Saturday, April 03, 2010

Desert Road Trip 2010

Living in SF these soon-to-be 15 years there is an isolation to the Bay Area that really bugs me, yes even with these 800,000 people I share a city with. Being a part of the megalopolis of the Eastern seaboard  for most of my life I always felt connected to friends and family via an automobile. In three hours I could drive and be somewhere in Virginia eating at the table of friends, five hours another state and on ward I could dream to go. Out here in SF, there is nothing/no one for 5-6 hours.  No one loves a road-trip more than me, I have subjected E+E to mini versions since there were infants during summer holidays as I hit Wake, Fredericksburg, Washington, DC, Philidelphia, Bucks County, NYC...Anyway, my friend Pat came to visit us late last summer and when I realized she drove here in two days from Southern Arizona, I had a destination, I felt freedom enter my psyche. Some time this winter it hit me that we were due for a road trip. I've really not seen the desert except for my cross-country adventure moving west but event that was at 85 miles an hour towing a car behind my U-Haul. The children quickly joined my plan with enthusiasm.

My trip-planning took many forms but ended up with a solid, ambitious but doable journey for team mama, Eva + Eli. We departed SFO (yes the airplane portion was a last-minute addition) on March 27th ,were in Venice Beach by 9:30 am, joining the Nadal/Zarrow clan for a family brunch at James Beach, followed by henna tattoos for the children, fun on the boardwalk, a dinner of Israeli food and bed in Calabasas. Sunday was a long day with a two hour drive to see the  poppies at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve and back on the road through the San Bernadina Valley Mountain for hours of driving on I-10 until 5pm where I could not go any further. I was very sick from a new cold and within an hour of being on the 10, I was toast. My wing-man from his seat at his desk in SF, Art booked us in to a roadside hotel in Blythe, CA, the last stop before NOWHERE, where we enjoyed some time by the pool before bed. The next day was a long journey through the Arizona desert to 1.5 hours south of Tucson, a town called Aravaca, where my friend Pat lives. Three days living off-grid with Pat, rising to her newly crowing rooster Rue, collecting an egg from a timid layer, Mira, re-potting herbs and selling them at market, splashing amongst the cottonwood trees in Aravaca Creek, sleeping in our adorable trailer Rosie and sipping tea/coffee in Marigold (which hosted the heater!) and sneak-view at what it'd be like to work at a CSA (community supported agriculture.) Art joined us for some resort time in Arizona, dinner with Uncle John and Aunt Jane, a quick trip through Joshua Tree National Park and a luxurious 24 hours at the Ace Hotel  in Palm Springs.


  1. Niiice. And puppies, too!

    A gorgeous account of your adventure. I didn’t know about your sense of isolation in the Bay area, but it makes sense. I’d just never thought about it before.

    I loved your guest accommodations in the teardrop trailer, and the vibrant yellow in the brown fields. I want the pictures to be BIGGER when I click on them; I’m greedy that way.

    Btw, Google Maps denies the existence of Aravaca. I think you dreamed it. It certainly looks like a dream.

  2. Awesome - loved the contrast between trailer living and the lux living at the Ace. so glad Art joined you guys, meant you had the best of both worlds, time with the kids alone, time as a whole family.

    I completely agree with Sydney - I kept clicking on pics, and wanted them LARGE! what was that lens you used? neato.