Monday, May 29, 2017

Travel plans for a family of five

One of the major recurring concerns when we started planning this adventure was... what to do with the cats?  I have had dozens of sleepless nights worrying about this.

Getting out of L.A. was rough.  We live right at the border of LA and Orange Counties along the Interstate 5 corridor (pronounced "The 5", if you're a local, followed by an involuntary shudder). The highway close to our home is currently, well always really, in various stages of improvement resulting in a perma-disaster of constant construction, narrow lanes, on/off ramps randomly inaccessible, K-walls right up on the fog line, and waaaaay too many other drivers.  Lance joked that he narrowly avoided a pothole with two cars already languishing in the bottom of it and I'm only partly sure he was kidding.

Anyways, before we got to the Grapevine somebody pooped on the bed (probably Starfish).  Somebody threw up on the floor. Twice. I suspect Stewie. Understandable since their sum total car experience thus far included only short trips to the vet.  Nothing could have prepared them for the teeth-rattling terror which is the 5.

Stewie at rest somewhere along The Five in Southern CA

Our cats have very different personalities.  Starfish is a homebody who rarely leaves the property.  Stewie is a tomcat whose daily range covers at least a block in any direction.  I'm fairly sure he has another family that feeds him and I know he bullies the neighborhood cats.  At the house they  have a cat door and come and go at their pleasure.

We figured Starfish would settle in, we figured Stewie would run away at the first opportunity or try to bully the wrong stranger, we figured both would annoy us mercilessly to be let in/out. We talked it over with family and Mom in Napa offered to give them a new home with her if they didn't settle into the new life.

Boondocking at Thundervalley Casino in Lincoln, CA
We made it to Lincoln and set up my office equipment at the new corporate HQ.  Since we were boondocking  at the casino parking lot it wasn't safe there for them to explore so they stayed on the bus for two days.  But when we made it to Napa we let them out in Mom's backyard and they cruised the neighborhood... and came back.  Two days in a row. Yay!

Stewie and Starfish exploring Mom's backyard in Napa, CA
On the ride home - nobody got sick or otherwise misbehaved.  Starfish has claimed the couch and Stewie prefers to camp out on top of the slide where he can watch the world go by.  When we got home we parked the bus and left it open while clearing it all out, and Stewie refused to leave.  Eventually I had to root him out so I could button it up and run some errands.  He responded by prancing around and rubbing himself all over it. Lance thinks he has a touch of Stockholm Syndrome, I just think he got a taste of the travel life, it blew his little mind, and he likes it.

Of course the dog is always good to go. Anywhere. Anytime.

Family of five - headed on the open road soon. Look out world!