We were up at 7:45am today, I think because the bed was so comfy at the Huntington Beach Travel Lodge. Our normal routine again today, shower, breakfast in the room with blogging. It's important while you're on the road to have a routine to hang on to. Especially with the many random things we're doing like not having a destination, route, or reservations made, save for a couple of nights where it was required. Mornings are peaceful and relaxing, days are exciting and fun, evenings are cozy and tired.
Kris and I were chatting about what it might be like to go back to daily life now that we are nearing the return leg of our trip. We imagined it strange to only ride our bikes for 20 minute stretches to work and back. To maybe get up extra early in the morning just for a little more time on them or taking the scenic route back home from work. We both agreed that normal life pales in comparison to honeymoon life. Kris asked, "Can we just honeymoon forever." To which, I said, "Not unless we win the lottery."
I imagined what it might be like for a couple we met at a talk, Tad and Gaila, to return home on their 14 month tour of North and Central America. Jobs, bills, days of the week, even time of the day measures differently during honeymoon or vacation life. I can't begin to tell you how much less stress I've felt not having obligations or ties to life at home.
Back to our trip. We ate breakfast on the balcony, overlooking the ocean waves as they crashed gently into the soft, fluffy sand. The wind blew gently as we wrote, both enjoying each other's company in quiet stretches of blogging interspursed with random questions and recolections of the previous day's activities. We laughed at silly things Spanky was doing and commiserated over slow and dangerous car drivers.
We left Huntington Beach headed south again on 101. Shortly after Seal Beach 101 turns into beach town with many tourist shops and lots of traffic lights. We weren't going to repeat the previous day's endless stop and go traffic so after a bit of lane splitting, we hopped onto I-5 South toward San Diego.
I-5 was also stop and go, to which we decided, communicating over our bluetooth headsets that seem to work about 50% of the time, that we should try splitting lanes again. This ended poorly. Our destination was the Carlsbad In-N-Out but after only a few miles of stop and go lanesplitting, Kris was too far behind me for our communication devices to reach each other.
I was in a panic. Our exit was only 3 miles away and I had no idea where Kris was. My imagination started thinking she got run over by a car and she was laying on the side of the freeway. I saw fire trucks with lights and sirens on pass over the freeway and imagined the worst.
I pulled over on the side of the freeway, waited for what seemed like an eternety which in reality was probably like 5 minutes with no sign of Kris. A text appears on my phone, "In Carlsbad. Got directions." I immediately call her. She's ok and says she'll meet me there.
I race to the In-N-Out. No Kris. I pace around frantically wondering which driveway she's going to appear from, if at all. Maybe I imagined her texts and phone call?
She eventually appears and I direct her to my much closer parking spot with a place reserved for her little ninja. For some reason it's really important to me that her bike be parked next to mine. Maybe seeing her ninja next to mine will help me calm down.
Food helped. If you ever go to In-N-Out make sure to order your burger "Animal Style". This gets you sauted onions and mushrooms. So yummy! I think if we had these in Washington two things would happen. One, I would be very fat. Two, other fast food restaurants would go out of business.
We hopped back on I-5 and traffic was now moving at a normal pace. It was a relief to be together again.
Once we reached San Diego we had plans to check out Coronado and Imperial Beach. Once we got to Coronado the traffic was again terrible with stop and go, traffic lights every block. Memories of that awful day before came back and after some discussion, we decided to skip Imperial Beach and just head for our evening destination, Julian.
If it weren't for that random motorcyclist a few days before in Santa Cruz, a guy named Nick and his KTM, we wouldn't have known about this place called Julian and it's legendary pies.
The 50 or so miles to Julian start as straight 4 lane highways and eventually as you get higher into the dry, rocky hills the roads turn to windy 2 lane side roads with many hyndai and kia's driving well below the speed limit, holding up us bikers for miles. With no passing zones, the potential for fun simply turns into a feeling of dislike for everything that has 4 wheels.
We eventually reach Julian, not knowing exactly what to expect as we came here with little to no information besides you have to taste the pie. We were delighted to find out it is a fun little tourist town with the gold rush theme and beautiful scenery in all directions. What a gem!
We parked the bikes, found Julian Pie Company, and got in line. There are so many tasty options! There's natural apple pie, homemade apple pie, dutch apple pie, and all sorts of other sweets! We decide on carmel dutch apple pie and Kris gets cinnamon ice cream.
Wow, by far the best pie I've ever tasted! Sweet, crunchy, soft in the middle, warm, and the carmel is sooo gooey! One can order this pie, frozen, from http://www.julianpie.com and I highly reccomend it!
We walk around some, snap some pictures of the rustic old buildings and look for a hotel. Everywhere we turn, no vacancy signs are up. Kris gets on her phone and starts calling. I feel a mind panic that we'll have to leave, ride another 100 or so miles to find a place to sleep. I've had pie, it's time for bed!
We found the most wonderful place called, Orchard Hill Country Inn. The most beautiful Bed & Breakfast and certainly the nicest place we've to yet. Only one room available, Sweet Bough is it's room name. We'll take it!
We ate dinner at the Inn and oh boy was it amazing! We opted for the tenderloin steak, potatoes, and veggies. It was perhaps the most tender and delicious steak I'd ever had.
An amazing day. Dessert first. I wouldn't have it any other way!