And In the End… (part 1)

6 01 2010

“So how did that holiday thing you went on end up? You never finished it!”

Literally several emails have come in with something like that message in recent weeks. Well, as you can probably tell I’m back in the UK. I’ve been in a post-trip gloom that’s seen me sat staring into space – if you can do such a thing with your head up your arse. Apologies to many friends who’ve commented on my dopey state. Some have been swearier than others, but I understand that. I think my head’s clear now: I’m home. Oh God…

But anyway, where were we? Yosemite. That’s were we were.

I left Lindsey and Zak the next morning after we’d driven back to Sunnyvale. I had to get the car back to LAX for my flight the next lunchtime. I decided I was going to break a promise to myself and go back the way I came. I headed for the coast. There was some clam chowder to be had.

Oddly on returning to Pismo Beach, scene of The Cinnamon Roll breakfast, it was hotter than it had been when I was here in the Autumn, but as you can see Christmas was well under way.

Extravagant Christmas Deccies in Pismo Beach

It was here that I stopped for lunch at a spot Lindsey had recommended I go to the first time round. She was right, as usual. The clam chowder at The Splash Cafe was astoundingly good. By this time I was very much aware of my weight gain during the trip. I had eaten well during these last few months and was down to my last two shirts that fitted me.

I stopped at just the one bread bowl…

The calories are in the fizzy pop

It was becoming a race against time. I knew I’d have to be within striking distance of LAX the next morning but had no idea of what the LA traffic would be like. Coming in through Santa Monica seemed the easiest way with the airport close to the coast.

So how far could I get in one day? There were options. One was Solvang. Now Solvang is a strange place. Actually scrap that, it’s a VERY strange place. It seems to think it’s Denmark. Or Holland, or somewhere that has lots of Danish flags and windmills. This bizarre little place seemed to be the sort of place that celebrated Christmas all day round. But it was swelteringly hot for late November.

What's this all about?

Apparently some Danish bakers came over to settle here in the 1860s. It may have been the 1960s, because someone was on something when they built this place.

This was a motel?!

I decided not to stop here. I had a good few hours left of daylight and the drive was fun. Ahead of me was Santa Barbara, which would’ve been 100 miles from LAX and so in range the next morning. But I was enjoying the drive too much and ploughed on. Remembering how difficult it was for Chris and I to get a motel on the coast road I knew I’d have to stop soon. The only place we found the earlier time had clearly been owned by one of the Bates family. Indeed there was no ‘open’ or ‘closed’ sign, just a painted word on a plank of jagged driftwood: “CONDEMNED”

Actually, the other place we stopped at was the Malibu Motel which had rooms from $170 a night. That’s not a motel – and staying there just because the girl on reception is hot is no reason to stay there. I’d learnt that by now.

And so it was that from the choice of about 5 motels in the city of Oxnard, I chose the scariest one. Honestly, I’d previously not been scared in any motel I’d stayed in, but I was so tired that wanted to just STOP. Then I realised what the staff behind the counter were talking about. One of the rooms had been burgled the night before and they were on the phone to the police. Great.

The room itself wasn’t too bad, but the incessant chatter of a Chinese family next door kept me awake. They were either playing sex games or charades. Possibly a complex mix of the two.

I woke the next day and quickly got on the road. I had about an hour of driving the California coast left and I was going to milk it. It was a glorious morning drive into LA and the sun shone as the oldies station played the hits and I didn’t want to leave. But I had to. And if you’re gonna leave, you may as well leave for New York City.

[PS – can I just add again here that ALL car rental companies are incorporated into Satan, Inc. Thanks]




One response

7 01 2010

when it comes to food, I’m *always* right 😉 which is why I also need to lose weight!

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