So about 1.5 weeks ago, I was sitting in my house on a Friday afternoon after having a fairly light week at work for the first time since, oh, last MAY, when I thought to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be awesome to just toss Ellie and some clothes in the car and drive back to Portland…say, tomorrow?”
The prior weekend, I had flown to Portland for my friend Joni’s 30th birthday. I left Ellie with some friends and hopped on a plane for a 3.5 day break from L.A. I was cheated a bit by work emergencies, so it felt a little too short. So when I found myself at the end of a slow week, with some filings in one of my main cases delayed a little longer, I decided to jump in the car and drive to Portland for some more family time while I had the chance!
Let me tell you, gas right now is expensive. Especially given that my car only gets 18-20MPG, and that the distance from my loft in L.A. to my mom’s place in Clackamas, Oregon is approximately 970 miles. Oh, and especially when you get a speeding ticket for $225 for going 10 miles over the speed limit in the middle of nowhere because you are trying to make up time for GETTING CAUGHT IN A BLIZZARD IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH.
But there is something so therapeutic about driving for hours on open roads in the middle of nowhere, and I knew it was just what I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments when I doubted my decision… Like when I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for miles at a chain check point, and when the “nice” officer who pulled me over was trying to chit chat with me about how cute my dog was. But in the end, it was just what I needed. Some time to be away from the computer and phone and work and friends and family and just let my mind clear up a bit 🙂
Then, right around the last 60 miles or so, I made another last minute decision. Instead of driving straight to my mom’s house as planned, I decided to take a left and head out to the Oregon Coast for a few days. Note to self (and blog readers): don’t take routes to the Oregon Coast at night which you’ve never driven during the day. I was all “oh it’s just two easy turns no big deal at night.” No, friends. It was not two easy turns. I was driving on a very dark, very windy, very ditchy, very no-cell-phone-servicy road. WITH ONE WAY BRIDGES. How do you have a 2-way traffic curvy dark road keep turning into one way bridges?! Add to that the fact that I had been up since 4am on 3.5 hours of sleep, and had already been driving for 15 hours that day, and lets just say I definitely grew some additional gray hairs and may or may not have peed myself a little. Luckily I caught up to two cars that seemed to know what they were doing and followed them. Each time we zoomed across a one-way bridge, I would imagine that I was Charlise Theron in the Italian Job, and that my massive Ford Edge was actual a mini cooper. Somehow it minimized some of the terror 😉
In the end, all my visions of ending up in a ditch on the dark road and having someone in a Jason mask come attack me did not come true. (I’m dramatic anyway, but especially dramatic after driving so long on so little sleep). But it was all worth it, because I got to spend three days relaxing here:
It was just what this overworked girl needed. So even with the cost of gas, the speeding ticket, and the years I’m sure I shed off my life in that last hour of driving, totally cheaper than therapy, and totally worth it.