Visiting The Rio Grande

By Cedar | November 20, 2013


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It has been a very, very long time since I took a trip alone. I had a few solo drives from San Diego to San Francisco and back about six to eight years ago to visit my best friend and my mother, who both lived in the area at that time. I have always enjoyed that drive. It takes about eight hours, but it can be incredibly beautiful if you take the longer and more scenic drive up the coast. About ten years ago I drove from San Diego to New Orleans to stay with some family and celebrate my recently achieved 21 year old status during Mardi Gras (whew, I am thankful to no longer be in my early 20s!). Back then I had such a liking for my time on the road and the solitude that driving long distances brought. That of course was during my Kerouac phase. I’m sure in my young, impressionable mind I thought I was super adventurous for driving eight hours in the car and had visions of partying with Ken Kesey and the like. Oy.

While this time I wasn’t really alone, after four hours (much less, six, eight, or ten!) sitting on your butt in the car, passing off toys, crayons, crackers, reciting five little monkeys, and listening to ‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller on repeat for two hours straight (seriously, that is her favorite song–the only song!), the moment she fell to sleep I felt so alone. Three hours, driving through the flat desert land of Arizona, a sleeping toddler, and no laundry to fold, no dishes to clean, no dinner to start, and no dogs to walk, a lot of thoughts can occur. Not to mention, I couldn’t crank the Blondie and sing at the top of my lungs like I would have done on past solo road trips when these lingering feelings of boredom or lonesomeness started to creep in. It was an odd sensation, and one I truly hadn’t experienced in a really, really long time. My mind was so free, I had real, uninterrupted thoughts. I had thoughts of joy and thoughts of doubt. I thought about everything I have, and much more that I don’t.

In the end, I realized how thankful I am for my busy toddler/mama life. Most days I am so consumed with our simple goings on, that these feelings of self doubt and thoughts of  “the bigger picture” don’t really take up much space in my mind anymore. I have always been of the opinion that living a more simple life is the true road to happiness. Simple routines, less technology, a little time alone, and some amazing meals can real work wonders on your soul. This trip truly reminded me how important it is for me to work towards simplifying all aspects of my life.

While we were visiting I truly fell in love with the small town of Taos. Here we are at the Rio Grande bridge with my beautiful sister, and our amazing family friend Chee. They (along with my mom) showed us such an incredible time, small town style, and I loved every minute of it. I am longing to return again soon.

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4 Responses to “Visiting The Rio Grande”

  1. Back_to_Basics Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I can tell you’re very spiritual, Cedar! :)
    But be careful to not become consumed by everyday life.It seems…(just from this perspective…not judging!)…that you want to be busy so you can run away from yourself, from your inner dialogues…Please don’t!…Acknowledge them, just observe them…get to know yourself! Just…don’t fall into the trap everyone falls to..(and..can you blame them?). I know your kid is important to you, but YOU are important as well…:).
    Sry, i’m very straight forward,i just don’t like the everyday BS! And when i read your post i felt an intense need to tell you all this. Hope you don’t mind! I don’t want you to think i’m being nosey,….like i’ve said….just sharing a perspective! XOXO.


    Cedar Reply:

    Thank you, I completely agree!


  2. PL Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Cedar, have you ever stopped at Avila Valley Barn, just off of 101? It’s a great place to stop the next time you drive past, if you haven’t already. It’s a fantastic Barn filled with produce (that they grow on their own land),a kitchen goods area in the barn with a kitchen/bakery, where baked goods are freshly made every day , an ice cream(homemade)/deli shop, hay rides to go out in their fields to pick your own produce, if you want (or just jump on for the hayride), and animals all around the barn area that you can feed and pet. There are some animals that you are not allowed to pet, but there’s enough that you can interact with to make it fun. According to the season, they have fresh squeezed apple juice from their own apples, grilled corn on the cob (grilled on the premises), hay maze, loads of pumpkins, Christmas trees, etc. They also carry and sell a lot of small business products, vintage toys and other vintage style goods (new, but vintage style). Here’s a link to their website.

    Gosh, I miss California! Avila Valley Barn is one of the places I miss the most.


    Cedar Reply:

    I have never been, but next time I up that way, I will definitely look into it–it sounds amazing!