This week’s Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop had me scratching my head in a quandary. None of them really “spoke” to me this week but then after some thinking I decided on prompt #5.) Share a memorable road trip story! (inspired by the Crooked Little House).
I have had many many road trips and lots of them I don’t even remember. In fact since February I have been on the road it seems more than I have been home. So much so that over the Memorial Day holiday (which also happened to be #3’s birthday weekend) I actually turned down a trip to the mountains simply because I was so tired of riding in cars and NOT being home that I couldn’t stand the thought of it. Throw in the fact that I wasn’t feeling all that great and I just couldn’t pull it off. I know… ME? Turning down a chance to go somewhere? The wanderlust seems to be satisfied, for now.
There have been trips though that stand out more than others. When my husband used to work for a cafeteria chain restaurant many years ago we were always winning trips to some place or another. We have gone to lots of nice resorts and hotels at their expense. One of those trips was to Beaver Creek Resort in Vail, Colorado. It was in August so it wasn’t skiing season even though it did snow up the mountain while we were there. The company bought our round trip air fare but gave us the option of flying straight back home or extending the end of our trip for a few days and flying wherever we wanted, we just had to pay the difference in airfare.
One of the other couples on the trip were and still are some of our dearest friends in the world, Vic and Donna. We don’t get to see them near as much as we’d like since they live in South Carolina and we live in Georgia now but we do still sneak in a visit now and then. Going to Myrtle Beach last year on part of my wanderlust tour in fact involved my friend Donna. We always have a blast.
We (hubby and I) at the time owned a time share so we decided to trade part of our week at our timeshare for a condo in Las Vegas so the four of us extended our trip for a few days and flew to Vegas, baby! It was a lot of fun. Poor Vic and Donna got the raw end of the deal as they got the sleeper sofa but at least it was a place to sleep for a few hours and who sleeps in Vegas anyway? We had agood couple of days in Vegas (once even being awakened around 2 AM by Vic not being able to find Donna who couldn’t sleep so she decided to go to the casinos – no cell phones back then). But I digress…
Once we were out there we all decided we wanted to go to “Hollywood”. I had never been to California and I got a notion in my head that if we were that far west and who knew if I’d ever make it back (I haven’t) that I wanted to go stick my bare foot into the Pacific Ocean just so I could say I had done it and to say I had been on both coasts of the USA. We had flown into Vegas and hadn’t needed a car but we decided to rent one for the day. We all piled into the car and headed on our very forgettable and non descript journey through the desert on a horse with no name…. no wait… that’s a song… in our rented car. I don’t remember much of the actual drive through the desert other than making a big deal of going through Victorville (Since Vic was with us) and then we stopped at a gas station right outside the I think it was the San Bernadino mountains that overlook Los Angeles. I remember there being a huge “cloud” of thick black smoke hanging in the air and hubby asking the gas station attendant if there was a fire over there and him laughing and saying no, it was always like that… it was SMOG. Our first real encounter with SMOG of that nature.
For some reason they all decided that they wanted ME to drive in LA. None of them wanted to drive in LA and I don’t know why I allowed them to talk me into it or why they would even want Miss Lead Foot to drive them but I did. I can tell you that even with all the horrendous traffic I have driven in almost daily in Atlanta and numerous times in DC, that is one place I don’t care to drive again. I was a nervous wreck. The only worse place I can think of to have to drive would be New York City and you couldn’t PAY me to drive there.
So the most memorable part of the actual road trip was getting into LA and then deciding we wanted to go see the Hollywood sign. We drove around and around for what seemed like HOURS to try to find that freaking sign. We could see it, but, we couldn’t figure out how to actually get
to it. We did finally make it to the observation area of the sign. You couldn’t actually drive up to the sign. But we were victorious!
I remember going down to the ocean and ripping off my shoes so I could stick my foot in the ocean and then we walked over to some restaurant on the beach (seafood I think) and had lunch. It was just so much more unusual than the East Coast beaches to me because the mountains seemed to go all the way straight to the ocean rather than the East Coast or Florida where it’s flat for miles and miles and miles before you get to the actual beaches. But it was a lot of fun.
We also walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard and I had my first encounter with a real live tranny. Since I had no idea (being from Walton’s Mountain) such people even existed I was thrown for quite a loop. I mean seriously, he wasn’t even a “good” tranny… he had the female clothes and make up and boobs but he still had a like 3 day old growth of beard! I think he was just an attention seeker! I remember that he hadn’t even bothered to shave his legs and his toenails were all long and snaggly looking hanging over the ends of his high heeled sandals! Made quite an impression on me.
I don’t remember much about the return trip except that it was really late by the time we got back to Vegas and we were all exhausted. But to me that was a fabulous aside to an already fabulous trip and I figured if Donna and Vic could stay friends with us after being cooped up in a hotel with us for about a week then we would always be friends. And twenty something years later, we still are even though the miles separate us, our hearts never will.