So much is happening so fast and, for the first time, it’s all good! The BF & I made the decision a few weeks ago to pull up stakes in the Bay Area (boo). But moving to someplace with cheaper rent will allow me to pursue a free-lance career and focus on my writing. Which makes me very, very happy.

Once we decided to leave, we realized that neither of us are tied to any particular place, so why not hit the road? The BF has long been fascinated with Route 66 and has made a couple of cross-country road trips in his younger years. Every since my husband passed away (almost 10 years now !!!!), I’ve been wanting to visit each of my friends in their own homes. We are subletting our place and will be hitting the road on 2/29 (hope to have a subletter locked down this week).

This is a huge deal for me, as many of the people I want to visit I’ve lost touch with during the darkness I passed through after Jeff’s death. My life was so chaotic and I moved so much it was hard to keep track of me. So I’m reconnecting, and it is scary. Most of these people I knew through my husband — will they want to see me for who I am now or did they only like me because I was with the friend they loved?

Lots of disconnected phone numbers, of course, and bounced back emails. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I think I will be able to get in touch with most everyone. I’ve heard from two folks so far — one lukewarm response, and one heartwarming reconnection. Hopefully I’ll find more of the latter as I move on.

We are sooooooo looking forward to being on the open road. We don’t want to create a tight schedule so as to be free to stay at any place a longer or shorter time as the whim takes us. But we have a general route, starting with the South because HEAT.

We’re taking a circle trip because after plotting everyone on a map, it turns out our friends all live around the perimiter of the US in a general sort of way.

So heading south, we hope to make a stop in Moreno Valley (just outside Riverside), then on to AZ to see an A’s spring training game, then to Sante Fe, where I just confirmed we’ll stay for a few weeks. We’ll head across TX with a short stop just south of Austin and perhaps a visit to Houston, then to NOLA for a week or two to visit friends and hear some music. We’ll head over to FL, then up the East Coast seeing friends in GA, SC, VA, stopping in the DC area a bit to do the Smithsonian. Then continue north to NYC. Possibly Boston, but not sure. We’ll turn west, stop at Niagara Falls, then continue on to OH, IL, WI, SD and on to Boise. We’ll hit OR on our way back to CA, or wherever we decide to land.

I will be writing blog updates with #TCBA, and I’ll be writing essays about the local coffee shops and libraries we find along the way. I promise to keep you posted.