We were able to get on the road at 10, fully loaded, and I didn’t realize I had forgotten something till we were 10 minutes out. Easy to turn around and go back but… Nah!!!!
Packing for this trip was much easier than Excursion 7 which involved camping. We goin’ luxoooooorious this time, Airbnbin’ mostly.
We drove up I5 to Highway 46 through the beige hills of summer dry. Passing hundreds of oil derricks in Lost Hills and then into the slightly tree clad hills as we headed West towards Paso Robles. They are widening this highway and have been doing so for about three decades. We passed the James Dean Memorial Intersection of highways 46 and 41. He lost his life here just a few months before I was born, and this is why I believe in reincarnation.
Then up Highway 101 (Please note the absence of the definite article, “The 101,” as I’m leaving So-cal I thought it only fitting that I should abandon such affectation and start using Nor-cals Hella before any adjective.)
It was a hella fine day but got hot and when we got to Paso Robles, passing opulent offers to let me taste buckets of deep red wines, I pulled into a gas station, forgot to get gas, but got two gallons of frosty water and loaded the new swamp cooler.
On Excursion 7 I thought we would croak in New Mexico and Arizona without aircon so I picked up this nifty job at The (They use this in their title) Home Depot. I have two big ones at home and little brother fired up and man-o-man, bring me the cool moist air. It was hella cooler.
We arrived during rushish hour in Watsonville. I lived close to here in Capitola many moons ago when I worked at the Harbor Café and became an actor, doing my first play, Six Characters In Search of an Author, at Cabrillo College. But I only drove through it. Watsonville is a really spread out farming community and lovely, really, really lovely. Our Airbnb is right across from some strawberry fields which really do spread out forever in the rolling green hills. The ocean is just a skip away down the hill.
Then, after I collapsed into a coma for two hours while Michelle paced and Mo stood guard, we went to visit with George and Doreen. George is celebrating his 67th, I believe, and I hadn’t seen Doreen in, like, 17 years. But it took maybe a nanosecond to feel like no time had passed at all. If your ears were ringing, we were probably talking about you, but we were nice.
Good wine, good food, good vibes and a good night filled with gentle air and easy conversation. Man, I needed that.
Michelle is doing grand. She loved the first half of the drive and trilled through the second half and now she is pacing just like she would be at home in this perfect little guest house. Mo is communing with the chickens and is doing hella fine.