Friday, February 17, 2012

(Belated) Road Triiiiiiip!!!!

Ya know, sometimes it kinda "loses something" if you're not timely about posting.

But - seein' as how I feel like I'm the ONLY reader (other than hubs), I s'pose it doesn't much matter, right?!!

(Actually, I do get about a hundred "hits" per week, so evidently somebody stumbles onto this blog - however inadvertently!!!)

Anyway... As promised, I will post the Big-Road-Trip-Recap and some Random Pics from said Road-Trip.

Warning: This is full-on "Rambling" so if that's not your thing, then just "Move along... Nothing to see here!"

Pre-Ramble-Ramblings: Many years ago, I purchased my Very First (and - come to think of it! - ONLY) Brand New Car. I think it was late-1990 and I had purchased a 1991 Geo Metro Convertible which looked like a Miata with a Thyroid Problem. BFF-S and I made a road-trip to So-Cal (to Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland) - without the benefit of a car stereo!!! - and we had "documented" our Adventure in a steno-pad notebook. Now, I'm pretty sure I still have that notebook buried someplace, but it was a hoot-and-a-half (in a "You had to be there" kinda way!!!). I definitely recall S's consternation when we started out our journey with a stop at 7-11 and my insistence on buying a Super-Big-Gulp Coke. And she was very diligent about logging ALL of our Rest-Stop Stops "Thanks to Nancy and her Super-Big-Gulp!"

It actually *was* a whole lot of fun and TONS of laughs.

Now add "Facebook" to the equation and our ability to update our friends' IN REAL TIME and, well, it's a guaranteed yuk-fest, right???

Welllllll... It would have been, had it not been for the fact that Facebook pushed-through some kind of upgrade and - FOR ONCE - it defaulted *everything* to totally private!!! Meaning: Every Gawddamned post and photo that I uploaded during that trip was visible to "ME ONLY." WTF???


Anyhooooo... Here's the Random Ramblings I originally captured for Friend-P's and my Big Road Trip Adventure:

We survived our Road Trip to San Diego. Friend-P and I piled into the Sebring and headed out at - what turned out to be - 8:30am (rather than the 7:00am I had originally projected). Fortunately, southbound traffic out of San-Jo isn't too bad...

So we headed down 101 South to 152 East (we're in Northern California, we don't preface our highways with "THE"). We took a short side-trip to Santa Nella so we could stop for breakfast at Pea Soup Andersen's (ignore the Buellton address, it's the same website for Santa Nella, too).

*Love* that place - don't ask me why! And yes, we had Pea Soup for breakfast!!! (Yes, it's on the menu as the "Traveler's Breakfast" - Pea Soup + 2 eggs + bacon, ham, or sausage + pancakes).

Annnnnnd! I got two jars of their "Gourmet Seasoning" (which I actually LOVE - and had almost run-out-of!)

Then we hopped on I-5 South for the arduous and none-too-exciting journey through the Central Valley, down to El Lay and beyond...

Now, had the conference been a week or two later, the Valley would have been simply stunning with all of the fruit and nut tree blossoms. But alas, it wasn't. It was pretty barren and pretty dull. And pretty stinky around Coalinga and Kettleman City (Massive Dairy Farms and Feedlots) (Quick! Switch the A/C to "Recirculate!!!").

I'll skip the play-by-play but - suffice it to say - P and I managed to keep ourselves entertained. "Look! A Porta-Potty Ranch!!!" as we passed a large lot full of - you guessed it - Porta-Potties!

And we discussed such deep, philosophical issues as "Is that a Porta-Potty RANCH? Or is it a FARM?" Same with the Pallet-Farm, and the Farm-Implement Ranch (I think we finally agreed that Porta-Potties and Farm Implements were handled by RANCHERS, but we never did agree on Pallets.).

And P was updating Facebook the entire time... Checking us in at the various "Rest Areas" and uploading pictures of mileage signs and other inane sightings...

Unfortunately, she missed her Photo-Op for "Pleasant Valley State Prison" (Not to worry, I caught it on the return trip!)

Anyway... According to Google Maps, the drive from San Jose to San Diego was supposed to have taken appx 7-1/2 hours. But Google, apparently, knows nothing about Los Angeles Friday Afternoon RUSH-HOUR Traffic (which, apparently, starts around noon and, well, NEVER ENDS!!!).

Now I piss and moan, quite a bit, about Bay Area traffic.

Uhhhh... NO!

There are, quite frankly, too goddamn many people down there! To be fair, P and I did switch-off with the driving, and I did avail myself of Cruise-Control when we were on "The Five" (Okay, we're in So-Cal now... Gotta talk like a local!), but after sitting in ALL OF THAT TRAFFIC on "The Four-Oh-Five," (and Thank GAWD P came along - at least we got to use the HOV Lane!!!), well, my ankle was starting to ache and my Jovial Mood was starting to wane, rather quickly!

All I could think was "There are people who DO this Every. Friggin.' Day!!!"

And... "THANK GAWD I telecommute!!!"

And that's all I'm gonna say about that. (Jeezus!!!)

Anyway, I got us through the worst of it. Then P took over, because - seriously - my right ankle really was starting to cramp-up!

...And, ironically, it wasn't THAT long ago that I had done a San Jose to San Diego AND BACK (Like, yes, ROUND-TRIP) trek in ONE DAY! (I suspect some speed-laws may have been broken!)

But I digress.................

So then we're on a toll-road - "The 73" (if you care!) - trying to avoid the snarl on "The 405" - and ultimately getting dumped back onto "The 5."

As we're driving along, it's starting to get dark. Hell, it IS dark! And what do I spy, up ahead? Some GIANT BOOBIES (complete with flashing red-light nipples!) (a la Carol Doda and the Condor Club in SanFran!). I immediately perked up and shouted out "BOOBIES!!!!"

"What the hell is THAT?" We both wondered aloud.

"Hmmm... Where are we?"

"San Onofre"

"I think, but I'm not sure... They might be NUKES!"

So I power up my phone (neither of us had functional car-chargers, by the way - "D'oh!")

And I Google "San Onofre Nuclear" and, lo and behold, not ONLY are the Giant Boobies a Nuclear Power Plant, but HEY!!! They're LEAKING!!! Yippeeeee!!!!

Yes, the first "hit" on Google was a news article about how some maintenance worker FELL INTO one of the water/cooling tanks and now there was a "small, but not dangerous leak."

"Oh Goodie!"

We looked at each other and asked simultaneously "Am I glowing???"

Thankfully, we weren't.

And you thought this was gonna be an uneventful trip, right?!!

During the return trip, P and I were more diligent with our "Check-In's" on Facebook (at least P's posts were showing up!). We had breakfast at The Sugar Shack in San Onofre (home of the San Onofre - but *not* glowing - omelette). P "checked-us-in" there, but *I* checked us in at "San Onofre Nuclear Boobies!" (Sucked that the post wasn't visible to anyone but me - but STILL - I thought it was hysterical that that came-up as a "check-in spot" on FB)...

And further north, I *did* catch my Photo-Op for Pleasant Valley State Prison (and even managed another "invisible check-in" on Facebook)...

Anyhoooooooo... It was a Super-Fun Weekend. And I got TONS of inspiration for new Ceramics Projects - which I will be attempting very soon...

Here are some random pics "from the road:"

Split-Pea Andersen's Breakfast Menu

Proof that you CAN have pea-soup for breakfast!!!

General Goofiness. P is on the left, and I am on the right!

My Simply Priceless Souvenir from the Adventure
a Squished Andersen's Pea Soup Penny!

Avenal Rest Area

Oxymoron, encountered at Avenal Rest Area!
(Can't blame the Super Big Gulp this time!!!)

INSANELY expensive gas
I insisted we stop *before* we got to The Grapevine...

Dinner and cocktails at Miguel's in Old Town San Diego
I can honestly say that was *the* spiciest Chile Relleno I have *ever* eaten
(they didn't remove the chili pepper seeds - OUCH!!!)

General Goofiness in Old Town.
P-modeling a coonskin cap!

Sugar-Shack in San Onofre
SUPER cool restaurant - BTW. Very Old School.
I wish we still had "joints" like this around!!!

Breakfast Menu - Wonder if it makes you "glow???"

Can't argue with that!!!

Random shot taken on I-5.
Flowery-fields of some sort. I like the "impressionistic" quality of this pic, actually!

A "Full-Service" Gas Station (so to speak!)

Happy Cows from California
This was a dairy farm - where I think the cows actually ARE happy
(unlike the feedlots in Coalinga where they're all knee-deep in sh*t and preparing for death)

Shot of I-5.
I think this is when we were coming down The Grapevine...

"Pleasant Valley State Prison!"
(Yes, I "checked-us-in" there!)

San Onofre Nuclear Boobies!
(actually, this is just ONE of the boobies)

San Onofre Nuclear Boobies (better picture - stolen from the internet)
TELL me those don't look like boobies!
(especially considering the flashing red nipples after dark!!!)

While at the Potter's Conference, we did a Pottery Exchange.
This is what I won (and I felt like a TOTAL Winner! Me = Happy!)

This is where the Ceramic Flip-Flop ended up.
Abso-freaking-lutely perfect in our bathroom!!!

Okay... I think that's MORE than enough Rambling for one day - Don't you agree???

I'm gonna head out to my studio and start some NEW projects................................

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