ROADTRIP! SoCal to NorCal

On November 23rd, I left my house at 3:00 AM to drive from San Diego to San Francisco for Thanksgiving dinner. 

*Insert Elle Woods' two ditsy friends yelling, 'ROAD TRIP!'*

That's what I call commitment to turkey. 


And family. 

I was invited to spend Thanksgiving weekend with family in NorCal and couldn't say no since I wanted to see them, any excuse for a road trip is always welcome, and because I had a four-day weekend and I wasn't about to spend it all alone in my studio apartment. 

The process of getting up to NorCal on Thanksgiving Day was a nerve-wrecking one since I had never driven that far and for that long before. I knew traffic was going to be a pain (and the whole world was warning me to leave suuuuuper early so that I wouldn't be sitting on the I-5 like a parking lot). So I decided to leave at 3:00 AM. 

A big part of making this trip happen was my prep for it... 


After telling people of my plan to drive all the way up to NorCal for Thanksgiving, I knew I had to leave early to beat the traffic, so that was step one. 

  • I prepared the following travel companions in the days leading up to the drive:

Ted Talks/Podcasts
People to talk to (hands-free,
of course) on the way

  • I packed my weekender bag before I went to sleep so that when I woke up at that ungodly hour that I set my alarm for, I would just need to brush my teeth and make coffee (LOTS AND LOTS OF COFFEE) before heading out

  • Since I planned on leaving at 3:00 AM, I took Melatonin at 8:00 PM and fell asleep at 9:30 PM to make sure that when my alarm went off at 2:30 AM I would have had at least some hours of sleep



I actually got in my car at 3:00 AM and started on my way up the I-5 N towards NorCal. I listened to music, sipped on my coffee, and spoke to my family overseas that were 10 hours ahead of me so were awake and alert, which is what I wanted to make sure I was. I had Waze on the whole way to make sure I was taking the fastest route possible - I was paranoid about hitting traffic. 

Spoiler: I did NOT have any traffic on the way up. I left at 3:00 AM and got into San Francisco at 10:30 AM, with three bathroom and gas station stops along the way. #WINNING

The worst part of the drive: that 200-mile stretch of the I-5 that goes in a straight line and could not be more boring to drive through. I saw two multi-car collisions on the way, which on a road as monotonous as this one was probably due to the fact that the driver was starring into space (which I made myself snap out of a couple of times). 

How to combat the boredom? Talk to someone on the phone! Listening to music can also put you in a sort of trance which makes you more likely not to pay as much attention as you normally would. Talking to people helped me since I was driving alone. 


Driving back took 9 hours, but I blame in-n-out for that one! 


I left the Bay Area at 12:00 PM and got to my place at 9:00 PM. As I was driving through LA, which was around 6:00 PM or so, it was already dark but there was also a creepy amount of fog happening that day. Sadly, there was traffic on the 405 (why am I not surprised) but I still made decent time after all is said and done. 

I mastered one awesome thing: I learned where to put the heel of my foot so as to keep the speed I wanted but also resting my leg a bit. This might seem obvious to you, but it wasn't to me and my knee was KILLING me! 

I'll be doing another road trip from SoCal to NorCal in just a couple of weeks, but this time with my sister, and this time taking Highway 1 part of the way. I'll keep you posted on how that one goes... If you don't hear from me, my sister and I killed each other.