The official announcement: I'm taking my annual road trip to Portland and the Pacific Northwest this year. I should be up there July 1 through 5, leaving on the 6th. So be prepared. Who will be around?
I did a quick calculation of my remaining paid time off for the year in preparation for another trip (NYC this fall ... hopefully that pans out) and realized that, if I took my 4th of July vacation exactly as I had planned/scheduled, I'd be left with only one or two days for the entire rest of the year. This includes vacation and sick leave, since my company combines them both into PTO. So I lopped off a couple of the planned days for this trip, to try and save them for the fall vacation.
Interestingly enough, I think the restricted vacation opened my mind up to greater possibilities. My first night off is now Tuesday night, July 1. Since I work that morning until 6:30, if I wanted to do a straight 12-hour drive to Portland from SF, I'd have to waste that entire day resting up and sleeping, leaving the next morning, Wednesday. Which might still happen. But I was looking at the route and playing with Yahoo! maps, and realized that Crater Lake — a place I've always wanted to get back to — is only a 7-hour drive from SF ... still a distance, but I think one I could pull off. If I sleep right up until I have to go to work that night, and leave right after my shift.
So here's the plan, for those of you who need to know:
Tuesday, June 30: get off work, drive up to Crater Lake, get a camp site. Set up my tent and take a nap for a couple hours, leaving me with enough time (thank heavens for summer light late nights up north!) to do a little hiking and exploring before I have to retreat back to my site and hunker down for the evening. I just need a tent and sleeping bag -- I already even have a grill. Huzzah!
Wednesday, July 1: Wake up somewhat early, pack my stuff back into the car, go do some more hiking and exploring around the lake. Once I'm done, start heading out towards Portland, with the aim to be at Critter Cove sometime in the late afternoon/evening ... which is what I would have been doing, anyway, if I'd rested up and left SF Wednesday morning instead of Tuesday.
Thursday, July 2 - Sunday, July 5: Muck around Portland. I want to try to do some wine tasting in the Willamette Valley and/or Columbia Gorge areas. Relax. Enjoy my time with my friends. Maybe pop up to Seattle to hang with the peeps from my company's office up there. Celebrate the 4th. Cook dinner for y'all. Get drunk on beer and Goldschlager (do I have to bring my own, or will there be a supply waiting for me?)
Monday, July 6: Leave early, drive down in time for work, or even my ceramics class. Who knows? I'll be braindead, but I'll be vacationed.
Consider yourself warned. This is all Happy Happy for me.