Loving our last Great “Daddy – Daughter” Date!

Fresh back from my week-long West Coast RoadTrip… I’m still processing. But I had a throughly enjoyable time exploring the unknown. It was just the two of us (my oldest and I)  in a rental car, no firm plans…simply a general desire to see the sights and wander around uncovering the treasures and tastes sure to be found along the 3000 miles and seven days of open road ahead. We had only brought along the basic clothing essentials, a camera, smartphone (of course)and my favorites…Red Vines, Coffee, Cornuts and a map.

Jessica and Dad at Crater Lake 2012

Jessica now eighteen years old… fresh from her High School Graduation, had planned the basics of the trip six months earlier in the year… She wanted to visit Olympic National Park, the iconic city of Seattle and then drive the Pacific Northwest Coastline south to California and a stop at Yosemite. After that it was a bit vague… so we improvised and drove each day feeling our way south and pacing ourselves as the weather and coastline allowed.

What follows is a bit of introspective dialogue from of a father and a journaling of the places we saw and the things we did. All of it was exactly as it was meant to be and maybe the most bittersweet for me. I was aware that his epic roadtrip may be destined in fact to become our last great… “Daddy- Daughter” Date ! 😦

It’s important to note that in our house… the legacy of the Road Trip is a serious thing and the pattern of having regular “Daddy – Daughter” dates is over a decade old. I’ve been dating my daughters since they were able to walk… starting with tea parties, and wacky singing teddy bear karaoke at bedtime and growing into movie matinees’ with Chucky Cheese or Sonic Ice Creams and eventually becoming full on dinner dates at nice restaurants and special escapes to the beach or to a favorite city for a surprise weekend away.

So… for my oldest, watching her graduation day looming and knowing that she would be leaving our home this fall to start college, she was aware that in that transition… our Road Trip was waiting. A symbolic and treasured tradition that would mark in part the passing of one season to another.… the coming of age of a young-woman as she moves from the safety of her familiar world into the uncertainties and challenges of the unknown world of University life.

And of course… this RoadTrip would offer us both a chance to discover and taste of the spectacular beauty and culture of the Pacific Northwest…up front, close and personal…together. Just the two of us. Free from the constraints of a scheduled life and responsibilities…just the liberty of the open road and the power of a “whim” to redirect our way at a moments notice.

Ahhh… the lifelong lure of the Road Trip, about to be passed to my oldest. Life is good. 🙂

So much for the introduction… as you may have guessed, things didn’t “Quite” go as planned and my assumptions and her’s were about to be “updated” as we sorted out the realities from the fantasy and re-connected as father and daughter along the way. Exactly what the Road Trip is so famous for doing on our family, in my life… and if you take the risk… YOURS.

Blessings RTP Families…. part 1 of our seven-day epic trip will post  next monday. ( 6- 25-12)

Follow along next week with us as we uncover some spectacular beauty. Starting from the soggy, lush green Rainforests of Northwest Washington State and following the iconic Hwy 101 into Oregon’s rugged coastline to the arid and harsh high Sierra’s of North-Eastern California and everything in-between. Find out where to stop for food and where to keep on moving… and laugh and cry with us as I share some of the personal discoveries that can only come from spending 192 hours alone with your oldest child… Buckle up tight, it’s sure to be a wild ride 🙂

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