When we last left our intrepid hero, he was at the train station in Los Angeles, trying to choke down a Starbucks coffee while renting a Chevy Cruze.
I did get my car, though, and then headed off into downtown LA at 7am on a Monday.
I stopped to get some gas and water (and was in dire need of a quick pee after that godawful coffee) but the restroom in the Valero station was out of order. So I walked across the street to a 7/11 and bought some water, hoping it might allow me access to the restroom.
“No. No public restroom. Sorry.”
Now I’m carrying 2 huge bottles of water and really needing to pee, so I go to a hotel nearby, smile at the attendants and try to look like I’m supposed to be there. I round the corner to the restroom and…there’s a key lock on it.
Desperate, I go to the front desk.
“Look. I tried to use the restroom at the gas station next door and it was broken. I tried again at the 7/11 across the street where I bought these, but they wouldn’t let me use it. I just need to go really quick and then get on my way out of LA. Is that okay?”
The guy gave me a once over, decided anyone carrying 64 oz. of Smart Water couldn’t be all that bad, and nodded.
Refreshed, I walked back to Penelope (that’s the car’s name), and settled in for a long drive.
It was at this point that I plugged in my phone, input the address of the house where I had my reservation, and began the process of trusting Google Map directions implicitly.
Turns out, the California Google Map Gnome…is actually a troll.
One who likes to send you in random directions before “recalculating” and then telling you to turn around at impossible junctions.
“Quick. Turn left he–oh God no, don’t do that…recalculating route.”
I guess it decided that I shouldn’t leave LA without going on a tour of Hollywood, so it inexplicably led me by Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the El Capitan, where I hung a right at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum…and then went straight up to the Hollywood Hills. At which point I’m beginning to wonder if this is the most efficient route out of the city.
“Seriously Google. I just want to get the hell out of L.A., okay?”
“WELL OKAY. IF YOU SAY SO. I KNOW THE FASTEST WAY.”
“TAKE A LEFT AHEAD ONTO… BEAUTIFUL MULHOLLAND DRIVE.”
“Great. Mulholland Dri–what?”
I’m pretty sure this is Uwe Boll’s house.
And what followed was about 30 minutes of hairpin turns and 15-20 mph plodding, along with what I’m pretty sure were some Google Giggles…
“Seriously Google! What the hell?!?”
until I got to the other side of the mountain and reached a real freeway, at which point I was off and running.
I reached Pacific Grove about 5 hours later, at around 3:30, and finally pulled up to the little cottage that I’d rented on AirBnB. But I was so damn tired, and had such a ripping headache, that I couldn’t even be bothered with its cuteness. All I wanted in the world was a shower, an Advil and a nap…in that order. I laid down in bed after rinsing off (sadly, there were no Advil in the house), and before I knew it…I’d fallen asleep.
That little bed and I were simpatico.
I woke up at 9pm, still pretty headachey…but not nearly as bad as I’d been before. I gave some thought to getting up and trying to find something to eat, then decided to skip the whole thing and just went back to sleep. And did so until about 6am the following morning.
Yep, the 15 hour snooze session. That old chestnut…
And once I’d awoke and saw that the lovely person whose house I’m staying in had prepped it with both a coffeemaker and fresh coffee, I was ready to start a new day…
But that’s for tomorrow’s post.