Nothing Special, Really

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Road Trip, Part 2

Tuesday, April 22nd
The Long Ass Drive

It's 5:00am. My alarm is going off. I haven't been up this early in years. But I'm wide awake, because if I want to be in San Francisco by 7pm, we've got to leave in a half hour.

The easy way to get to San Francisco from Seaside, Oregon, is to drive over to I-5 and take that most of the way. We chose the longer route - straight down the Oregon Coast and through the California Redwoods.

By 6:45am we had made it to Tillamook, home of the cheese by the same name. Of course, it was too early to do a tour, so we'd have to pass on those cheese curds that came highly recommended by the cranky lady.

By 2:30pm, we made it to the OR\CA border, about 45 minutes behind schedule, thanks to stops at Safeway and Dairy Queen (and numerous photo\bathroom opportunities). But it was worth it to make such a scenic drive:

So it's 3pm, we're finally in California, the sun is finally out, and I've been up since 5am. And surprisingly, I'm not that tired. We keep trucking, driving through the redwoods (no pictures, just movies - more on that later). We get to Eureka, which I remembered to be an interesting town when I drove through two years ago. Back then, it was foggy and gloomy and seemed like a decent little coastal town. But at 4:30pm, in the bright sunlight, it looked more like Meth Capital, USA.

About an hour later, I start flipping out with excitement because of a sign pointing to this:

The Drive Thru Tree! I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid, so we drove about 10 minutes off the path, paid the $5, and drove through the tree.

Honestly, it was a bit overrated.

Once back on the 101, we headed back towards San Francisco, finally arriving at 8:30pm, 15 hours after we left Seaside, OR. We ordered some Thai food, unpacked our clothes, and fell asleep watching "So I Married An Axe Murderer". A good way to end a long fucking day, and a good preparation for the next two days in San Francisco.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Road Trip, Part 1

You know what they say, the best laid plans....actually, I don't know the rest of the quote.

It was my intention to post the blog daily. Alas, the Internet wasn't readily available until we got to San Francisco, so I'll have to recap you on everything since Sunday.

Sunday, April 22nd
The Drive to Seaside

We did our best to leave by 11:00 but a combination of factors prevented us from leaving until 1:00pm. Most of those factors had something to do with procrastination. It's tough to leave for vacation when you're washing clothes that you need to pack.

Once on the road, it was basically smooth sailing. We stopped for food in Centralia, at a place called Burgerville. According to Wac's friend Victor, who grew up in Vancouver, WA (aka "The Couv"), it's the best burger he's ever had. Apparently, he hasn't had that many burgers in his life. I'd consider myself to be somewhat of a burger connoisseur (and I have the waist-line to prove it), and I wouldn't even put it in my top 5.

It was a pretty uneventful drive, a typical Pacific Northwest scenic drive, until we got to Astoria. As you should know, this is Goonies land! However, we weren't able to find anything Goonies related. Instead, we found this wonderful sign:

We arrived at the resort in Seaside around 6pm, only to find a line of 20+ people waiting to check in. We waited behind an old woman who didn't have anything positive to say; the wait was too long, the prices at the outlet mall were a ripoff, etc. One exception; she did recommend the cheese curds at the Tillamook Factory.

We finally got into our room, only to discover that it was probably bigger than our apartment. I don't think i've ever been in an apartment that has an actual hallway, a washer\dryer, and a barbecue grill on the balcony. Our first night on vacation, and we're living like royalty!

Here's some pictures from the balcony:

Monday, April 23rd
A Day At The Beach

Seaside looks like what I imagine a small town on the coast of New Jersey to look like - a couple tall resorts\hotels, a dilapidated "boardwalk" area with closed or closed down restaurants, a loud arcade\pizza joint, and a frigid, blustery beach. With that in mind, we chose to spend our afternoon in the pool\jacuzzi area of the resort. It's been a while since I've let my hairy ass body out in public, but with few in sight and not much else to do, I jumped in. Here's a picture of me heading to the pool:

We also braved the cold beach for a while to get some pictures of some interesting kites:

That evening, we went to a wine tasting, and then threw some bratwursts on the grill, because we could. While the grill was heating up, I took the time to get a couple more shots of the Seaside coast:

After that, we had to turn in early, since we were leaving at 5:30 in the morning for a long ass drive down the coast of Oregon

Coming up next: 15 hours on the road, just me and Wac. Will we both survive the drive, or will we kill each other first? Stay tuned.

Friday, April 20, 2007

And So It Begins

In 7.5 hours, I'll officially be on vacation. Well, kinda. I won't be on vacation per se, but I'll be free from work for 16 days. What's peculiar is that I'm being paid to stay away from work for 2 weeks, but I have this feeling that those two weeks I'm not there will be more productive than when I actually work.

That's something that won't be ending up on my resume.

Anyways, the final agenda for the trip looks like this:

4.22-4.23: Seaside, OR
4.24-4.26: San Francisco, CA
4.27-4.28: Santa Cruz, CA
4.29: Napa, CA
4.30: Bend, OR

I'm going to try and keep updates on my blog, sort of like a journal, a "live journal", if you will. Will you? I've noticed a drop in visitors to my blog (methinks that I would have none if I didn't have a girlfriend). Maybe my blogs have been boring, or maybe you guys are just lazy, so hopefully the promise of crazy stories and fascinating pictures from our road trip will encourage you to stop by and check out our adventures.

Bon Voyage!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Sausage In My Mouth

Today is indeed a Good Friday. The weather today is as God intended, if you believe those stories:

Of course, I omitted the part about Monday being only 51 degrees. I'm just trying to live for today, man, I ain't hearin' that shit.

I took advantage of the sunshine and had lunch up at the Pike Place Market with Josh. We stopped by Piroshky Piroshky, an amazing Russian bakery right near the original Starbucks. Lunch today was a Bavarian Sausage piroshky, which is basically a Pig in a Blanket, only 133249.58 times better. I capped it off with a can of Coke and an Apple Cinnamon roll. Probably the best lunch I've had in 6 months.

Today was one of those days where, if I was back at my old job in AZ, I'd probably just not go back to work. A call center job isn't the most glorious career path, but there's something to be said about being able leaving work early unapproved with the only consequenc being a mark on your attendance record (well, that and the missing pay). I try to pull that these days, and I have not one but TWO bosses to answer to, let alone unfinished work that's only going to make my life harder. I hate responsibility sometimes.

Speaking of lack of responsibility, it looks vacation plans have changed once again, and we're heading to Pismo Beach instead of Monterey Bay. Pismo Beach wasn't really high on my list of vacation destinations (or at all, for that matter), but with the Monterey resort completely booked, our choices were Pismo, Tahoe, or some other remote locations in California. I've been pretty adamant about wanting to go somewhere that didn't remind me of the Pacific Northwest, so I ixnay'ed the Tahoe idea. The Pismo Beach location allows us a lot more flexibility than Tahoe does, and it looks nothing like Washington. That's not to say that I don't love it in Washington, but I want as much of an escape as possible.

BTW, does anyone else think of "old people" when they think of "Pismo Beach"? Wac thinks it's just me being weird, but I've already got two other people on my side. I can't think of why this is - the only possibility I've found is a reference to it in old Bugs Bunny cartoons, which were popular with old people when they weren't old. Any other ideas?

The Suns & Spurs played last night. For years now, the Spurs have had our number, and it looks like this year isn't any different. The refrain for years has been that the Suns don't play any defense, but against most teams I don't think it matters. There aren't many teams that disrupt our offense enough or play strong enough defense to make our deficiencies an issue, but San Antonio is one team that does. I wanted to throw my cat at the TV every time I saw Steve Nash or Amare Stoudemire just stand there and let them get the ball in the paint. To San Antonio's credit, there aren't many other teams that can stop them, but it didn't even look like we were trying. The fact is that San Antonio is a well-coached, disciplined team that excels at taking away a team's advantage. If we play them in the playoffs, we had better learn how to execute in the half court; otherwise, we're not going to the Finals.

(although a lot of that paragraph is based on honest opinion, there's also the hope that superstition will take control and make the opposite of all that happen. It can work both ways, right?)

Monday, April 2, 2007

T-Minus 3 Weeks....

I'm happy to say that I wasn't the victim of any April's Fools Jokes yesterday. I did get Wac with one though, around 2:00am early Sunday morning:

Wac: "What are you thinking about?"
Me: "Oh, nothing"
Wac: "Tell me!"
Me: "(sigh) It's nothing, really"
Wac: "What is it?"
Me: "I'm just thinking about how I kind of want to move back to AZ."
Wac: "Really?"
Me: "Yeah. You know, I just miss my friends down there, and it's more affordable, and..I dunno, it's something I've just been thinking about. What do you think?"
Wac (obviously terrified but holding it back): "....well...."
Me: "Another thing to consider though, is that, even though it's only is April Fools Day already..."
Wac (rolling over): "Jerk."

Another successful victim! Although this definitely wasn't as good as the year I called a close friend of mind, nearly in tears, admitting to her that I was fooling around with someone, and in the middle of a BJ, I said her name instead of the, um, "performer's" name. Now THAT was a good April Fools joke.

Wac had some old friends come up and visit her this weekend, some friends from high school. It's made for a good weekend, even though it didn't start off too well on Friday night. I came home and fell asleep watching the Pacers-Magic game, waking up when they walked in around 7pm. I guess I was a little bit cranky once I woke up, although it wasn't intentional. I wasn't so much cranky from being woken up as I was cranky about where I saw the night heading, and I was hoping to avoid it.

Earlier this week, another friend of mine, one of my good friends, was making plans to go catch the midnight showing of Fight Club this weekend. Although his plans included hitting up Linda's at 8pm (too early for a brokeass like me), I definitely wanted to at least see the movie. My all time favorite movie, back on the big screen - how could I pass this up?

But, I knew that Wac's friends were in town, so it was going to be quite the juggling act. However, she said that they were down for checking out the movie as well. Score!

So Friday night rolls around, and the plans now include going out to dinner, hitting up a bar to say "Bon Voyage!' to an acquaintance of Wac's who was moving to Chicago soon, and then try to catch the movie. I know how important it is for Wac that I hang out with her friends while they're in town, but I also know how much my close friend, given the limited amount of time we spend together these days, wants me to come hang out and do some drinking before the movie. I see where the night is headed. I'm not happy.

I try my best during dinner to be sociable, but I find myself staring out the window constantly, trying to figure out the best way to solve this problem. I called my friend before dinner, letting him know that I'd try to be up there after dinner. I'm wondering what the odds are that I'll be able to sneak away during the farewell get-together, especially considering that I hardly know her friend.

We get to the bar, which is a decent little place. It's small, adorned with various pantings and other art works. It's crowded, and although the atmosphere is comfortable, the rest of the bar isn't. The lady of the event is talking to some other friends, so we head towards a space between the main bar and the bathrooms. It's the only place we can find room to rest. Only 3 chairs are available, so I do the gentlemanly thing and stand.

Her friends are fading fast. I'm wondering if we're gonna make the movie at all. I'm not drinking so that I can drive and park, as it's Friday night in Capitol Hill, and I feel that I'll be the most capable of weaving through hipsters and finding a parking spot. I call my friend and let him know I'm running late but I'll try to make my way to the bar. For the first time that night, I'm called a queer and accused of banging too many dudes in the butt. I'm sure this won't be the last time.

I try to gauge Wac's take on the issue of me bouncing to the bar early and meeting them at the movie. Understandably, she isn't very pleased with it. She prefers that I would stay since her friends aren't in town for very long. She later tells me that it's OK if I go. I know this isn't the case so I stick around.

This is the situation that I was trying to avoid. If I go, I've got a girlfriend who's upset at me for being grumpy all evening, then ditching her and her friends to go get a couple of drinks. If I stay, I've got a friend who's counting this as another example of how I'm "whipped" and don't hang out with him anymore.

There's no easy resolution to this, so I choose the one that makes the most sense: I stayed, because it was cheaper to stay and not drink with Wac and her friends then it was to go up to the bar with my friend. If I could afford it, I don't know what the decision would have been. I don't think there's a right decision either way.

We head to the movie theater and wait for my friend, who's bombarding me with text messages declaring my homosexuality. Luckily, this is the most I have to deal with, and we enjoy the movie with everyone in a good mood.

In less than three weeks, I go on vacation. I'm so ready to get out of this city and relax for a while. Our vacation is a variation on our original plan to road trip it down to Indio for Coachella. Since that's out of the picture, we're cutting our road trip short and spending the week of 4.23-4.27 in the Monterey Bay area of CA. We ended up with this destination because it was the most affordable. We're both on limited funds, so we needed to find a place where we could transfer our reservation in Indio. We found a resort in Marina, CA that looks amazing, and it still allows us to make a road trip out of it. We'll probably spend a couple of days driving down, hitting up a couple places in Oregon, and we'll undoubtedly find some time to hang out in San Francisco, since it's been determined that I'm a fag so I'll fit right in down there.

It's still weird to refer to every destination as being "down there", whereas everything in relation to Phoenix is still "up there". I still find myself on occasion talking about when I'm "going back up to Arizona".

Anyway, I'm definitely excited to go on vacation again. The last time that I went on vacation that wasn't related to a Wedding or a DUI was Vegas two years ago. I need some time away where the only things I have to think about are:

1. Do I want to stay at the beach for another hour?
2. Is a 7th beer really necessary?
3. Do I really want to leave?

Man, vacation couldn't come any sooner.

P.S. Dirk Nowitski's a homo.