Thursday, April 12, 2012

Norcal Roadtrip 2012: Why I Should Have Stayed Home

I absolutely love the bay area. It is my home. It is where I belong. It is where I would like to some day end up.

Lucky for me, I have a few friends living up there, and Boyfriend does, too. So I always have an excuse to go.

I hadn’t been in over six months, and I was definitely long overdue, especially since Candice lives there, and I was in some serious need of bff time. I decided a few months ago to plan a trip up on the weekend of Candice’s 22nd birthday, which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. I saved my tips and I ended up going up there with about $300.

Everything was set. I had all of my homework done, I got all of the days I requested off, my car was packed, and I was ready for my solo venture up the coast again.

Last time I went, I left after class at about 8pm and drove all night, so I knew I was capable of this. I planned to do this again, so after my speech class, during which I had to give a demonstration speech (Where I had to bring in a bowl and a spoon and some other random things as props and show people how to make Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies), I was all ready to go.

Now, before I actually get to the details of this trip, let me just say….the universe definitely gave me some warning signs. I should have listened.

Warning Sign #1: The day before I was scheduled to leave, Candice called me and told me that she and her live-in boyfriend had broken up, but were still living together. Why did I think it was still a good idea to stay with them while they were in the midst of a break up? Why!?

Warning Sign #2: The morning before I left, Boyfriend and I had gotten into a weird pseudo-argument over a drunk text I had sent the night before, and I didn’t plan on having time to fix this issue before I left.

Warning Sign #3: I saw THREE black cats on my way to school. THREEEEEE.

So I should have known. I should have stayed home. But I didn’t. Here’s how the weekend went:

March 15th, 2012


I left class early to have dinner with Boyfriend and fix shit before I left. It went well. He got me some gummiworms and MnMs for the trip, which was nice. I also bought myself a cupcake from Casey’s Cupcakes before I left. 8 hours on the road at night alone? You bet I was gonna eat a cupcake.


After about an hour, I decided to try to video log my drive to post to my blog, so I stopped by Target for some duct tape. I duct taped my digital camera to my dash, and used my cell phone to light up my face.

This idea was a bad one. It failed so hardcore, and I’m surprised I didn’t die in the process of reaching over to turn my camera on/off all night.


I decided to go for the cupcake. I couldn’t wait and it smelled like delicious chocolate perfection.

Because I’m me, I was dancing to a Lady Gaga song and eating my cupcake at the same time. I dropped the cupcake. I fumbled, and it seemed to spin in the air in slow motion as I screamed, “NOOOOOOOOO!”

I reached to get the cupcake from the floor, swerved just a tiny bit, and was promptly pulled over by the Santa Barbara Highway Patrol.

Cop: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

I am terrified of cops, so my next words came out as one word, and I’m sure I looked like a bush baby, with my eyes all huge and frightened.

Me: “Yes, sir. I was dancing and I dropped my cupcake. It won’t happen again.”

The cop laughed and let me go. It was probably one of the greatest moments of my life.


I always stop at the Madonna Inn to pee and take a picture. This time was no different.


Losing my mind and getting sleepy. Got some gas...for my car and for myself.


I saw a fucking BEAR walking alongside the 101. I was pretty excited.


Losing my shit. Absolutely starving. I saw a sign for an In N Out a few miles back, and later found out that it was a mirage.


I arrived in Santa Clara at Candice's apartment. I called her ten times, with no answer. I was getting ready to sleep in my car when she finally called me back, twenty minutes later. (By the way, I'm gonna call this Warning Sign #4.)


We got all of my stuff up to the apartment, watched a little TV, drank a few beers, and then went to bed.

Those few hours of sleep would be the last peaceful moments of my entire weekend. I should have stayed home. And here's why:

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #1: My Car Got Broken Into On The First Night

When Candice and I walked outside to head to San Francisco for the day, my car looked like this:

Yep. Someone took a screwdriver, jammed it in my passenger side door lock, and jacked a bunch of my stuff, including: my CD player, my school text books, my bowl and props I used for my demo speech, my garage door clicker, all of the trash from my center console, my XXXopoly sex board game, my car phone charger, and a number of other random things.'

Oh, and those bitches crumbled the other half of my cupcake all over my car. This wasn't just a robbery. This was just plain cruel.

Fortunately, the Toyota dealership was able to fix my car alarm system and make it so my door still locked. I was able to reclip my dash back together, too. I wasn't about to let this ruin my weekend.

Hey, at least they didn't steal the car.

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #2: My Air Mattress Sucked

The air mattress I borrowed from Roommate was constantly deflating. This first full night I was there, we were all drinking and Candice and her boyfriend started having an intense argument, so I took the opportunity to refill my air mattress, which also happened to take up the entire room it was in. Mistake.

Yep. That's me being pinned to the wall by the inflated air mattress. There's actually also a video of me drunkenly trying to get myself out.

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #3: St. Patrick's Day Disaster

So Boyfriend decided to fly up to Santa Clara for Candice's birthday party on St. Patrick's day, and then drive back down with me on monday. This way, he could be at the party, and it would also give him an opportunity to see his friends in San Fran.

I picked him up from the airport around 7, and he, I, Candice, her boyfriend, and another friend of ours all did a little pre-gaming at the apartment before calling a couple cabs to take us to the party.

The party started off well, probably because I was already decently drunk when I got there.

Around 1AM, something happened with another guy at the party. Somehow I ended up outside alone with him, and some pretty awful things happened. I'll spare you the details, but I was pretty traumatized, so I found Boyfriend, told him a little about what happened, and insisted that we leave. (Oh, and did I mention I was sobbing uncontrollably? Yeah. It was bad.)

Boyfriend called a cab, and we waited outside. We briefly told the rest of our group what happened, and they called another cab that was supposed to be right behind us. 

Somehow I wasn't wearing shoes. I vaguely remember putting them on in the cab.

I also forgot my purse and coat.

Now, I have no idea why no one thought to give Boyfriend and I the keys before we left for the apartment by ourselves. It was probably because we left in such a rush. But regardless, this was a pretty significant problem.

I want to say it was 30-ish degrees out that night, a little drizzly, and remember, I had forgotten my coat at the party. My memory is pretty fuzzy, but I do remember lying on the cold brick outside of the apartment door, shivering uncontrollably, crying, and vomiting. I know I was pretty drunk, but I'm sure I didn't have enough alcohol to make me sick, so I think the puking was caused by the cold and the stress.

Boyfriend threw his sweater over me and tried to call our friends to tell them we had no keys. They were still waiting for a cab, so we would have to wait outside in the cold. My sense of time went completely out the window. I remember noticing that Boyfriend wasn't standing next to me anymore (I found out later that he drunkenly tried to climb their balcony and get in through that door. I am so glad he didn't kill himself). I remember when he came back and we found an empty storage closet to sit in. I remember someone coming with the keys. But I don't remember how much time this took. Boyfriend told me that we waited for about an hour and a half.

I don't even remember seeing anyone around me, I just saw the door open, and I ran to the shower. I showered in scalding hot water, still crying, while I heard yelling outside of the door.

When I got out of the shower, everyone was gone. I found Boyfriend sleeping on the sunken air mattress in the room we were staying in. I found Candice passed out in her bed. And I heard a faint scratching at the front door.

When I opened it, Candice's boyfriend and our other friend were outside, huddle in a blanket. Apparently Candice was extremely drunk and had locked them out.

There was more screaming. Fighting, maybe. I don't know. All I know is that I put on my jammies, crawled into the sinking air mattress, into Boyfriend's arms, and fell asleep. 

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #4: Getting Stuck in Norcal

Regardless of all the bad things that had happened to me, I still definitely had fun. I got to hang out with my best friend, i was drunk for 48 hours straight, I found the jacket I've wanted forever that I couldn't find at home, I got to spend time with Boyfriend and his friends in San Francisco, and I even walked into a weird asian casino in Santa Clara. But, needless to say, I was definitely ready to go home.

Boyfriend and I decided to leave early, so we could avoid LA traffic. We left Monday morning around 8AM.

We took the 101 to the 1, since we wanted a scenic drive, and we both hate the monotony of the 5 freeway. We stopped a couple times, once for Starbucks in Morgan Hill, and another time in Big Sur to take some pictures by the Big Sur River.

And then we stopped for lunch at the Big Sur Taphouse....this was a mistake.

After a delightful bruschetta snack in this cool little tavern/bistro, we returned to the car to continue down Highway 1. They key wouldn't turn in the ignition. This was a problem, not only for the obvious reasons, but because in two days, Max had a final exam and had to catch a flight to Washington DC, and I had work the next day.

We tried everything-- all of the little tricks for when your ignition locks up-- to no avail. (My dad is a high school auto shop teacher, so I'm pretty familiar with how certain car-related things work, and it was even more frustrating to have some of the locals try to give us advice, as if we didn't know what the hell we were doing.)

Anyway, I called AAA, and they sent someone out. The nearest big town was Monterey, which was about an hour back UP the 1, the way we came. I called my dad, and by this time I was freaking out a bit.

I always call my dad when something car-related happens to me, even if I know he can't help me. I guess I just hope that maybe he has one more trick up his sleeve to help every time. Unfortunately, this time, he didn't. And he did what he always does when I get myself into a jam-- he if I didn't feel shitty enough.

Eventually, he came around though, called me back, and handled business. AAA originally wanted to take me to a locksmith that would have charged me $300 and would have taken 3 days. My dad became a superhero at this moment.

He called a thousand places, called AAA back, pulled some strings, and helped us out tremendously.

Of course, the situation was still stressful. Since we were so far into the woods, it took three hours for a tow truck. Thank god we were at a tap house in Big Sur. There was beer and nice scenery. It would have sucked balls to get stuck somewhere along the 5.

So we got a tow, took the car to a dealer in Monterey, and tried to make the best of it. My dad had spoken to the dealer's manager personally, so he already knew we were coming. He took my car, gave us a rental, and we left to find a motel and to make the best of our impromptu stay in Monterey.

And we did. We ate some good food, some some cool things, and my car's ignition cylinder was replaced and ready the next day by noon. A $45 hotel room, $50 worth of beer and food, an 8 hour work shift missed, and a $155 repair later, and we were back on the road. 

We decided to take Highway 1 again...just in case we got stranded again. And luckily, we didn't.

We ate more good food, saw more cool things, and enjoyed some nice bonding time.

But what a freaking hassle

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #5: Boyfriend's Car Battery Dying

And now, for the freakin icing on the cake to a perfect weekend:

After all of the hassle, we finally made it back to familiar territory around 11PM.

Since Boyfriend had flown up to Norcal by himself, his car was parked in the Ontario airport lot.

I dropped him off there, and planned on meeting him back at home.

Before I even got on the freeway, he called to tell me his car battery was dead.

I couldn't even be mad at this point. I just laughed while I drove back, wondering what the hell else could possibly happen. I tried to give him a jump. This didn't work, so we called AAA. Eventually, we got home around 1AM.

Luckily: The next morning at 7, Boyfriend took his final and passed, and then caught his flight to DC. I made it to work by 8 AM, and life went on its merry way.

Reason Why I Should Have Stayed Home #6: Boyfriend's Car Window Getting Broken

Okay, so maybe this wasn't part of my Norcal trip, but I am certainly going to relate this incident. (The flap of a butterfly's wings, right?)

The morning after we got home from Norcal, Boyfriend hopped a flight back home to DC for spring break. That same night, someone smashed the window of his car while he was gone.

I am pretty sure this never would have happened if I hadn't gone up north.

Reasons Why I'm Glad I Went Anyway

1. I got to see my best friend and regained a little of my sanity back.

2. I ate some damn good food.

3. I got to visit San Francisco with Boyfriend.

4. Boyfriend and I had some quality bonding time (And I'm pretty sure going through so much stress together made our relationship stronger).

5. I got to pee at the Madonna Inn twice.

6. I got some time off of work.

7. We got stranded at a taphouse in Big Sur. If you're gonna get stranded anywhere, it might as well be in a cool place with lots of good beer.

8. I now have one pretty great story to tell my grandchildren.


  1. stories to tell the grandchildren...