notes from the road.

Disclaimer: There is delicate language and likely offensive topics in this travelogue to San Francisco. If you are our parents…nothing to see here. Move along…

Friday, September 14, 2007: 0km @ 9:00am

Luggage in trunk: check.
Picnic blanket: check.
Wine cooler, empty: check.
Rosé wine book, travel guides, and roadmaps: check.
Camera: check.
Acoustic guitar and songbook: check.
Coffee and soy black tea latte: check.
Passports: ………oh, shit.

5km later @ 9:20am

Passports: check.

57.4km @ 10:09am

Listening to: Arctic Monkeys, my new favourite band.

Stuck at the Pacific border crossing; an estimated hour and a half wait. Crackberried it up with work. Ted tells me to turn off the BB.

58km @ 11:18am

Oh. my. god. Not even a kilometre of progress.

Turned off the radio and played the guitar (poorly) during the long, agonizing wait.

58.3km @ 11:45am

Listening to: Eric Clapton.

Welcome to the USA! Says Kurt: “Smells like capitalism!”

Technically past the gate, but stuck in post-border construction zone. Argh.

176km @ 12:55pm

Just outside of Seattle on the I5. Kurt says we’re in the Seattle equivalent of Surrey (it turned out to be Everett; haha). Just passed a giant designer outlet mall and a really ugly casino / hotel.

195km @ 1:06pm

Listening to: Tom Petty.

Realized we haven’t named the car. Thinking of E-names for our little Elantra. Kurt rejected the obvious (Ella, after my favourite jazz singer) and my convulted rationalization for Eloïse (think ThELma and LOuISE and their road trip. plus, there’s an umlaut!).

Eva? No. Eleanor? Ew. Evie? Hmm…possibly. Erica? Not “car” enough.

Ebony? Nope–car’s blue. Elfrida? Lord, no.

Elaine, Elena, Etela, Ethel, Edith, Evelyn, Eileen, Emma, Elmee, Emily, Eugenia, Ellen? Meh.

Eeyore? Too donkeyish.

Estelle? Too Golden Girlish.

Looks like it’s down to Evie or Eloïse. Jury’s still out on this one…

232km @ 1:35pm

Oooh, space needle! First photo op.

seattle space needle

262km @ 1:57pm

I only ever see station wagons in the States.

282km @ 2:08pm

Start of Tacoma, yay!

End of HOV lane: boo.

288km @ 2:18pm

Tacoma dome! Click.

tacoma dome

308km @ 2:30pm

There’s a town in Washington called Tillicum. Seriously. Other amusing signage: Tillicum Laundromat. House of Teriyaki. $1 Chinese Food.

329km, from 2:45-3:15pm

Late lunch at Taco Bell. Shameful ignorance of the differences between a chalupa, gordita, taquito, burrito, and a crunchwrap supreme.

The hot sauces come in mild, hot, and fire. Disappointingly, all taste mild.

My spicy chicken crunchwrap combo, to my surprise, came with a side of soft taco. Thank goodness I didn’t order the meal grande. It’s a mix n’ match combo of 10 items. Pick from soft taco, hard taco, burrito, or gordita. 10 of them. Ugh.

339km @ 3:30pm

Saw the dome of the pretty state capital building in Olympia. Too late for a photo. Shucks.

366km @ 3:45pm

Listening to: Offcutts.

What the fuck kind of awesome was that?!

There is an indoor waterpark by the side of the highway where the slide shoots outside of the building, spirals around, and then shoots you out into the open into a giant vertical vortex funnel!

Went by too quickly for a photo.

Now planning a trip to said waterpark.

461km @ 4:36pm

Listening to: Greenday.

Weird bike with sweatered biker dog harnessed to the inside of a milk crate. Snap.

biker terrier

500km @ 5pm

Listening to: Jamiroquai.

Geez…8 hours of driving later and we enter the city of Vancouver? Sigh.

Oh, and Portland.

605km @ 6:27pm

Had been seeing signs along the way referring to “Enchanted Way”. I had joked that it’d lead us to the Enchanted Forest theme park that we had encountered on our Calgary road trip.

Well, it actually did! Just passed it. Looks eerily identical except with no neighbouring Miniature Land.

634km @ 6:43pm

Listening to: “Love Scene” (Joe).

This is a great sexy-sex song. But the lyrics are so very full of cheese.

’69 was a very good year / if you know what i mean my dear

707km @ 7:28pm

Listening to: David Bowie’s Greatest Hits.

Karen takes over driving. Kurt takes over travelogue.

Rockstar energy drink tastes even worse than expected. Getting dark. I can’t really read what I’m writing…

804km @ 8:30pm

Passed by “Friday Night Lights”-style football stadium with about 10,000 fans!

830km @ 8:40pm

Radar gun yells at Karen to slow down! She only reluctantly complies.

(If I was driving, she would have been screaming at me to slow the fuck down.)

848km @ 8:51pm

Karen decrees: “No horror-movie motels for tonight!”

953km @ 9:55pm

Arrived in Medford.

We go for the cheapest clean place, the Motel 6. Not horrific. Although the woman at the front desk’s teeth were a horror in dental hygiene.

Now off to dinner at Jack in the Box and to bed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007: 964km @ 7:19am

Installed Jack in the Box radio antenna. Took pictures. Trailer-trash smoker of a woman patronizing the Motel 6 is not impressed.

happy antenna

994km @ 7:40am

Listening to: World Cup Rugby on BBC World News radio station.

1014km @ 7:51am

Listening to: Beatles Anthology.

Welcome to California!

1016km @ 7:52am

Sign says that speed limit is enforced by aircraft in the state of California. This feels like something the “Governator” came up with.

1038km @ 8:04am

Karen says: “Ooooh, deer!”

[Karen’s edit: It was a doe, in case you were wondering. I know you were.]

1044km @ 8:07am

Karen points out the “hot-air balloon orgy, with Mt. Shasta as voyeur”.

(Pause ensues.)

Karen then comes to the conclusion that she is a sick fuck.

Took her long enough.

hot air balloon orgy

1185km @ 9:23am

Listening to: A Tribe Called Quest.

Traversed Shasta Lake bridge.

Karen cannot drive when hungry. Nearly took an exit because a sign distracted her.

1198km @ 9:31am

First palm tree!

1251km @ 10:05am

Denny’s at Red Bluff, CA for our breakfast pit stop.

Karen back in charge of the travelogue. Read over Kurt’s entries. He thinks he is just sooo clever.

Kurt, with a most exasperated air, explains why gubernatorial is the adjective for things related to governors. I still don’t feel that the word should start with “gub”. It just sounds strange.

And don’t get me started on lieutenant pronounced as “leftenant”.

1265km @ 11am

Listening to: sports radio.

Kurt now behind the wheel. Oil top off and re-fuel.

Kurt felt compelled to record the signage of the Chinese restaurant across the street.

chinese fast food signage

1373km @ noon

Just woke up from the best car nap. Think it was the pillow that did it.

57km left to Sacramento. Rain clouds threaten. Olive and orange orchards all along the highway.

A road sign brings to mind an old TV show called Putnam’s Prairie Emporium. Worst. Kid’s show. Ever.

1392km @ 12:12pm

Random fortress made of huge bales of hay.

1408km @ 12:20pm

Finally off the I5! Now on the I505 en route to San Francisco.

1450km @ 12:42pm

“Putah Creek” sign leads to a discussion of “bitch” versus “cunt”. Plus usage of “cunt” in North America (very taboo; considered one of the most highly offensive words one can say) versus Australia (where I have seen it used quite casually in a comic strip). Then we passed by one of them swerving on the road as she rooted around their glove compartment for 5 minutes.

1462km @ 12:48pm

Listening to: “Urban” radio.

Now on the I80 to San Francisco. A return to suburbian traffic and shitty commuter roads.

1486km @ 1pm

Just passed by the most amazing looking mini-golf we have ever seen! Just after the turnoff for the I680. Executive decision to go there on Tuesday on the way to Napa.

1497km @ 1:06pm

I am excited by the exit sign to San Rafael (where I went for Sitecore training in January).

1542km @ 1:34pm

Just paid the $4 toll for the Bay Bridge. Good thing I had some leftover USD from my trip to Atlanta in May.

Not as picturesque an entree as the Golden Gate would have given us, but the vastness of the bay is nevertheless impressive.

crossing the bay bridge

approximately 1560km @ approximately 2pm

Enjoying a bottle of Sonoma pinot noir with our hosts, Rob and Jen, in their wonderful flat in the Noe Valley. Will be experiencing San Francisco life until we head out to wine country on Tuesday.

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