As we head into the end of this road trip saga, wherein I risked Katie’s life for a photo op, and I risked my life by being a smartass to her when she was not in the best of ways…let’s all just be thanking our lucky stars that obviously no one was killed.
On day 10 of our journey, Katie and I reluctantly left Brookings, OR—a place we almost began to think we could leave our lives behind for, and headed to San Francisco, CA. On the way, we stopped in Orick, CA and saw some beautiful Redwoods in a Redwood National and State Park. Once in San Francisco, we realized that even in the middle of a week day, the area around Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square was absolutely congested with foot traffic. Just finding an appropriate place to park where everything was within walking distance was a problem I didn’t want to have. Regardless, I finally found us a place to park, much to Cash’s delight, since he was needing out of the car something fierce.
Now, I had been to San Francisco for a couple days with my grandparents when I was in my teens, so I had seen Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. And while they are definitely destinations I would recommend visiting at least once in your life, I wasn’t wanting to see them again badly enough to deal with the crowds. So, I stayed behind to read while Katie and Cash took off on foot to take in the sights. However, within minutes, Katie and Cash were back after just snapping a few pictures. Apparently, the people, the sounds, and the food on the street were just too much for my fur nephew. Instead of risking him being overstimulated, Katie decided against exploring further. So…off to San Jose, CA for the night…
Now, the quickest way to San Jose from San Francisco is probably to stay on the 101 highway. It’s almost a straight shot all the way. However, Katie had never gone across the Golden Gate bridge, so we decided to drive across and around the bay to San Jose, which was to be our home for the night. Katie had never seen the Winchester Mystery House, and though I had, I was excited to go back. Anyhow, once we were across the Golden Gate Bridge (another must do in my opinion), Katie started twitching in her seat. I ignored her, but suddenly, she pipes up that she has to have a restroom break and she was suddenly starving. We just. left. San Francisco.
Relenting, as soon as we got out of Oakland, I stopped so Katie could take care of everything going on in her abdominal area. Then we were off again, with Katie driving this time, towards San Jose. Okay. Katie found us a Motel 6 online that accepted pets. We had to have a reasonable hotel that accepted pets. I don’t blame her for what happened next. Arriving at the Motel 6, it was obvious that this was a hotel that transient workers stayed at during jobs. And there might have been a large population of drug addicts. Allegedly. Not that big of a deal, but we had to check into the hotel while crammed into a tiny cubbyhole type reception area with said workers, while the hotel staff talked to us through bullet proof glass. Charming, right?
Making things even more interesting, as we pulled our car around to the side of the hotel that our rooms were on, I saw a couple of guys standing up on the second-floor landing smoking a joint. As soon as we got out of the car, they bolted back into their room. I can’t make this shit up. That’s when I realized they were just two doors down from me. As soon as I got into my room, the whole place reeked of weed—and I was pretty sure by the looks of things that either a rape or murder had been committed in my room sometime in the not so distant past. I immediately made a mental note to myself to sleep on top of the covers.
Instead of feeling bad about the dangerous area and hotel we were staying in, Katie and I plucked up, got washed up, and went out to find some good food. After venturing about the city for a bit, we found a nice family owned restaurant that served traditional Vietnamese and Cambodian food. The amazing sea bass, with ginger sticky rice, shrimp spring rolls, and rice dumplings made us totally forget that we were about to go sleep at the Butt Rape Motel for the night. Of course, there were a few times during dinner that I worried about Cash back at the motel. Oh, well. You only live once, right? And times like these make for great stories. So after dinner, we headed back to our reasonably priced rape-slash-murder rooms, and settled in for the night.
Throughout the night, I smelled weird things, heard weird things, and generally didn’t sleep well. On top of the covers, remember? I got up a lot earlier than planned on day 11, due to the fact that I couldn’t sleep well anyway, and started getting ready. Ya’ know how they say “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, it doesn’t always kill them—but sometimes it makes them sick to their stomach. Just for funsies, I thought I’d lift up my mattress to see if there was a dead hooker. I’ve seen Four Rooms, okay? Well, I wish I hadn’t. Exhibit A & B are below.
Immediately, I finished getting ready, grabbed all of my luggage, and headed to my sister’s room. If she wasn’t ready, I was going to throw her through the shower myself, grab Cash, their luggage, and head to the car. Fortunately, she didn’t sleep well either, so she was ready. As a side note, she mentioned that her A/C didn’t work well, so she just left the window open all night. In Murderville. I just shook my head and hustled her to the car. Lesson for the day: don’t lift up motel room mattresses, folks.
Winchester Mystery House wasn’t going to open for a few hours. That’s how early we checked out of the Rape You & Slit Your Throat Motel. So, we killed time, driving around San Jose, getting an oil change on the car, and waiting for our destination to open. Finally, however, it opened, and we entered, Katie was extremely excited to get to visit a place she’d wanted to see forever. And then we found out that the next full tour wouldn’t be for over an hour. After discussing our options, we realized that taking a few pictures inside the front area and the outside would be good enough, and then we could head on to Tucumcari, NM.
Really, this is where the biggest part of the trip ends. We drove through the desert of New Mexico and the western part of Texas over the next two days. On the way through, I found out that Arizona and New Mexico have a monsoon season! How had I lived over thirty years and not ever known?? Also, I found out that if you stop at a place selling genuine Navajo art and handmade goods, you’ll spend $400 for a rug, and $100 for a very small statue. Yeah. I still don’t own any Navajo arts and crafts.
Ultimately, however, I found out that Katie and I are great travel buddies. Even over 5,100+ plus miles in a car in just under two weeks. We’re up to see anything and everything that comes our way, and we’re even more happy to share the experience with each other. And though my abscessed tooth and Aunt Flo threatened to derail our fun, a drunken sea hag managed to save the trip. I guess that’s kind of the whole lesson. Don’t take things too seriously, laugh whenever you get a chance, and enjoy your time with your loved ones. I hope there’s another road trip with my sister in the future—and even if Aunt Flo shows up, and hell, even if I lose a hand—I know we’ll have a great time.
With that, I’ll leave you with a list of the books I read on the road, as well as a list of our favorite tunes on the trip!
It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer
We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus
Cups by Anna Kendrick
I Love It by Icona Pop (feat. Charlie XCX)
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Thrift Shop by Macklemore
Animal by Neon Trees
Black Betty by Ram Jam
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)
Scream & Shout by will.i.am (feat. Britney Spears)
Save Me, San Francisco by Train
Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips
Until next time…
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