Friday Flashback: West L.A. Fadeaway

For our 10th anniversary Sarah and I flew out to Cali. We rented our car when we got to LAX and drove up our favorite Highway 1 to our fancy resort in Malibu. Baller.

Our resort was an Embassy Suites type deal, and so they had free drinks for happy hour from 5-7pm. At first we thought you could only go to the bar one time and so we both ordered two–trying to be sneaky and saying that we were getting one for our partner. LOL. Turned out you could go back more than once. So we were feeling lovely when it was time to go out to watch the sunset. Of course, the beach lemonades combined with the jet lag led us to go to sleep in our fancy hotel pretty much as soon as we watched the sun set. 🙂

The next day we lounged at the pool and talked openly of our multi-million dollar real estate deals. We were trying to play the role of someone who would normally be at a swanky resort in Malibu. Though in retrospect those folks probably aren’t at the Embassy Suites.

We also, took a trip to the Reagan Library. That was very cool, especially for the political history nerd that I am. I got to take pictures at the Presidential podium, and one riding horses with the Gipper, we saw a replica of Air Force One, the Oval Office, and a piece of the Berlin Wall among other things.

Then it happened. We hopped on a boat to ride about an hour out into the ocean to see a rock formation and some seals or something. The guy said that if you were gonna get sea sick that sitting on top of the boat would be the worst, but that’s where Sarah went. I didn’t last long up there. As you can see below I ended up sitting on the back of the boat holding on to the rails trying to steady myself, and be in good position in case I needed to hurl. There was some British kid named Peter running around crazy back there too… Come on Peter! Help me out here. Whew. That was rough, and maybe was the beginning of the vertigo I’ve dealt with ever since. Man. That unsteadiness combined with my anxiety as you will read in just a few lines down led to some questionable decision making.

We left Malibu and drove into L.A.’s Little Korea and saw Widespread Panic perform at the Wiltern Theater. Oh yeah! It’s one of the coolest theaters I’ve ever been to–even though it took us 50 minutes and $80 for a cab ride to go 8 miles. But we were only about 7 rows back, and the show was, as is always the case with Panic, it was a smoker!

But Panic did play a song called Shut Up and Drive which sealed the deal for me. I hate flying. I mean I like getting there quickly, but the prospect of crashing is one I don’t like. And I couldn’t shake the notion that if we were both on the plane then well… that wouldn’t be too good for the kids. So, I made an extremely irrational decision to sell our night 2 Panic tickets and trade in our flight back for a rental car.

So we took off from LA and saw the sign on 40 in Barstow that says how many miles to Wilmington NC. We drove all day and saw the most beautiful sunset and fullish moon in New Mexico. Then into the night approaching Albuquerque we hit something in the middle of the interstate that, to this day, I’m not sure wasn’t a body rolled up in a carpet. We kept on driving to Albuquerque and got out to see our front bumper was damaged–but we had the insurance so the rental folks said no problem. So we kept on driving through the night. Taking turns sleeping and stopping for gas and fast food and that’s all.

In the morning we called and found out we’d save a bunch of money getting back early, so we kept on driving. Didn’t stop once. It became the amazing race! Hit traffic in Nashville, rain in Knoxville, but powered on into the NC mountains. Y’all know what kudzu is? Well when I was driving on 40 through the NC mountains I saw a giant gopher. Not ‘hey there’s a tree covered in kudzu that looks like a gopher’. No, I thought it was a giant gopher. Sarah politely suggested I pull over and let her drive.

And we drove. And had to drive past our town on 74 and go all the way to Charlotte to pick up our van. Because as normal people we flew out of CLT and if I was normal we would’ve flown back in there. But… 36 hours. We drove from LA to CLT; two thousand four hundred and twenty one miles. We DROVE from LA to CLT in 36 hours. Obviously so much safer than flying LOL. And that definitely took some years off my life. But it’s one of my favorite memories.

Happy Friday!

07/13/11 Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
1: Protein Drink > Sewing Machine, Can’t Get High > Greta > Better Off, None of Us Are Free, Little Lilly > St. Louis > Shut Up And Drive > Holden Oversoul
2: Imitation Leather Shoes > Love Tractor, Tickle the Truth, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, Chainsaw City* > Jam* > Drums** > Papa Legba** > Bear’s Gone Fishin’, Tie Your Shoes > Walk On, Conrad
E: Her Dance Needs No Body, Big Wooly Mammoth
* with Jerry Joseph on guitar/vocals, Wally Ingram on percussion
** with Wally Ingram on percussion

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