Every holiday with my beloved involves 'a big drive'. Even in Portugal where the most beautiful beaches are on your doorstep, he will have found one on the internet/in the guidebook that is 'absolutely superb' and off we'll go, driving for an hour or two and, lo and behold, the beach is as amazing as billed and I can't be cross that we've spent so much time in the car.
So the next two days of our holiday is 'the big drive' and we set off with the hire car packed to the gunnels - the four of us and Gloria - the sat nav. My beloved has a love/hate relationship with sat navs and he refuses to have one in his own car although he navigates the length and breadth of Britain for work. Anyway, Gloria is undoubtedly a spikey blond, a little past her best but she's had some work done and is only slightly disappointed that this is a step down from the newsreader's job she was hoping for. In my beloved's world, she is Myrtle, the big black momma and he persists in calling her that. Anyway, Gloria/Myrtle is the most patient woman on the planet because regardless of the directions she gives, my beloved is going his own way down the Pacific Highway. She says "recalculating" every time he does his own thing at a junction and even after a dozen or so "recalculatings" she doesn't let any edge come into her voice. This woman is a saint!
We have planned to stop off in Monterey and Cartmel but it's "oops, we've missed Monterey" but instead we go to Pebble Beach because it is famous for its classic car auctions apparently. Actually it is one of the greatest golf courses in the world and the fledgling golfer in me is rather enjoying the moment. I look at the names on the roll of honour: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and ... CB. Ah well, a girl can dream. Can I buy some new golf shoes here? (I wear the ones number 3 had when he started playing aged 9) No, apparently as a golf cap costs nearly 50 dollars so shoes would break the bank.
Then we queue through Cartmel but that's a bit cutesy for me - I can only take so much mock Tudor and overpriced boutiques and then on to Pismo Beach with just one stop on the way for the elephant seals. Everyone is parked on the side of the road looking at these giant growling slugs who coolly flick sand and indulge in some occasional pretend fighting. The usual questions from number 4: Can I stroke one/have one for a pet? No. Also, this is where I attempt to get into the wrong SUV much to the amusement of my family.
Gloria takes us to the door of our hotel in Pismo Beach - genius Gloria - and gets some grudging approval from my beloved. Supper then bed for us with another big drive tomorrow. Gloria must be exhausted!
I have cunningly persuaded number 3 to convince his father that we should go direct to Dana Point which is the beach and sun bit of the holiday and he obliges. We have sorted the spotify out on my ipad and we cruise down the rest of the route including the outskirts of Los Angeles listening to some tracks I downloaded before we came out especially for some California driving. Some chuntering from my beloved at the lack of interesting detours but here we are in a rather swish hotel with pools, fitness suite, spa and yes, a tennis court. After two days in the car, I definitely need to burn off some calories. Big drive done and Gloria and I are doing some chillin'.