car trips

The Ultimate Road Trip from Los Angeles to Bellingham, Washington

At first, I talked myself out of it. We were going stir-crazy in our very hot apartment here in L.A. and Craig said we should drive up the California coast, up the Oregon coast, and finally to visit his family in Bellingham, Washington, where they share a cabin in the summers with friends on Eliza Island, at the tip of the San Juans. It sounded ideal, but also a little scary in Covid-times: where would we stay along the way? Where would we eat? Would it be safe? I came down on the “no” side and Craig was disappointed.

Then he decided to fly. He started looking at tickets. Fly! Wasn’t that more dangerous? What germs would he encounter on the plane? Would he be bringing them to his parents? Back to me? I recalculated the risk of driving: we would have to stay in hotels or AirBnBs, but face-to-face interactions could still be minimized. Food-wise we could stick to outside or drive-throughs. Plus: wouldn’t it be great to get out of this fiery cauldron? I re-approached the idea while walking Winston and shifted my stance. “Let’s just do it!” I said and, before we knew it, we were on our way.

Lunch at McDonald’s

Writing about McDonald’s is a dangerous thing for a food writer. There are two possible outcomes: you turn up your nose and write a snobby screed, offending those who eat there and like it. Or you write something in its defense, and you piss off 99% of the people who read food blogs, who love “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and who think the entryway to Hell isn’t marked, as Dante suggested, with the phrase “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” but, instead, by golden arches.

Perhaps, if I tread lightly, I can avoid these two outcomes by simply telling the story of our Sunday drive home from Cape Cod and our detour, when we were hungry, to McDonald’s for lunch.

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