No roadtrip is complete without Atomic Warheads candy!
I’m writing this entry from a surprisingly comfortable bed at the Cambria Palms Motel. It’s only 10pm but our hero Maverick is already passed out beside me. Today was our first leg of our road trip up to San Francisco and despite the GPS telling us to “recalculate” a few too many times for my liking, so far things have been amazing.
The Pacific Coast Highway is incredible, and we take turns marveling at the view outside our windows.
We’ve been on this trip only three days so far but already we’ve seen so much. I can’t wait to post all of the pictures here, but the wifi at the Cambria Palms Motel is free, but spotty.
Here is Maverick’s take on our flight to LA, this activity kept us busy for at least 37 minutes of the 6 hour flight.
Today Sarah and I are embarking on a weeklong journey from Boston to California. Our plan is to stay in LA for two days then drive up the coast to San Francisco and spend our remaining time there. I have been talking about doing a California trip for almost 10 years now and it hasn’t happened (because the majority of my friends are broke and incapable of doing cool things that require saving money. Sorry fellas.)
Sure, I’ve had the “We should totally go to California together. Its going to be soooo cool” conversation with every other human being on the planet half-knowing that they would never peruse such a thing. Thats what makes this time different. And thats what makes Sarah awesome. When I discussed wanting to go to California and Sarah gave her “We should totally go to California together. Its going to be soooo cool” response that every other human gives I never expected to get an email a week later containing a link to reasonably affordable plane tickets (Sarah’s ancestors have developed skills for finding bargains over many centuries) and a question prompting whether we should buy them.
Fast forward a few months and thats how I found myself waking up the at the ungodly hour of 3:45 in the freaking morning — an hour that was normally reserved for college induced insomnia and too much homework. Our flight was at 7, but somebody let their neurotic brain convince them that he flight was actually an hour early so we got to the airport by 4:30 with plenty of time to kill.
As we waited patiently for our plane to start boarding a family and their two children entered the room. Immediately the tone went from relaxed to tense. The children began giving us a taste, a mere preview, of their performance entitled “stereotypical children on a plane.” Sarah and I rolled our eyes at each other as we regretfully filled the roles of those bitter people who get annoyed at out of control kids. I’m sure her several years of nanny experience made the situation far worse for her. We joked, “I really hope those kids are far away from us. That would make for a long plane ride.”
The family boarded long before us so I figured all was safe. That was until we went for out seats that were conveniently sandwiched between both children and their parents. Naturally. The girl in front of me kept asking, “Are we flying yet? Are we flying yet?” If she wasn’t such a little shit I would have handed her a prize when she finally said it of the thousandth time. The little boy behind me let out his trademark whimpering and crying. I could feel his every movement karate chopping my already contorted spine.
I stared upward. My eyes transfixed on the little screen, which indicated when we could start using electronics. As soon as the light gave me the thumbs up my headphones went in. With less than four hours of sleep and a six hour journey ahead of us I figured it would be good to catch some Z’s.
I had dozed into a very deep slumber when suddenly I was awakened by the child behind me who found it necessary to dry hump my seat and pull my hair. My eyes darted open in a stint of rage. Half-awake and not sure what to do I decided to send my glare in his direction and poke his arm to assure him that I could indeed feel his body on mine and that I was not enjoying it.
To give the little brat some credit I have been told that I took dead while I sleep so maybe he was just checking to see if I was alive. Unlikely. From there he started pulling up the cover for my window allowing the blinding sun to enter directly into my bloodshot eyes. The window cover seemed like such an obvious image for my eyelid being forcefully yanked open, which is essentially what he was doing.
Between spasmodic outbursts of limb flailing the child retained a fairly consistent schedule of whimpering that can be best described as “the worst sound in the fucking world.” Seriously, aside from annoying every other human being in a 100-foot radius what does this child hope to accomplish with his incoherent whining and whimpering? His tears and prolonged sounds of unjustified desperation chewed away at my sanity like termites to an old tree.
In these situations I don’t think about playing the role of a parent and consoling the child. Instead I think of myself as a doctor and this plane is the emergency room.
“WILL SOMEBODY GET THIS KID A GAMEBOY! WE NEED 50CCs OF SOMETHING ENTERTAINING AND PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD KEEP THAT SOUND OFF!”
Along with the children there existed another source of discomfort on the plane. One whose furry faces would normally cause my heart to turn to liquid.
I’d like to preface this part by saying I love cats. There is no denying that. There exists a strong possibility that when I am an old man I will live in a dilapidated house with my army of feline companions. However, there is one thing as a cat lover that I would not consider doing and that is bringing my cats on a plane and keeping them by my side. Sure, the idea of cats on a plane is great and it is no doubt a more entertaining idea to me than snakes on a plane. In a magic world all seats would be first class and come with complimentary kitten companions, but such is not the case and cats on a plane are not a great idea.
I’ve come to learn that bringing cats on a plane means listening to their distressed meow for several hours without interruption. I love my cats very much, but if I had to listen to their cries for many hours on a cramped plane I would have no choice but to open the emergency hatch and send them plummeting down 35,000 feet to the ground. Sorry guys, but this is where I draw the line.
After a few more interruptions, a crying baby that shit itself, and the family deciding it would be a great idea to watch a movie with the sound on so everyone can hear it (there is a special place in hell for those kind of people) we made it to LAX. What I’ve realized so far is that California is beautiful, everyone is friendly and the weather is perfect. I’m so excited for the rest of our trip.
First of all I have to admit my own mistake. I totally got it in my head that our flight was at 6am. I must have said this one dozen times. I reserved a cab to take us to the airport at 4am. I prepared Maverick, who is very much not a morning person. I tried to sleep the night before but found I could only toss and turn, taking moments to simultaneously marvel in how handsome Mav is and how infuriating it is that he can sleep so easily and I cannot.
The cab came early, which was a relief and the driver was nice. I introduced myself and he just said “okay.” And took my suitcase, but hey it was 4am, I don’t blame him. Once we were in the cab my neurotic self reached for the folder of documents we had compiled and searched for our flight confirmation.
OOPS. Mistake central: population me. Could have used that extra hour of sleep.
“Why didn’t you say the flight was at 7?!” I asked Maverick.
“I dunno I was just gonna let you do your thing.” He said.
And I could only laugh, because of course. And also lets note what a wise man the Mav is. Letting his over planning obsessed girlfriend “just do her thing.” Guys, take note.
We sat on the benches in front of security for quite awhile. Because we were a million years early. A family of four with two young children was waiting with us. The youngest child, a little boy named Nicholas was clinging to his mother and making everyone’s favorite sound at 5 am: whining. He appeared to be, by my expert opinion, about four, his older sister Stephanie probably 8. I tried not to put too much stock in the whining, after all I am a nanny. I have been in the trenches, I know how it feels. The combo of waking early, going to the airport, maybe not having breakfast or be able to do what you want to do at four is trying. Four year olds are super cute and can talk really well, so it can be easy to forget that they were recently soul sucking three year olds. Four year olds (usually) don’t need you to change their diapers but they replace this with another type of shit all together which is being difficult and not yet able to see to reason, adding in a healthy lack of patience. Whenever I encounter children behaving less than ideally in public I try SO hard not to be judge mental, because I both know how hard it is and also staunchly believe the more times you say “‘my kid will never do that” in your child-less youth, the more strong willed and “spirited” your future offspring will be. But oh my god the WHINING. It is also interesting to note that this family was bilingual, and it turns out whining like an asshole is the same in every language. I watched the mother who sat exasperated, offering no help to entertain her son, she clearly did not parent before 6am. the father sat on the floor, dejected, 6 feet away against a pole. I tried to smile at whiney asshole Nicholas, but he did not succumb to my charms.
“Maybe they aren’t on our flight.” I said to myself, my brain clicking its tongue at me as if to say: “you fool, how in the world are they not going to be on your flight?!”
Oh. They’re on our flight, in fact we are sandwiched between two families with young children. At this point It is also worth mentioning that at the back of the plane sit a couple each with a cat in a carrier. These people look exactly how you imagine two people taking their cats with them on an aircraft would look. Go ahead, imagine, I’ll wait.
We were behind cat couple in line for security, they requested private security screenings for themselves and their felines. Even at. 5:30am I couldn’t help but laugh like a maniac when the stereotypical Boston TSA agent asked aloud,
“Uhh do we need a..a witness for..cats?” I’m laughing just typing this.
At take off I was a little on edge, as I usually am. Though my nerves were not nearly as bad as they had been flying in previous years. Dad, you’ll be proud to know I didn’t dry heave on the way to the airport even once! All those time you drove me with my head out the window encouraging me to breathe paid off.
As we taxied the runway and picked up speed little Nicholas began asking relentlessly in that way only four year olds can: “ARE WE FLYING YET? ARE WE FLYING YET? ARE WE FLYING YET?” His mother ignored him. Meanwhile the cats were in a frenzy. Meowing in what I’m sure was cat confusion and terror.
I was so distracted by “ARE WE FLYING MEOW YET ARE MEOW FLYING YET MEOW ARE WE FLYING MEOW YET” that I couldn’t even focus on crashing to our fiery death in a take off failure. In fact I just squeezed Maverick’s hand and laughed hysterically. So much that the very nice guy on my other side started laughing too, oh how nice it was, for those 2 whole minutes. Us laughing at it all. I miss those times.
After take off the Mav put on his headphones and tried to go back to sleep because his over eager girlfriend made him go to the airport at 4am.
At this point in the story Nicholas started harassing our hero Maverick, and though I long to tell you the story, I must save it for tomorrow, when Mav will post part two of our intrepid adventure from his perspective.
Waiting for TSA to open.
When Maverick and I started planning our trip one of the first things that sort of bummed me out was that we’d have to fly Virgin America instead of my beloved Jet Blue. I love Jet Blue for a few reasons; awesome snacks, tv while you fly, they have flown me many times many places and never once killed me even that time we flew through a lightning storm from Chicago to Boston and the turbulence made my knuckles permanently white forever.
But one of the things I love most about Jet Blue is that each passenger gets to check their first bag for free. FOR FREE. Which is awesome. The fact that you have to pay to check a bag makes me irate. The plane tickets are already usually very expensive, they can’t just check the damn bag? Le sigh.
Anyway, Virgin American seems great
please oh please don’t crash please oh please but when I found out that there was a 25 dollar fee for bags checked I came up with the whacky plan that Maverick and I would take one suitcase between us. Yeah. Two people’s clothes intended for a 7 day trip with variable temperatures and occasions. I dropped the suitcase off at Mav’s last week so he could pack his things. Yesterday morning as we chatted he mentioned that he didn’t think we could fit both of our things in the suitcase judging by what he had packed already.
I thought of all the different amounts of crap I have packed into that sad black suitcase over the years and though I am normally not one to stick to something that might ultimately be problematic, the thought of us paying 50 dollars each way to check bags
broke my Jew Bone sent me into a frenzy.
I immediately hopped to action and enacted my plan B; which was to see just how much of my clothes I intended to bring with me would fit into my carry-on suitcase. I figured if I could fit everything in then surely between the two suitcases we could split the difference.
I am proud to say that while my strengths may not reside in many areas, there are few packing challenges I am not equipped to handle.
WHABAM. Actually full disclosure I kept one pair of flats out, because they made they top of suitcase puff out a little bit. I’ll probably stash em’ in the checked bag. That baby is a perfect 50 linear inches, just right to fit into the overhead compartment.
So, on Saturday, Maverick and I are embarking on a weeklong vacation to California.
I am not really one to take “vacations.”
Sure, I’ve done some quick jaunts to DC and NYC to visit friends the last couple years, but the last time I went on a vacation to simply…relax and travel was in 2007.
I don’t want to alarm anyone…but that was 6 years ago.
I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t vacationed more. There’s the fact that my family doesn’t “do” family vacations. There’s the fact that the thought of doing something early-twentiesesque like “back packing through Europe” gives my over-cautious planning-addicted self, major case of hives. There’s the fact that I’m living pay check to pay check and probably by all accounts should not be taking a vacation anyway.
I can always think of a better way to spend (or not spend) the money. And in the back of my mind, I’m just not a person who feels like I deserve a vacation. Even though I do work pretty damn hard.
I’m not sure how we decided we’d go to California. I mean, I remember talking to Maverick about CA and him mentioning he’d always wanted to go and me being all dreamy like “oh we should go!” and then I did my normal day dreamy thing where I research plane ticket prices, ya know…just for fun.
And to my surprise I found some pretty good deals. Which I forwarded to the Mav, and I don’t even remember if I was serious or not. I don’t remember the conversation we had where we decided to start our trip in LA and then take a rental car up the coast to San Francisco. It all just sort of fell into place like magic and before we knew it we were buying plane tickets and booking hotels and making lists and printing maps.
And we’re going. For a full week!!
And I’m so, so, excited. But also a good amount freaked out. Because I do not travel well, I get mega anxiety flying on planes. I spend my evenings thinking of worst case scenarios
like a totally healthy person.
Anyway, I admitted a bit of my vacation guilt to Maverick the other day, but explained that my grades for this past semester were coming back really, really, good and so any time he heard me say I didn’t deserve this vacation, he could remind me of my good work in school. I spent my day off on Tuesday printing out all our hotel info and buying little travel sized things and looking longingly at all the sundresses I plan to wear.
Then Wednesday rolled around. I woke from a deep sleep at 5:40am, drowning in my own mucus.
BECAUSE OF COURSE.
Of course I get another mother fucking sinus infection right before the first real vacation I’ve taken in mother fucking six years.
I lay in bed last night burning up with a fever and tossing and turning and throwing a giant, epic, tantrum.
“THIS IS WHY YOU NEVER SAY YOU DESERVE SOMETHING, SARAH.” I chastised myself, shivering and sniffling and on the verge of tears. I know, I know. Logically I am not that powerful that I can control the deep inner workings of the universe by things that I say. But when you constantly have this much bad luck its easy to fall into that slump, where somehow you must have killed puppies in another life.
I slept off and on from 10pm last night to 10 am this morning and even though I woke up still burning hot at 5 am, I am happy to say at the very least my fever has finally broken. I still have to blow my nose every 6 minutes and feel super un-sexy and mad and not at all vacation ready.
C’est la Vie.
Vacation all I ever wanted.
My personal favorite misheard song lyric is when I went years and years thinking that they were singing “HUSH HUSH, keep it down now, Richard Scarry” instead of “Hush Hush keep it down now, Voices Carry” in Til’ Tuesday’s 1985 hit, Voices Carry.
I dunno, it made sense at the time?
In other news, the music video for this song is hilariously awful
My Dad went decades thinking they were singing “HEY JESSAY” instead of “Hey Jealously” in the Gin Blossoms song. Neither really makes much sense.
This video of misheard 90’s lyrics really takes the cake, and makes me realize how many times I just totally made up what I thought the words were, despite having the little lyrics jacket that came with my actual hard copy cd.