road trip!

Jun. 23rd, 2009 05:38 pm
bonny_kate: (kaylee)
Being a chronicle of the Great Road Trip Adventure

Monday I spent a very long time driving from here to our campsite by the beach. I left at eight in the morning, and didn't get there until five thirty. This was partly due to the fact that I was delayed for an hour because of an accident on the freeway, because I never stopped for very long (once for lunch and a couple of times to put gas in my car). Anyway, I found the campsite rather easily (with the help of the cute Ranger), and met up with my very good friend Nikki, her sister Tessa, and friend Jaqueline and her husband. There were, every night, lot's of s'mores, which were wonderful because Nikki understands that all proper s'mores are dark chocolate. Mmmm.

Now, I would not consider myself a camping sort of girl at all (the last time I slept in a tent was in high school on a missions trip), but this was glorious for two particular reasons; seeing my friend Nikki for longer than a day (which was all I could fit in last year) and lot's of dark chocolate s'mores (which can be made over a candle, but a campfire is far superior), which more than made up for being all dusty and sandy and having to tromp over to the spigot any time we wanted water (spigot, by the way, is just really fun to say).

Tuesday was more or less a geeky sort of day, because Nikki and Tessa and I sang along to the soundtrack of Dr. Horrible, and went on a hunt for salt water taffy in a little beach town. We could not find a candy store. Really, what sort of little beach town *doesn't* have a candy store? We stopped off at a drugstore for mustard (which, seeing all the Joss Whedoness going around made me think of the Buffy song) and beach toys (we wanted proper shovels for digging a hole to China (more on this later) but contented ourselves with buckets and ridiculously small and not very strong shovels). In our search for candy we found a book store, which was lovely, and we wandered around in that for an hour or so (I bought Murder Must Advertise, because I've decided to start my own (matching) set of Sayers mysteries instead of always borrowing my parent's, and Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, because I'm unofficially collecting (pretty) illustrated fairy tales). It was an interesting sort of book store, because besides the decent sci-fi section and rather good mystery section, there was also the collection of political pins and a large incense section (I was quite amused that right by the children's section was the occult and psychological sections). Then we wandered into a toy store, where Tessa bought two sets of dice for her gaming. This sounds fast, but it wasn't, because we wanted to find two sets of dice that were not only a full set, but aesthetically pleasing, and all the dice were very mixed up in a large bowl (at the end, we poured out most of them on the floor). The dice, however, were duely acquired and they are two very nice sets.

We still needed ice, so we bought it at this grocery store called Purity. It sounds like a particularly interesting sort of store with a name like that, but it was really only a grocery store, and it took forever to get our ice. Then we went back to the campsite, and Nikki and I wandered off to the beach (this was really a minor sort of expedition, because we had to put on sunblock and get together our beach toys, kites, beach towels, a sheet for sitting on, snacks, and so on).

The beach was nice and cool, but not too cold, and a bit overcast, with a rough sand tending towards the pebbly. We began our great task of digging a hole to China (it sounds so much more *exciting* to say "we are digging a hole to China" than to say "we are digging a hole"), and decided to visit my brother once we made it there, in order to save on plane tickets. Sadly, we didn't make it to China, because while digging (with the aforementioned plastic buckets) we hit water (it was strangely orangish, hopefully because of rust). The tide was coming in, and had already swamped the castle city of Atlantis (there was no trace left after a short time), and we were glad to hit water before the water caved in the hole. It was quite a respectable hole, being above my shoulders when I quit and Nikki went another bit deeper before hitting water (we took turns once the hole was a depth to make it necessary to stand in the hole to dig it out). Then we packed up everything and went back to our campsite, only stopping to take a few ridiculous pictures at a stone that looked exactly like a throne. Also, I have learned Nikki's superpower, which is *awesome* - she can manipulate polymers, including DNA. More s'mores, of course, Tuesday night.

Wednesday was a bit of an adventure. Tessa's MP3 player had run out of charge, and she needed it to get to sleep at night. So we went into town in order to find the library and computers, but (of course) Wednesdays are the one day that the library opens late, so we went to the park (swings! (even if they got my hands all rusty)) and then to another sleepy little beach town where we found a candy shop (and duely bought the salt water taffy, as well as dark chocolate mint things and fresh raspberry white chocolate bark, which was amazing and delicious). Then the library was open, so we hung out and met a nice service dog named Blessing (who was a huge black Newfoundland), and waited for the player to charge up (I read a few Wimsey short stories, which were lovely). Then we went back to the beach to try kites.

There was a nice bit of breeze, but then that died, and the trick kites that we were trying to fly would get up to a certain height and then just stall. I don't think I managed to keep the kite I was flying in the air for a minute together. We had to give up on the kites, sadly, and then wandered down to the beach itself (in the process Tessa stepped on a bee, which was traumatic, but fortunately the sting came out) to watch the seals (there was a guy there who had obviously had a couple of drinks, and swam out to the rock with the tide coming in, seals in the water, and who knows what rocks, and I was generally amazed at his stupidity). The seals were cute, and seemed quite curious. More s'mores, of course (we'd had to buy more marshmallows in order to make sure that we had enough for s'mores, because it wouldn't do to run out of marshmallows).

Jacqueline had heard that driftwood burned green, so we burned a bunch of driftwood, but it burned the same yellow orange of any other wood (Nikki explained that this was because sodium chloride burns yellow orange, so this makes sense, but was still a little dissapointing).

Oh, and Wednesday night was clear instead of overcast, so I sat by the fire and stared up at the stars (there was a shooting star), which seemed to go on and on, and every bit of sky that looked empty turned out to be full of stars the longer I looked. I love really seeing the stars.

One of the great things about hanging out with Nikki was all the food. We had hot dogs and hamburgers and stew and lot's of snacks (mostly healthy, like carrot and celery sticks and dried fruit and chips and salsa) and of course many delicious s'mores. Thursday morning for breakfast we had bears on a stick, the other name being biscuit-butter-cinnamon-sugar-stick-fire, which is exactly as it sounds. You take a stick (wrapped in foil), turn the biscuit into a long snake thing and wrap it around the stick (sticking the ends down or it will unwind, as mine did), dip it in butter than in cinnamon sugar and roast it in the fire. It is a fabulous thing.

We packed everything up (a bit of a process) and went off to one of the little beach towns for fish and chips (because you can't have a beach trip without proper fish and chips), which were delicious, and we found out that the town we were in was famous for being in several films, one of them being Humanoids from the Deep (which just sounds like a horrible film). We wandered out to the point, and down to the beach so I could get a bit of driftwood, and the water was all kinds of beautiful blue - deep cobalt, turquoise, light blue and dark blue green. (I got a bit sunburned, but only a bit, because this was the only time I neglected to put on sunblock because we weren't planning on being out that long.) Then we stopped for homemade ice cream, which was delicious (they had some really strange flavors, like ginger and mushroom; I had blackberry dark chocolate chip).

Back to Nikki's house, and she lives more or less in the middle of nowhere (oh, there are the small towns with their two stoplights, but her address isn't even on Google Maps), and is pretty much all windy roads. I got a proper shower, which was lovely, because of clothes smelling like smoke and salt and sand. We were all tired, so we just watched Much Ado About Nothing (one of my favorite movies, I think - I'm working on memorizing various favorite bits) and the Disney Beauty and the Beast (we patched various plot holes, like Beauty being able to lift the Beast onto the horse).

Friday was sad, because I left, even though it was to see another friend, Lisa, who lives near Davis. On the way to Davis I missed one of the turns (really, the signs in that bit of California are *non-existant* and often not helpful and the roads change names all the time) and ended up further south than I wanted to be, but after asking the kind ladies in the post office (who had a map) and calling Nikki, I managed to find my way again and went through some very pretty countryside (although it took me at least an hour longer than it should have).

Lisa was all bouncy because of her new boyfriend of not quite a week, and it was quite amusing (we baked gingersnaps partly for a pig roast, and partly for said boyfriend). I met said boyfriend at a pig roast, and played croquet for the first time (we were in teams and my team did horribly, but it was still fun), and stood around not playing frisbee.

Then we went back to Lisa's house and watched part of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but we were both falling asleep so we stopped halfway through and watched the second half the next morning. Saturday was fun; we went to a Farmer's Market, and had an impromptu picnic lunch centered around some fabulous blackberries we bought (we wanted cheese and ended up with a sort of sweet lemon cream cheese which we spread on a bread that tasted like Hawaiian bread, and but the blackberries on top). Then I came home, and managed to do so without getting lost or stuck in traffic or anything.

It was quite glorious, and more than enough driving for quite a while. It was long enough that I was quite glad to be home in my own bed (so much more comfortable than an air mattress) and short enough that I was sorry to leave friends.

Lady Luck

Jan. 12th, 2009 05:58 pm
bonny_kate: (doctor and rose)
One of the reasons this weekend was interesting was the amount of bad luck that we seemed to have. Nothing particularly large, or horrible, but a lot of little things went wrong.

1. When we (being Maggie, Liz and I) finally piled into my car and headed out (later than planned, and I don't know why I should expect to leave on time when I can't even leave on time when it's just me), we had to go by Blockbuster first to drop off the movie Maggie had. Now, I had no idea where Blockbuster was, so I was diligently following Maggie's directions. She's supposed to be telling me where to turn, and I suddenly I see Blockbuster on the left, and we've just passed it, so I slip into the left turn lane, and Maggie asks "why are we turning here?" At this point I am very confused, because there is Blockbuster and I thought that's where we were going, and it is, and we found it, so all is well.

We made it to Irene's house without incident (amazingly), and Irene is added to the craziness.

2. One of the purposes of the trip was to visit the Getty (which is v. cool). So we diligently follow directions from our friend Google to get to the Getty. We turn onto Church, but the next street is nowhere to be seen. I keep driving down the street for a couple of miles, and Irene suddenly realizes that the turn was only 243 feet along Church. (At the point where we learn this I'm laughing so hard that I can scarcely make the u-turn because it is so ironic in light of 1.) But the street is nowhere to be found. I'm not even sure it exists. Google Maps, what happened? Anyway, we get back to the signs for the Getty and find it and everything is spiffy.

2.a. I'm not sure that this counts as a separate event, but while parking at the Getty, I'm looking for a parking spot (nearly nonexistant), and accidentally start up the exit and end up backing nearly all the way down so that I won't leave the parking structure we just entered (we eventually find a parking spot on the seventh circle).

3. On the way back to Irene's house, I am diligently following what I *think* are the directions, namely taking the 10 to the 405. But, in fact, I am supposed to be taking the 10 to the 60. Irene reminds me of this a couple of miles past the 60. We take a detour and weren't really that lost, but still, our luck with directions/driving on Saturday was rather bad.

Looking over all these, I wonder if the conclusion is that Kate shouldn't drive other people places.

4. While having brunch on Sun., Irene orders something that turns out to be not what she thought she ordered.

5. Directly after brunch, we (being Maggie, Liz and I) packed everything up, but we were missing the pump for Liz's air mattress. We scoured the car. It was most not definitely not in the car. We looked all over Irene's house, but could not find it. We looked again everywhere, just in case. Liz called various family who all did not answer the phone. We finally give up, head out, and someone returns Liz's call to find that the air pump never actually made it from Liz's car to mine.

I think that's everything.

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Kate Saunders Britton

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