"Dad, for Spring Break, I want to do something on my own. I want to bike the 17 mile trail in Monterey. I'll start in Santa Cruz."
After lots of conversation around determining what she really wanted (to stay in hostels by herself? to actually bike the 17 mile trail? to visit the UC Santa Cruz campus?) Xena uncovered that the real goal was to explore a level of self-sufficiency while on the trip between Santa Cruz and Monterey.
So last Thursday Caitlan and I went on a small trip. She loaded up her back pack, had reaservations at hostels in Santa Cruz and Monterey, stuck her bike on the back of the car, and off we went.
She drove the first hour, and did pretty well. She's got perhaps 60 hours of driving under her belt. She's still forgetting to shift to first gear at red lights, and to check her blindspots, but she is doing great at keeping the car in the lane and developing a situational awareness.
I'd finally had all I could take somewhere in Los Gatos, and took over the driving. Probably a good thing; Highway 17 is pretty twisty and challenging for a new driver.
We got to Sant Cruz and toured the campus a little. She was very funny, rapidly toggling between love and loathing. "It's how I handle the stress of being introduced to a new thing that will change my life," she explained. That made it easier for me to ride that rollercoaster.
We stuck our toes in the ocean. Gosh, I miss swimming in the Pacific. I'm letting go of proving that I can operate out of "lack," so very soon I expect to be re-connected to powerful abundance. More beach trips! More play!
Possibly the coolest on-campus housing EVER is the UC Santa Cruz RV park. I hope Caity gets to live there. She's sort of holding out for an off-campus spot in a yurt that she expects to build over the summer.
How did her trip to Monterey work out? I left her in Santa Cruz. I embarrassed her by coming in to the hostel. I had to use the restroom! She thought I was doing the parental check-the-place-over thing.
She roomed with a nice Australian woman, went to a poetry reading, and started off the next morning on the 50 mile ride. She called me about 11am: "Daddy, is it possible to go 4 miles an hour on a bike, without falling over? The map says I've only gone 8 miles in two hours." I told her the road was probably more twisty than the map showed.
She got a flat tire in Moss Landing.
Did her mom and I tell her to travel with a repair kit? We mentioned it, but we knew it was important for her to have this be her adventure. So instead of a repair kit, she had a pact with the bike: "I won't run over anything sharp, and you won't break down." The bike broke this pact, so she got on a bus and rode the rest of the way to Monterey.
She had some adventures, there, too, and then got on the train for home. I got a call about 6:45 pm: "Are you going to be at the station when I get there? No? Well then, I see we're coming up to the Oakland Coliseum and the BART. I'll get on that and get my own self home."
I'm really quite pleased she had so much fun and showed herself she could get around the Bay Area without her parents. I'm not so impressed that she still hasn't repaired her flat tire.