Our previously nebulous and ephemeral trip was finally planned, the route chosen, reservations made and wardrobes packed.  We left early on a Thursday morning and headed north to our first overnight stay in aptly-named Greenwood, California.  We stayed with a pastor friend and his young family.  From there, we drove into the middle of Oregon. 

 

We spent the night at a full house, bursting at the seams with friends and family.  After a good nights rest and a hardy-and hearty-breakfast, we started off on the last leg of our journey, the long road to Marysville, Washington.  A gracious and hospitable Christian family warmly welcomed us.  While there, we visited their church, meeting some new and some old friends.  We went into Seattle for the evening service at a large church and finished the full day with some fine dining at Dick’s drive-in.  We drove back into the roller coaster of streets that is Seattle the next day and went to the top of the space needle like all good tourists.  We painted the town orange, and then had dinner with a group of friends.  The following evening, we enjoyed the company and cuisine of our award-winning host family.  I believe it was the following morning that we hit the road, on our way back to that full house in Oregon.  Wishing us Godspeed for our journey home, we were given a traditional goodbye tree before leaving Washington.  We were soon in Oregon, enjoying a restful evening.  After another excellent breakfast in Oregon, we headed for the coast.  We enjoyed that drive and enjoyed it all the way to Northern California, where we stopped for yet another bountiful and tasty dinner at the home of my sister.  We had live, homemade, entertainment that night, followed by two soft beds.  We all walked to town the next morning and met a friend for a nice café breakfast.  After spending way too much time in town shopping, we finally made ourselves leave, knowing we had a hotel reservation in San Francisco.  The foggy city was the only one in which we had to pay for our lodgings and morning meal.  We arrived in San Francisco late, after experiencing a period of being lost and we left early.  From San Francisco, it was a relatively short drive home.

It was a good trip, a real blessing seeing friends and family, being welcomed into their homes, especially their beds (which, as you know, all become softer as your journey becomes longer) and their kitchens.  It really does, quite literally, pay to have friends.