Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Road Trip Day #11: Provo to Grand Junction

I am well into Wednesday morning because even after all these days on the road and driving all day today, I am still wide awake in the middle of the night. It's a sickness. That's all I can say. For anyone who thinks this is going to be an interesting post travel-wise, I'll save you some time: it's not going to be. It's more of a recap and a "what have we learned" exploration. Depending on what you're looking for, this may or may not be for you. Maybe that's true of everything. I'm going to just go forth and do my thing and leave it up to you. Part of the reason I'm up right now is my bags were full of really stinky clothing and I need to wash some of it so I have underwear tomorrow. Overshare, but yes, that's an issue right now. As far as what happened on the road from Provo to Grand Junction goes, you'll just have to read on.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Road Trip 2018: Days 9 and 10--The Sierras and Provo


"Dinner" Party Plaque
Basically, we're driving back to Grand Junction. These places weren't "destinations" and I didn't meet-up with any friends in Nevada or Utah. Apologies in advance for not having any of that kind of excitement in this post. I haven't been on I-80 going out of California in decades, and I don't think I want to do it again any time soon because coming down the Sierras was exciting and not in the best way. It's a steep grade. However, I did drive over Donner Pass and managed to snag a picture of it from the rest stop parking lot. All of my horror fan friends were just delighted. It's so good to know that I've been hanging out with the right people, and yes, plenty of cannibalism jokes were made yesterday and spilled over into today. I do have a sick sense of humor, but in fairness, we started out in Winnemucca, NV today and drove to Provo, UT. That stretch of I-80 is so boring, it's ridiculous.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Road Trip 2018 Day 8: Cannery Row (Monterey) and San Francisco

“[Cannery Row's] inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing.”  Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
6/12/18: Updated with links. More to come.


Real-life Inspo for "Wide Eyed Ida"
Monterey is one of the most sacred places in my mind. Even pulling into the parking lot of Monterey Surf Inn at about 11 p.m. last night, I felt a sense of ease like I was home and just belonged. I also felt a lot of emotion swell inside me. I'm still not where I'd like to be in terms of clarity about life goals and what success will look like for me or how to achieve it. Also, when I'm in Monterey, I know it's temporary. I'm going to have to leave Monterey.

We began our Monterey adventure with brunch at Rosine's on Alvarado Street where we both ordered Monterey Omelets--delicious omelets filled with ham and covered in jack cheese and green onions. I also treated myself to a mimosa and coffee.

After brunch, we took the trolley from our parking lot to Cannery Row. I needed to pick up a new hat because I thought I lost my mom's white hat in San Diego (as it turns out, it was just in the back seat.)  Hat acquired: we moved on to interpretive signs along the row and engaged the help of a local newspaper article for a self-guided walking tour of Cannery Row. Thanks to that article, we found the original site of one of the houses of "ill repute" from Cannery Row. We also found a statue dedicated to the real woman the character Wide Eyed Ida was based on.

Sign Beside Doc's Backyard
Doc's lab still stands as well. In fact, free tours are available every 2nd Saturday. Time slots do fill up quickly though, so if this is something you want to do, plan for it. You can view Doc's backyard through the fence behind it and interpretive signs provide additional background information.

The bars and restaurants up and down the row were overwhelmed that Saturday and the same could be said for Fisherman's Wharf. If you plan a visit, you may want to look into doing it on a Thursday or Friday instead if you mainly want to walk around and take pictures. Also, even for the first week of June, it was cold and windy. Long sleeves, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a hat that stays on are essentials.

San Francisco

Traffic and roads between Monterey and San Francisco are crazy. The 101 randomly ends in spots and resumes after short breaks. Most of the time, this is a minor issue, but sometimes, it means being dumped off and having to awkwardly merge left into some high-speed traffic.

We were meeting a fellow writer at an event called Writers With Drinks in the Make-Out Room (more on this event to follow) and decided to visit Zeitgeist on Valencia for burgers and drinks. This punk rock loving spot is popular with the locals. They offer a decent selection of beer, billiards, pinball, a biergarten in the back and a large dark bar. Prices for food and drink are reasonable and the staff are great. The only downside is it is loud there and seating is in short supply. Also, it's cash only and that's a bit annoying.

We met my friend at the Makeout Room where the bar is also cash only. Initially, it was quieter, but that changed after the series of speakers--all of whom had books available for purchase outside the men's room. One reader, adult film star Joanna Angel, shared an excerpt from Night Shift, a choose your own adventure erotica book in which her main character worried about the streets near the sex toy shop she worked in having a high number of pedestrian fatalities. She said she often worried about running into someone she knew there. I think she was worried about them running into her, and with good reason.

I'm passing out, but I'll post pictures soon.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Road Trip 2018 Days 6 & 7: Glendale and the 101

MOD Flyer (front)

It's amazing how fast time goes by when I'm on vacation. We were having so much fun over the past two days, I just didn't have a chance to blog. Let's see how much I can get down here before I pass-out. I reconnected with a friend from graduate school and got all the dirty details about what happened to the rest of our classmates after graduation. I also visited with my grandma, and somewhat appropriately, found out that Hollywood has a Museum of Death.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Road Trip 2018 Day #5: San Diego

"Leave Your Secret At . . ."
San Diego is one of my favorite places in the U.S. and this was my first visit there in over a decade. I also got to see a high school friend who I haven't seen in twenty years. It's hard to describe everything today without sounding cheesy, but seriously, my heart is so full from all of it. The short version: I caught up with my friend over lunch at an amazing seafood place in Point Loma followed by a walk at Ocean Beach Dog Beach. After that, I visited Balboa Park and discovered that the Museum of Man had an exhibit on Post Secret. I had to see that! We followed all of that up with an amazing fusion meal and beer at Werewolf in SD's Gaslamp Quarter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Road Trip 2018 Day #4: Flagstaff, Sanoran Desert & San Diego

I'm keeping this short and sweet because we just got to our room here in San Diego and it's almost 1 a.m. The parking situation at this La Quinta Inn is totally insane. I'm wondering if the vehicles on the property currently outnumber the guests.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Road Trip 2018--Day 3 (Moab, Monument Valley, and Flagstaff)

Bonjour, mes amis! My pictures are uploading to Dropbox on the "fast" and free internet at LaQuinta Inn of Flagstaff. I celebrated my arrival in this artsy town surrounded by trees, wildflowers, and art galleries by picking up some toiletries at Walmart and dining at the Olive Garden with Mom because she never gets to go to Olive Garden in Grand Junction. (I guess the wait is too long.) Anyway, I was feeling too lazy to actually drive over to the other side of town to soak-up local color in the artsy part of Flagstaff. Since we're driving to San Diego tomorrow, I may need to plan on revisiting Flagstaff to get my real fix later this summer. Sadness.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Road Trip 2018: Day 2

My first full day in Grand Junction. We started with brunch at IHOP followed by wine tasting at Hermosa Vineyards. All of the wines on offer were delicious, but I couldn't leave without a bottle of Syrah ($40 and totally worth it.) We decided to table camping gear for the Grand Junction adventure at the end of our journey next week. From Hermosa, we drove to Red Fox Cellars for a glass of their 44 Red Blend and followed that up with delicious BBQ at Rib City in Fruita.

Tomorrow, Mom and I will hop into her Honda and head for Flagstaff, AZ. (LaQuinta reward status greatness: here I come!!!!) Mom says that we need to get an "early" start. It's currently after 2 a.m. I'm apprehensive about this "early" thing.

I like the idea of spending enough time in Flagstaff to enjoy it a little bit. I love the hippie shops along the main drag and all the yummy food at the local restaurants.

In other news, my dog, Ernie, escaped from the backyard during a thunderstorm and our neighbors had to wrangle him. Like Carrie, now they all know his name.