One thing is for sure: time goes by and so do the years, but we all keep a inner child willing to have fun and with the memories of the joy felt when receiving a new toy for Christmas. It’s been a long time since those days but the child in me is absolutely delighted when Janice and Dennis, the twins’ parents, asked if I would like to take a road trip through the West Coast.
It’s March by now, there’s still now outside and this year spring seems to be very far away still. Sure, let’s go to California with the promise we will go to Disneyland as well. I grow up reading Mickey Mouse’s strips even if my favorite character was Donald Duck, the troublemaker, since I can identify myself in him more than Mickey Mouse, the wise one, who I often found annoying. A visit to Disney’s enchanted world is mandatory at this point to experience the joy of childhood once again.
We load the minivan with all the necessary things we may need before we reach out first destination: drinks, food and diapers for the girls, who have just turned three few months earlier. Mom, dad, Jessica, Savannah, Justin (Janice’s youngest boy) and I leave Spokane early in the morning; a thin layer of ice covers the front yard lawn and I cannot wait to be in the heat of California.
Spokane is in Washington State; two hours drive from the Canadian border and just one hour away from the neighboring state of Idaho. We cross this last one in few hours to find ourselves in Montana, the only state in the US that does not have speed limits on the highway. I immediately understand why: Population = non-existent. Dennis keeps talking about the beauty of this state: mountains, trees and snow. After few hours, mountains, trees and snow started to annoy me since everything looks exactly the same and I hope our surroundings will change soon. Justin and I are impatient, the girls are playing together oblivious to anything around them and Janice is working as navigator, sitting next to dad. Finally our first stop to stretch our legs. The place is called Melrose and the first thing that comes to my mind is the TV show with the same name that takes places in Los Angeles. Too bad this Melrose is merely few homes built around a gas station, which is also the pharmacy, the grocery store, the postal office, the doctor’s office and the bank for the people who leave here, a total of maybe twenty of them. Please take me out of here!!! I need to see people around me; I need to hear people chattering and the cars driving by. Silence is depressing and I find nothing neither relaxing nor comforting in it.
We leave Montana behind us to go back to Idaho, since it’s shaped in such a way that it seems to be hugging its bordering state. We have been driving for several hours when we finally reach Ogden in Utah, where we will spend the night at some friends’ place. The snowy mountains surround us, and as much as I don’t like cold weather, the peaceful atmosphere this panorama is able to instill fascinates me. The home where we are staying is built on a hill and a Jacuzzi in the backyard stands right on the edge of the cliff, with an amazing view on the town below. Very inviting I think, but the thought of crossing the yard half naked in this freezing temperature makes me change my mind immediately. A hot chocolate and a chat with our guests before going to bed is a much better choice at this point. Tomorrow we have a long day ahead of us before reaching our new destination.