trip: the narrative

(for those of you who like to read)

For a change of pace, James and I directed our annual trip to California (which we took in March) to the southern end of the state. We’re diehard fans of the more northern reaches, so we weren’t sure what we’d find on the other end. Traffic aside (horrible, horrible traffic) (just fucking brutally, apocalyptically horrible), southern California ended up being quite nice.

On the flight out, we sat about five rows in front of this irritating, stereotypical Texan. She was from Sugar Land, wore multiple animal prints and high heels and had slapped on a thick coat of make up. The whole flight, she talked about Jesus. She was trying to convert the Indian woman she was sitting next to (who she probably thought was a terrorist). When the plane landed, she threw her hands in the air and praised the Lord. Effusively and loudly. I said something shitty in response, loud enough for her to hear, but I think the buzz from her diet pills probably drowned out anything I had to say.

We didn’t escape her once off the plane. She stood behind us in baggage claim, giving a blow-by-blow to whatever poor bastard was on his way to pick her up, most likely cursing the eHarmony gods and box wine for his fate. Once we had our bags, the woman was quickly forgotten. Ah, but when we were back at the airport six days later, guess who we saw clip-clopping her way toward our gate. Of all the days and all the flights… She was remarkably subdued compared to the flight out, which means things with eHarmony didn’t go so well, or she found a slightly different way to get spiritual while she was in California.

Our first stop after landing was to see my friend Bree in LA. We walked from her cute apartment to a place that only serves grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, which is a great idea. On the way there, we saw the Hollywood sign, a few crazy people (one was singing–rather well, in fact) (and, unlike San Francisco, I didn’t see anyone asking for money) and lots of blue skies and sunshine. We sat outside the restaurant at a table next to the sidewalk. The only “Hollywood” behavior I saw in my short time in LA was this: many of the people who walked by our table *looked.* Not like a passerby checking out the scenery. They looked like they wanted to make sure we weren’t somebody. They’d look at James (in his super funky sunglasses) and Bree (who’s a super cute actress) and me (and then there’s Maude), and they’d decide that we probably weren’t somebody important. With which I beg to differ. We’re just using different currencies.

From there, we drove east. We’ve all heard people bitch about the traffic in southern California, but until you’ve experienced it you really can’t quite grasp the situation. It took us three hours to go 60 miles. On the freeway. Everyone would be going 85, driving with just a few feet between their car and the next, and then suddenly it would all grind to a halt. Stop and go. For miles and miles. If some shit ever goes down out there and people try to evacuate, they’d be better off on foot or bicycle (or boat and ocean) because cars aren’t going anywhere.

We headed into the mountains. Then the desert. Then the beach. We did this over a period of days, but you could seriously do coast-mountains-desert-coast in one day if you wanted to. Now that’s variety.

Pictures are next.