Traffic And Bridges and Fires, Oh My!

California is an interesting place.  It’s beautiful but it can be a little frustrating.  Our first frustration is that it is unlike other states when it comes to highway signage.  In our travels, it’s always easy to find out what services are available at an exit. Usually about a mile before an exit you’ll see signs showing what food places, what hotels and what fuel services are there.  Not so on I-10 or the 210 in Southern California.  We searched for over almost 2 hours to find a hotel on Tuesday night.  We found one…sold out…found a second…sold out.  Finally that hotel directed us to a nearby area with several.  We finally got to bed at a nice Quality Inn at about 2:30am. 

We were up and at ’em on Wednesday morning, had breakfast at Denny’s (photos to come) and were on our way. 

We drove north on the I-5.  This takes you through the San Joaquin valley which is just beautiful.  Hills and farm fields and groves of fruit trees.  Miles and miles of sky!  Really a beautiful area. 

We did really well and made good time to get to the San Francisco area just in time for rush hour!!  It’s always interesting to see how commuters act in rush hour.  For the most part the people in the San Fran area were pretty polite…letting each other in and out of lanes, fairly smooth, but still a little trouble with signage.  It’s hard to be in the correct lane, when you don’t know where the road is heading…more signs, please!

We got through San Fran fine, across the San Rafael bridge…incredible view!  When we got on the 101, things were slow, then got slower, then stopped.  Nearly two hours of inching along later, we finally found out that there had been a big fire along the road…several hillsides were blackened and there were tons of fire trucks up and down the hillsides.  Rather scary when we saw how dry the entire area was.

At about the Sonoma county line things opened up and we were on our way.  We had made plans to call my cousin Kim as soon as we got off of the expressway in Rohnert Park and she would meet us to lead us in to her house.  First thing we found was a Safeway parking lot.  We called her and she said she’d be five minutes.  We picked a good spot because if was so close to her house and there was a pizza place right there.

I was so excited to see her and since she was waiting for us to get here to make decisions about dinner, we just went into Round Table pizza.  It was delicious and it was such fun to sit there and talk and re-establish our connection.

When we got back to Kim’s house, the three of us sat outside in her little courtyard behind the house for the longest time.  Then Ralph headed into bed and Kim and I stayed up much later talking.  What fun!

Had a great night’s sleep, it’s nice and cool here at night.

Lots to do today, so we’ll see how it goes.  I’ll catch you all up photos probably when we get back to New Mexico.

Happy Friday!!  Hello from the Coast!!

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4 responses to “Traffic And Bridges and Fires, Oh My!

  1. wow – you had quite the adventure until you met up with kim, fran!! glad you have arrived safe n sound! enjoy every moment of your visiting – so fun to reconnect with old friends/family!
    there is construction on the 401 into toronto right now…and signage is worse than ever. every time i drive in, i think of tourists and how frustrating it would be to try to find exits right now!!

    • Cathy, that’s exactly what Ralph and I were thinking. If you Know the area, you don’t need the signs and I think the city planners forget about tourists sometimes, but Heck…this is San Francisco…just a little bit touristy would you say?!

  2. Your comment about the signage is so funny to me Fran! I know in some spots it’s pretty sparse but I can’t stand what seems to be OVER signage in NJ. I get so confused because there are too many signs. The signs over the express sometimes they look like they are for local and there are so many different diretions and sometimes, seems to me, the signs are way too late to get in the right lane–in CA nearly all of the exits are right, left exits are rare. Just goes to show it’s what you are used to! Sorry about the hotel thing, that was no fun 😦

    • It all turned out in the end. We’re starting to feel like old regulars around here. At least in this area, I could see myself becoming comfortable in short order. Of course, we’ve had Kim’s help and she’s lived here for so long, she can do it with her eyes closed!

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