Santa Barbara and San Jose

and settling in...   We had planned this portion of our trip well before leaving for overland expo, but we didn't realize our friends would be moving and settling into a new home at the time.  What a great chance to stop in and assist with a few housewarming projects and help them settle in (or maybe prevent/delay them from settling in...who knows). ;)

We were becoming more and more aware of the days ticking by and the work waiting for us in portland, but there couldn't be a better distraction than hanging out with this crew on/near the beach.

Enjoying morning coffee while whale and dolphin watching, multiple walks on the beach daily, playing with the dogs, and we might have even gotten a couple games of volleyball in... we could seriously get used to this california livin'!!

We eventually ripped ourselves away and continued north to San Jose where we got to spend some more time with Dan and Cindy, tried to once again, somehow thank them for bailing us out with the vehicle transportation and talk about all things freedom and travel.

In the morning we grabbed breakfast and they walked us to the parking garage where van4 has been stored since Dan drove it back west for us.  Still buried in an impossibly thick layer of dust from expo and looking more like a 20 year old abandoned vehicle than one we were prepping to sell.We said our goodbyes and loaded up for the drive north.  This is the portion we were dreading the whole time.  Driving separately.  We don't spend much time apart, and live in an incredibly small space.  Logic would tell you that we would starve for some alone time and savor these times where we are apart... but that hasn't yet proven to be true.

The drive home was long and seemed tediously slow, but also provided a lot of time for thought and reflection.