After having already been abroad twice during the year – first of all to Mexico and Canada on vacation, and then to various US states for work, there was still time left for one last trip. Originally the plan was to travel to Florida with my sister, though after realising that leaving a trip to Florida for another year would allow for Disney to open up a new Star Wars area first we decided to delay that. Instead I started planning a trip around the state of Arizona where we’d be taking it in turns to drive.
Unfortunately my sister was ill just before I went to Mexico back in May and the plans for Arizona had to be cancelled, or at least delayed as it was unlikely she’d be able to fly in November. Instead I spoke to a friend I often travel with and we decided that we’d attempt a roadtrip along the coast of California.
Before anything could really be decided on we needed to come up with a list of what we wanted to see. It had been recommended that we included some surfing at Carpinteria Beach, and we wanted to see Big Sur. I was also keen on seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour that I knew was located in the Science Museum in LA. I also didn’t really want to go as far south as San Diego, and I wanted to visit San Francisco some other time so I could spend more time there so with this in mind we began to plan the road trip along the coast from San Jose to Los Angeles.
The planning from this point on meant figuring out how long we’d need in each place so we’d know where we’d be each night so we could get a hotel booked. There were a few bits I thought might not work out quite right, but perhaps it would add to the adventure of a week driving through a foreign country. I’ve never driven overseas before, so have never driven on what we’d consider to be the “wrong side of the road”, and I’ve never driven an automatic either as I prefer manual.
I also needed to figure out where I’d be able to run each day as well, as I needed to keep my training going as I’d be beginning the build-up to an Ultra Marathon in the new year. I accepted though I might not get to put in as many runs or as many miles as I could do with though so I tried to time my runs around the trip as best I could to minimise how many miles I’d need to do whilst there.
In the week before the trip I had to sort out getting a code from the DVLA to be able to drive abroad, and also finish packing what equipment I would need for the week. As it was only a week and fairly predictable it meant I could pack lighter than I have done for most trips in the past.