In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of my posts lately have been in a series format. Apparently, I am constantly going on trips to everywhere. (This is news to me? Yes.) I drove to Sacramento this past weekend for a friend’s wedding. I totally thought it was in San Francisco and went out of my way to tell people it was there, but it wasn’t. I was simply confused. When I get stressed out by travel plans I usually get confused. It must be the panic that seeps into my common sense and colors everything I do with a tint of insanity and confusion. My dad will never let me live this down but I don’t really feel that bad about my major geography mistake because, well, I know I will be watching my dad with the utmost vigilance waiting for him to make an error of some kind. (I won’t be waiting for too long.)
So, the road trip. I can tell you this, you do not know if you are friends with somebody until you travel with him or her. I was apprehensive going on this car trip because I was worried my two friends and I would start off as pals but end up with a Capulet-Montague feud on our hands. Luckily, we are all still friends and going strong! Nobody died!
Part of our getting-along success was due to our creation of a safe word. This safe word was to be used when any of us were verging on an argument or other heated interaction. It was “seabass”. Of course, it was completely abused:
Friend 1: “So, I was talking to so-and-so the other day and…”
We took a route that was supposed to take around 8 hours. However, a friend – who, ironically, was asleep during the “scenic” part – advised us to go up a certain way along the coast because it was prettier than the direct route. Well, yes, she had that part right – it was gorgeous. The trees and mountains juxtaposed with the coastline was a beautiful sight to see. It made me feel like I was in a music video. The kind of music video that ends with a car careening off a narrow mountain road into the rocks and sea below. Sort of like an updated ending to the original Grimm brothers retelling of The Little Mermaid where Ariel falls into the sea and dies instead of the Disneyfied version where she bags the man and a nice gang of servants and a cool house. I digress.
I could have lived without the hairpin turns and the motorcyclists weaving in and out of lanes like it was their job though on this scenic route. I hate motorcyclists. Conditionally, that is. I hate the ones that are a few inches from crashing into you just because they want to get wherever they are going NOW – no, not even now – YESTERDAY. Who goes into the oncoming lane around a blind curve to get ahead of me? MOTORCYCLISTS. Who almost rams into me after deciding they didn’t want to pass me yet? MOTORCYCLISTS. Who killed JFK? MOTORCYCLISTS.
Anyway, we stopped here and there along the way and played lots of throwback CDs. We didn’t notice somehow that 11 hours had elapsed when we finally arrived at a friend’s house for the night. I don’t know how we added on those three extra hours. It must have been driving up and down the mountain roads at 10 mph. But that still doesn’t explain how it took that much time. My theory is that we passed through some sort of other dimension and when we came back into our dimension, time had passed. I watched a show on PBS about it – I can’t explain it to you plebeians though – it’s all very complex and science-y.
The 11 hours went by pretty fast, I have to say. A lot of it was taken up by dancing and blasting music. These were my go-to moves:
Everybody else on the road:
There were many parts of Day 1 where my friends and I made casual educational references that sort of made me proud. For example, we noticed that the terrifying bridges we crossed were all built in the early 30’s (not super confidence-inspiring driving over bridges that are 80 years old, however) which maybe were Public Works projects during the Great Depression (?). And, as we passed through the Salinas Valley, I remembered that East of Eden was set there. I pat myself on the back when I remembered that one – you done good, California education system! I haz a smart. I just don’t know California geography. Whatever.