Nate and I have been without a car since we moved back from France in September of 2008. In this day and age that’s a long time to be at the mercy of public transportation. But living in a downtown flat meant that almost everything we needed was within walking distance or a short trolley ride away. We used our scooter to get to church or other places that public transportation wasn’t convenient for but this past January we re-joined society and bought a car. It’s nothing special… just a Honda Accord but it signifies a freedom we had been living without (plus it will fit a newborn baby nicely).
Obviously, Nate and I love to travel so not having a car for almost a year and a half was really hard. Not because we don’t love to walk places (we always prefer walking over driving) or need to run errands or do a run to Costco. But because we constantly feel the need to escape. To feel freedom. To not be confined the the schedules of buses or trolleys or people. We love to take off on a whim and not having a means to do that has put a cramp in our proverbial style.
Shortly after we purchased the car we took an impromptu road trip to Idyllwild, CA. Idyllwild is a beautiful little town tucked away in the San Jacinto mountains. We left San Diego on Saturday morning and took the back roads through deserts, vineyards and national parks. It was amazing just to drive. To be free. Not to be tied down to schedules or certain routes. Freedom.
When we reached Idyllwild we were welcomed with a fresh sprinkling of snow on the ground! It was a welcome surprise and made our little getaway seem like we were a million miles away from San Diego. We stayed at the Strawberry Creek Inn, an adorable bed and breakfast just off the main road. The owners were wonderful and very accommodating (they even made me gluten-free muffins for breakfast!). We stayed in a cottage located behind the main house complete with fireplace, robes, snacks and anything else one might need while escaping the city.
We spent a few hours walking around the quaint town. We reminisced about our childhood at a local toy and candy shop, bought ostrich and buffalo jerky at a great little shop called “Grampa’s House of Jerky”, and sipped on local coffee before returning to the Inn. We spent the rest of the day sitting in the sunny dining room of the main house playing board games. We laughed and talked and relaxed. No cell phones. No computers. Just us.
It was a great weekend made even greater by the ability to flex our freedom after so many months. We’ve taken several day trips since then… along the coast and out to the dessert. And even though Nate and I prefer to live in a walkable area, our car is now a constant reminder that we can get away whenever we want.