The Holiday Roadtrip

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Oregon.

I just got back from a much-needed week-long vacation with my family. We drove up from Southern California to Oregon, and went as far north as Seattle. So there are two more states I’ve been in (and hopefully will never have to go back to in the fall/winter).

On Friday, my parents and I woke up early and headed out. I am so thankful for my iTouch and music because that’s all I did the entire way up to Redding, CA. Music is the best. It was raining and we stayed there for the night so my dad wouldn’t have to drive for too long. Meh, nothing to say except that the hotel’s shower was really nice.

On Saturday, the day was much the same as we spent most of it on the road up to Hillsboro, OR. We took a small detour to Mt. Shasta dam, where it was drizzling and it was early and we saw some cute deer prancing around. We finally made it up to my sister’s place at night and I think I was super tired and cold.

On Sunday, we woke up and it was cold and sprinkling and we went to go eat. And then I wanted to nap forever, but instead we went shopping! And then all of the sudden, it was midday and raining and dark and I wanted to sleep some more.

On Monday, I also wanted to sleep forever and my sister had class and my parents were out with family in the area, so I got to sleep and be warm and shop online. I forgot what we did on this day, I think more shopping (no tax is the best thing in Oregon).

On Tuesday, I went to class with my sister to see what it was like even though it was sprinkling and I just wanted to curl up and sleep some more. And then she took me to Portland, where it was cold but not raining. It was a nice area, otherwise. Saw a lot of hipsters, or maybe just people that knew how to layer properly. And there were also a lot of dogs tied up outside; I really just wanted to set them free (Portlandia reference that was actually true).

On Wednesday, we drove a few hours to Seattle, where it actually only rained a small amount for a little bit and it was sunny too. But it was still cold and a little ugly. We just went on the Space Needle, a nice tourist trap. And then we went to go eat somewhere. That’s pretty much it, there wasn’t much else. There was so much traffic going back, it was dark and I just wanted to sleep some more.

On Thursday, we went to search for a lunch place and everywhere was closed (even all the Asian places) except IHOP LOL. And then I went with my sister to her friend’s place to celebrate for a little and then we went to my dad’s cousin’s place. One was an American Thanksgiving and the other was a super Vietnamese one. Very contrasted. And then we decided to go Black Friday shopping because why not? One Target had a huge line of people outside and it was like a stampede and people were parking far away…and then we went to another one and it was relatively calm, though the line wrapped around the aisles along two walls. A little midnight shopping after and back home to sleep.

On Friday, we left early and decided not to stop. So my dad drove like 15 hours straight! So crazy, but happy to be home and be able to sleep in my own bed. I think all those hours spent sleeping on the road and during the week have done wonders for me. I feel relaxed and happy.

Writing all that, it seems as if I slept the entire time and I was miserable, but that’s not the case, lol. But the days did fly by with only a few hours of being outside before it was too cold and rainy and dark, which made me just want to stay inside under a blanket. So weird.

Final notes:

On vacation: Yes, I haven’t been on a vacation for some time now, I think before college. A vacation can sometimes be difficult when you have a million things on your mind and you’re stressed out, perhaps too stressed to even relax. My life has become so routine that I found it difficult to deviate from it because things were so essential to me every day. But it can also be the exact thing needed, even if I wasn’t on some warm beach somewhere. Even in the cold, wet, gray Oregon, it was so perfect to spend the time with family. I learned to relax and put aside my worries for at least a little while and focus on the present. And now that I’m back home, even though I have to focus on reality now, I feel a bit stronger and a bit less down on myself. And I am thankful for that. Other things I’m thankful for include: my bed, Southern California weather, my dogs, clothes, hot showers, and everyone I hung out with in Oregon!

On the OC bubble: Yes, people here have it good and can be naive to a lot of things outside of the comfort of this place. That’s a huge generalization, though. I do love it here and I’ll have to remember this when I want to go to different places in my 20s and explore the world. I will always appreciate this place as my home. I honestly don’t understand how people are so eager to get away so early; like you have your entire life to go live in a box in New York because that will make you so cultured. But home is home, and that’s something I’ve realized during this trip. It just annoys me when people think they’re so much better than everyone here just because they left for college (and I’ve been seeing it a lot on Facebook because people are back home for the holidays) and they’re so much wiser and have been disillusioned to this life. I pity them because they cannot find joy in being comfortable for a little while.

On Thanksgiving: Yes, you should be thankful for things every day of the year, but sometimes it can be hard and there are so many ups and downs that sometimes you forget. So this holiday reminds us to stay grounded and celebrate what we’re thankful for. I remembered that I have so many things going for me, that I should not just focus on the negative. It’s a time to be with friends and family and to enjoy the simplicity of each others’ company. Take the time to actually show appreciation for things that sometimes go unappreciated in everyday life.

On Black Friday: Yes, consumer culture is horrible and we all judge those ratchet folks who are batshit crazy during these times. But people need to stop lamenting the loss of holidays and how consumerism is consuming (hehe) these times. I do think it’s horrible that places are opening earlier on Thanksgiving just for a little sale and people will leave time with their family to go shopping, but that’s not for me to judge or even care about. I do like that some places have been having week-long sales so it’s less crazy for one Friday. Instead of hating on everyone and being all cynical, people should just do what they want and enjoy their holiday. In their heart, the holiday will live on.

~ by Btab on 24 November 2012.

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