18 hours with only one break is a very, very long time to be stuck in a car on the road.

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