I can't say I'm a huge fan of car rides. I'm not. I get car-sick, my legs get cramped, we run out of music to listen to, and snacks are scarce. But this road trip we have planned is not like any normal road trip.
A few weeks ago, Stanford sent out an email saying that we could go back to campus to pick up our stuff and pack up our dorms officially. Local California residents were able to do it two weeks before, but my out-of-state person was finally allowed to return to campus and say a formal goodbye to all the freshman year memories that were cut short due to COVID-19.
The plan was to drive down the West Coast and make several stops since flying right now is too risky. While a straight path down to Palo Alto from where I live would normally be just over 14 hours, this new route will take about 18 total hours.
We ended up leaving the house around 1PM due to some morning plans and stopped at a bakery along the way to pick up some pastries and drinks. We made no other stops and three and a half hours later, we are now here in Seaside, Oregon. I personally slept through the majority of the car ride because I wanted to escape some unsettling thoughts.
My mom is afraid to eat out a lot right now, so we packed a lot of fresh food in a cooler that we are lugging down the coast. Our hotel room is actually a suite, so we are fortunate to have a kitchenette to prepare our dinner with and clean-up after. After a quick dinner, we took a stroll down the main road of the town, which was actually quite modest. Many stores and restaurants were closed, but it didn't stop any liveliness from happening around town. I think my favorite part of the town was this corner that had an old theater with bright lights and signs that reminded me of New York. I think this Seaside theater is a bar now, though.
At the end of the road was a small memorial statue and stairs leading down to the beach. It was low tide, so the sandy part of the beach sprawled into the horizon. We walked right up to the water right during the end of the sunset, so the sky was dark blue but still luminous. My parents told me that they took me here when I was a lot younger and that they have a picture of me standing next to a heart with "LOVE" inside it, engraved in the sand.
Tomorrow, we're going to Newport but stopping at Cannon Beach along the way. See you then!