All posts by paddiperkins

A wife & mother embracing early retirement travelling, attending festivals & gigs whilst trying to learn how to play guitar & write music. In my own way trying to help break down the misconception that women over a certain age can't do stuff & its never too late to have a go at something new.

Eureka Moments


Quirky Architecture

The coastal road was beautiful & we wended our way along stopping where the fancy took us for food and sight seeing. Quirky architecture, odd road bridges and wildlife made the journey a memorable one. We stopped at one RV park wedged between a garage & a Harley Davidson show room. No room in the van & I think the excess baggage payments might have been a bit steep so hubby had to make do with a pair of socks & a book about Route 66 instead!


No amount of folding will make it fit!

Seals & scenery aside it was a long drive down the coast & despite the overnight stops it was good to get to the outskirts of San Francisco where we planned to stay for a few days to have a break from the driving.

Chasing the milk tanker

From Portland we headed for the coast and set a course for San Francisco via Highway 101 the Pacific Scenic Highway. By now my daughter was really on board with driving the wagon through small towns & navigating twisty roads. I was really proud of how she had risen to the challenge of driving something more than twice the size of her own car although I still was duty driver for the cities. Double yellows so No overtaking here but later her confidence had grown so much that she caught up & overtook later when we got a passing lane.

Pottering around Portland


We arrived on the outskirts of Portland & the campsite was great except for the noise of the massive trains that thundered through at odd hours during the night! Our next set of local millennials escorted us to a wonderful collection of places that we would probably never have discovered by ourselves & relieved of the pressure of driving in the city I could enjoy the sights. While they chatted & caught up with all the news I sat back daydreaming about possible tattoos especially whilst in a floatation tank experience treat which had been slipped into the schedule. We ate at some brilliant venues & even was able to give some of the surplus food to a homeless person on our way back to the van which felt like a small but good thing to do. Sadly homelessness seemed to be as bad a problem in the States as in the UK which given the wealth of these nations continues to baffle me. It has provided the motivation to get involved with a local group at home but more of that later. Indeed one of our young hosts seemed only a whisker away from being on the street given that he was effectively living in his car while studying & holding down a job. Scary stuff given he was the same age as one of my kids so I admit to not being able to suppress the mothering instinct of making sure he had some decent nourishment while he was with us.

A glimpse of the Grotto

Feeling Crazy lets not waste it!


Having realised I no longer needed so many tangible things as presents I was delighted when my hubby agreed to sponsor an up and coming singer songwriter to pen a song for me as a Christmas gift. Collaborating with Danny Wright was fun and Drive (4Denise) was born. Needless to say this was top of the playlist compiled for the road trip and formed the inspiration for the newly acquired desire for a tattoo. My daughter was a little aghast as she thought I was going to have one done whilst away but I reassured her that it would take a bit of research to find the right design and artist to achieve it. However this did not stop me from beginning the process with a henna ‘trial run’ curtesy of an artist on site at the festival. On first listen you could be forgiven for thinking the song is just about a road trip but the hidden metaphor is that of someone heading off towards the ‘sunset time’ of their life with all the challenges that can bring & how to deal with it.