27 October 2008

To Morro, Part I

Beginning a weekend getaway on only four hours of sleep is not a good plan. Thought I might go on record with that, just in case you were thinking of doing something similarly stupid. Don't. It can be a little dangerous. Also, don't get cocky and think you can manage without caffeine on that tiny amount of sleep. That's just asinine.

It's not often I get the chance to sneak out of town. Vacations this year? Deux (and both were weekend-sized...sigh). So, when friends call to say, Let's get away, I do my best to comply. Inevitably, my schedule leading up to the break is always a fustercluck. Last week was no exception. But I was so looking forward to my weekend away at Morro Bay, I could hardly wait for Friday to arrive. Of course, I was well into Friday before I got to bed. Blogs take up a lot of time.

My lack of sleep made Friday a harried morning. I barely had time to get dressed. There was no time to run by Starbucks for fuel on my way to Client #2. Surprisingly, I had energy. I was alert. I didn't even yawn. All without a hint of caffeine. No green tea, nor chocolate covered espresso beans. I almost called Guinness.

After work, there was the scurry to get errands done. Run to the store, get gas, check tires and oil, and...oh, yeah...pack. Packing in a rush can lead to disaster. Fortunately, it only made me late, and I only forgot my eyeshadow. At least I remembered my feminine supplies, because it's only really a vacation if Aunt Flo tags along. Jeebus. Of all the luck.

Because I was running late, I had to skip the much needed car wash. I also didn't have time to make a medicinal stop at the Bucks. I was high on Midol, so I didn't care. Besides, I was hoping to make it to Morro Bay before the crash set in. Because the crash was inevitable. And it would be a bitch. I could feel it in my bones.

In order to distract myself from the impending doom of exhaustion and the bummer of traffic, I chatted with a friend for over an hour. She got me to Ventura. NIN took me the rest of the way. Once the sun fully set, the yawn-fest hit. And I was only a third of the way there. I never realized how far away Morro Bay actually is. I wasn't sure I would make it, and even considered going back home to get some sleep and drive back out the next morning. But, only a total wuss would do that. An idiot would just keep on going.

I suppose I should have paid more attention to the Google Map, because the occasional glance in the dark was not sufficient. I am a competent driver, and even a competent directions reader. But the first time I drive a new route in the dark -- especially after inadequate sleep -- can spell disaster. Or something equally annoying. All I knew was that I would take the 405 to the 101 to the 1 and -- boom -- four-plus hours later, I'd be in Morro Bay. Of course, there's more that one 1 off the 101. And, of course, I took the first one that came along.

Fifteen minutes on the darkest, single-lane highway in America, I began to draft law requiring that the highway/route/freeway number and direction it's headed be posted every so many miles (five would be my suggestion), so that when someone as exhausted as myself gets the feeling the vertigo from the winding road and begins to question if she's actually going in the right direction could look at a road sign figure that out. Instead, seeing one too many signs for Lompoc and none or Morro Bay, and worried that I might actually be headed toward Malibu instead of the Central Coast, I turned around and went back to the 101. An hour later, there was a second sign for the 1, and this one lead to Morro Bay.

Do you pay attention to all the tiny street names of the sharp turns to you take off the off-ramp to get you onto the main drag? Me neither. So, why does Google Maps add those, only to confuse me later? I don't have time while I am driving in the dark with dry contacts to note how many inches I would be driving on those streets. I'm easily distracted by places with names such as "Taco de Mexico", which leads my brain to wonder if "Taco de Ireland" would actually be a choice. So when I see street names on internet directions, I actually think they matter. Once again, I pulled off the road and called my friends to give me guidance. Five hours after I left Venice, I pulled into their driveway and, thirty seconds later, had a glass of wine in my hands. Did I tell you they are good friends?

Tune in for To Morro, Part II tomorrow.

No comments: