Where? To California, northern Marin County coast, to be exact, to meet Jim's family at a beach house near Point Reyes. Not that Leroy cares so much about the destination. He just loves to be in the car. I think it's the most content he ever is, sitting in his backseat nest with both of us nearby, in easy monitoring distance (it's his job, after all, and when he can't keep an eye on both of us at the same time, he's in a quandary), while interesting sights and smells zip by outside the window.
We split the trip in two, rather than driving straight through as we often do. I was having seemingly relentless Braxton Hicks contractions in the car as we got further and further from Portland, which gave me a little anxiety. They've continued, off and on, and Jim and I have joked about naming the baby Braxton Hicks Di Bartolo. But not really, obviously. I called the midwife's office at 11 pm and was connected to the [sleepy] doctor on call, who assured me I was not going into labor, which I didn't really think I was. I bet obstetricians get a lot of annoying Braxton Hicks calls. Anyway, we spent the night in Ashland and my uterus calmed down a little, then the next day it was on to California.
Leroy was pretty tired that night.
The next day dawned perfectly sunny, and we were off to the beach, where Leroy protected us from all the rollicking dogs who, being less inclined to attempt to kill any fellow canines, were off leash.
Leroy is never off leash. He would attempt to reduce the four-legged-creature population of the Earth -- cats, dogs, horses, whatever. He might be 15-1/2, but he's "still dangerous":
That was Dillon Beach, at the mouth of Tamales Bay. After, we drove down along the east edge of the bay to Point Reyes Station and out to Limantour Beach, in Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Reyes is a spectacularly gorgeous spot, first discovered (by non-indigenous-people, that is) in the 1570s by Sir Francis Drake and his ship The Golden Hind. Funnily enough, it was another 200 years before the very nearby San Francisco Bay was discovered. Though one of the world's great natural harbors, its mouth is so small (you know it as where the Golden Gate Bridge is) as to be invisible from the sea. So many ships passed it right by, and in the mid-1700s it was finally discovered by an overland expedition. Funny.
Anyway. Leroy didn't really care about the history.
Leroy wasn't the only sleepy one that night.
So, that's Leroy's road trip. You wouldn't know it from that travelogue, but there were other people there too, and really pretty scenery.
(the little wiggler in my belly could have this amazing coloring. Jim did, when he was wee. We've never had red hair in my family. Between us, we have every [caucasian] coloring possibility; so curious was little Braxton Hicks Di Bartolo is going to look like! (ha ha!)
So that's a day at the beach. Lovely, perfect spring day, but still breezy and chilly when one is not tucked into a dune nest amid the sawgrass. The ocean = freezing. I still plot and scheme for the sort of beach days of my youth, in the Mediterranean (I'll take Mexico, too :-) with warm water, hot sand, an umbrella for shade, a bungalow to walk toward lazily. I was recalling how insanely sandy I'd get as a kid, after all day at the beach in Italy (we prided ourselves for never missing a single day, not even when it rained, which was rare; when it rained we'd go down and do gymnastics on the hard-packed sand, then eat gelato in a cafe) -- so sandy that I'd have to scratch the sand out of my scalp with my fingernails in the shower, and the liner of my bathing suit would be heavy with sand. My brother had this trick called bulldozer where, if you were silly enough to lie down in the sand anywhere he might get at you, he'd steamroll the entire length of your body, including grinding your face into the sand. We also played "powdered donuts" which was exactly what it sounds like. Some mornings, my neighbor/best friend Jennifer and I would get up at dawn and go the two blocks to the beach to build entire sand cities before the sun came up and the masses started to arrive. And then, there were the peddleboat expeditions. Those were great summers.
Some day there will be warm sea and hot sand again. With a lot of sunscreen!