Monday, June 30, 2008

Road Trip Day 3 (or how I need to remember we're not in WA anymore)

Yay! We finally left early! We headed out the door at 9:30, went around the corner to Starbucks… and remembered we left 3 water bottles in the freezer. Luckily, we were only 2 minutes out the door, so, lattes in hand, we headed back and got our stuff.

I drove today and the morning stretch was BEAUTIFUL. I think we were on Highway 4 and it was curvy, fast and fabulous. The scenery, once again, was gorgeous, and the drive was engaging. Loved it! We made good time on that, headed to I-5 (or, as they say in California, “The 5.”). Eventually, it got kind of boring, but I suppose I expected that.

Lunchtime rolled around and we directed GPS Jill to take us to Sonic. We get Sonic commercials back home, but there aren’t any Sonics there. We decided to park and walk in, as opposed to park and have lunch in the car. We went in the restaurant and realized that the door opened to the kitchen and not the dining area. We circled the restaurant and found no door in.

Evidently at Sonic, there is no restaurant proper, but an eating area, with drive-thru boards you order at while standing. It was a little weird, but it worked. We ate outside and were accosted by all sorts of flies. Riley freaked out a little, but the flies were pesky, so I don’t blame him on that. Afterwards, we jumped back in the car and headed south.

Of course, before long, Riley had to go No. 2 again, so we stopped off in some sort of orchard just north of Bakersfield and had him do his business in our little potty. Crisis averted, we headed south yet again.

It was pretty uneventful from there on out. We hit the Grapevine (a mountainous drive with what seems like race car drivers), then traffic by Magic Mountain on our way to Dave and Nadejda’s house.

Dave and I have known each other since kindergarten. We attended all the same schools and actually were pretty close throughout high school. As we went to college, we naturally grew apart. It wasn’t until we both married our wives that we started getting back in touch. It turns out that Marci and I and Nadejda were pregnant at the same time. For whatever reason, Marci and Nadejda hit it off and have been close ever since.

Anyway, we headed there for dinner and conversation and to let the kids have some fun that consisted of more than 5 minutes at a rest stop. I got to chat with Dave for awhile, and Marci got her margarita on with Nadejda. The kids went crazy and it was all good.

It wasn’t until later that I remembered that Nadejda’s dad was coming to see Riley and his results. As mentioned on day 1, her dad is a neurosurgeon and familiar with some of what Marci found out about. I’ll save the details for a post later.

After dinner and meeting with Nadejda’s dad, it was off to Ted & Judy’s house, just south of Irvine. What that meant was about another hour of driving. The kids, at this point, were fried. They had a great day, but were ready to see their Papa and Nana and be done with this part of the trip. They ended up passing out about 10 minutes in.

I had programmed GPS Jill to get us to Ted & Judy’s, but about 20 minutes into the trip, I noticed that Jill was a little tipsy. The arrow that represents us was floating all over the map. That will happen sometimes if there’s interference (buildings), but we were on the 5, no obstructions anywhere. But she kept telling us to drive south, etc, etc, so we thought it was ok.

Well, as we drove and got to where she told us to turn… and there was no turn, well, we figured something was up. I had Marci call Ted for directions and it turned out we were about 5 exits past where we needed to be.

I punched a couple buttons on Jill and got the map working again. I had downloaded map updates prior to the trip but didn’t download Southern California updates as I had run out of room. Lame. So, I set it back to the older map and that got us to where we needed to be.

About 20 minutes later, we ended up at Ted & Judy’s with a couple of tired kids, a couple of tired parents, and one dirty ass car. It’s good to be here and the next couple days should be interesting in more ways than one.