in the spring of 2005 we bought a minivan. a minivan that would take us back and forth and back and forth along the west (best) coast. every summer. and every winter. we bought it before i had this blog. before my first digital camera. before flickr. when i was still shooting film all the time and putting photos into albums. when the girls were almost 4 and just weeks away from 1.
two weeks ago, now, we sold that minivan. it was bit bittersweet. it was definitely time, with 10 years and over 150,000 miles. i was ready to say goodbye to the three hubcaps, shabby mats and unidentified goo i could never get out of the rear seat cup holder. but it was paid for! and held a lot of memories.
i love a good road trip - as anyone who has read this blog knows. we do road trips. and 10 years and a few months ago, just after purchasing this van, we set off on our first to our island. d made sure our aaa membership was up-to-date and i started to do some research on their website, looking for maps and other references to guide us on our way. i stumbled upon the TripTik option and immediately ordered one, typing in our starting point and our destination. i'm not sure these are still available or not - now there seems to be a print your own option, though you can still order one. (though i think the format is different.) ours arrived and d and i poured over it. dreaming about the road ahead. in these early days we were ambitious. we allowed four or five days to traverse up the Interstate 5 (which stretches from the Mexico to Canada borders) and camped and stayed with friends along the way. (K celebrated her first birthday at a campsite in the shadow of Mt. Shasta on that first trip!)
now we can make it up in less than 48 hours. we do one stop (usually the Hi-Lo in Weed going up, and the Best Western in Redding coming down). we still use the same TripTik.
when i cleaned out the old van it was there with our ferry card and the menu to my favorite lunch spot when the girls and i detour over to the 101 at the end of every summer.
many of the pages have come loose from the spiral binding. every page has scribbles and notes showing favorite lunch spots and rest stops. calculations to answer "how much farther until..." an expense list from the first trip (hotel in Buttonwillow for $45 and gas for $2.30 / gallon!) it has directions to get to melissa's and the phone number of the realtor who helped us purchase our cottage. (after a few summers renting, we knew we had to put down real roots there.) it has lots and lots of e's attempts at printing out her name and quiet notes we'd pass back and forth over the seats.
i'm looking forward to many more road trips and moving this well-worn book into the glovebox of the new car. a little piece of the van we are holding on to. a map that takes me many places.