I Left My Heart In Mendocino | Part 1

March 7, 2016

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Last weekend John turned 31 and I really wanted to get him away from Tacoma, and the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. I found a great deal on a cute little Oceanside hotel in Mendocino, CA and knowing nothing of the town decided we should make a spontaneous road trip. After staying out all night in Seattle at a concert with friends we woke up at 6am on Saturday and hit the road for a whirlwind three day adventure!

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The thing about Road Movies is that they have almost nothing to do with the destination. The road serves as a kind of test for our hero(s) as they seek escape, perspective, or maturity. While our total time in Mendocino only added up to an exact 36 hours, a mere 5 hours more than our total drive time, it never felt like we sacrificed our “vacation” time for “travel” time. The drive was as much a part of the adventure as our time spent in town as it was filled with amazing sights, easy conversation, and lots of individual reflection.

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Our nearly 31 hours (round trip) in the car was stunning. We drove I5 all the way into California and got on Hwy 101 at the Redwoods. Neither of us had ever made this drive before and the entire journey held SO. MUCH. BEAUTY. Washington in the early morning was gray and misty–something straight out of Pride & Prejudice. Southern Oregon at midday felt exactly like traveling through the Shire, and then there was the California coast… what can I say about that? By what can only be described as a miracle our trip included 72 hours of perfect weather: not too hot or cold with visibility to the end of the Earth.

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John works very hard and pours all of himself into “doing a good job” at everything. He is always trying to figure out how to be a good husband, a good man, a good employee, a good manager… My job in this partnership is to create opportunities for rest, for play, and for not thinking so very hard about how to be better. It is a great joy to witness the love of your life at ease. A long road trip, it turns out, is just the ticket!

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From the moment we arrived in Mendocino at 11pm I was completely in love. I’ll share more specifics tomorrow, but I suspect what I loved so much about it was the feeling that I could be in Northern California, or perhaps the English countryside (which is really where I belong). Our entire hotel was covered in roses–outside in the gardens, on the walls, on the carpet… and it was green everywhere!

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I have to brag about White Lightening, our brave little Fiat. She made the more than 1600 miles without complaint and was the vessel for #johnandcourtneysexcellentadventure (the hashtag that caused much controversy over on my Insta). We are ceaselessly impressed with what she can handle. By the way, we only spent $70.17 TOTAL on gas, which leads me to two conclusions, 1) our tiny car is a superhero and, 2) these low gas prices can only mean that something terrible is coming… When, in life, something seems too good to be true… it is.

By Courtney

Author of PrettyRX, a lifestyle blog.

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