A day late, but I warned y’all that might happen — this is for 12/26/15.
Since I knew I was going to be renting a car over the holiday weekend, I arranged to get together with a friend I haven’t seen in more than a year, for lunch/dinner/both (depending on when I got out of the house and the amount of traffic I hit on the way) and as much of a slumber party as we could manage. Which itself would likely depend on how enthusiastic we got with the vino. 🙂
My original plan was to be on the road between 8:30 and 9:00 that morning, but like many good plans, it sort of fell by the wayside. (Too enthusiastic with the snooze alarm, I was.) On the other hand, I did make it out of the house before 10:00, so I wasn’t too far behind schedule. And the freeway was nicely uncrowded, which is always a treat. When I was about 40 miles into the drive, I saw the smoke of a brush fire in the distance, but I didn’t give it too much thought beyond the general hoping no one was hurt/minimal property damage/wishing the firefighters luck in getting it knocked down quickly.
I was, however, giving it rather more thought in not too much more time, since it was located near enough to the freeway to require closing a 10-mile stretch of it and rerouting traffic onto a couple of small local highways. Moving at a crawl, of course, because you don’t reroute 65mph freeway traffic onto side roads that might max out at 55mph but were mostly 35-45mph…except that with so many cars, nobody was going even that fast, or not for longer than a minute or two at a time.
Did I mention that before I got on the road, I stopped to gas up the car? And that while at the station, I went into the little store and bought a large coffee and a bottle of water? This decision made itself painfully obvious as having been a bad idea shortly after diverting off the freeway. So I kept watching for somewhere to stop and do what needed to be done.
Nothing. Not a rest area, not a fast-food place, nothing but residential and light industrial for what felt like forever. And then, about seven miles and maybe 45 minutes into the detour, a small market! Pulled into the parking lot, went in, asked the manager if I could use the restroom…he pointed the way to the far corner of the store.
As it happened, I’d left my sunglasses at home, so I bought a pair before I left. Kind of a thank-you to the manager. Then back on the road, and of course not far beyond the market were a couple of gas stations, although they were on the wrong side of the street and getting back into my travel lane might have been a bit of a nightmare.
The diversion added something like 90 minutes to the trip, but it was the only problem I had on the way, and I reached my friend’s place about an hour after my estimate. And we had a glass of wine (or two…) and a wonderful dinner (with perhaps another glass of wine) and went back and watched silly tv shows and interesting tv shows (and had maybe another glass of wine…) and talked and had a great time…
And then it was time to sleep.
So I was grateful for rental cars and kind store managers cheap but effective sunglasses and good friends and good conversation and good food and good wine, and I may well edit this entry to add photos of dessert, which my friend texted to me but my phone won’t tell me where the hell it’s keeping them no matter how many times I download them.