After almost two weeks and 3,500 miles on the road, it was time to take a day off for "housekeeping."

When traveling, day-to-day details are often left unattended. If you're on a 10-day trip after which you'll return home, no problem. But such is not our case. By our reckoning, we haven't yet reached the mid-point of our travels.

Still, things needed our attention. The car needed an oil change and to have the tires rotated, laundry was piling up, and things were generally falling into disarray. So it was with great pleasure that we spent a couple of days with family in Southern California, tending to those mundane details.

As much as I decry the loss of local character because of the homogenization of America into one large strip mall, I must admit there are some advantages. When one needs to get an oil change, a shop with the type of oil you selected "back home" is likely close by. When you need your tires rotated, there's probably a branch of the store where you purchased them within a few miles of wherever you are. So it's not all negative.

Now, with clean clothes, fresh oil, and a full tank of gas, it's back on the road to California's Central Coast for some wine tasting. More to follow.

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