John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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CA Trip 2005 Report -- #1 of 6

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Greetings from Eureka, CA! It's Sunday at roughly 8:30 p.m. local time, and we're recovering from the day's drive. We've just had a serviceable dinner in the hotel restaurant, and are looking forward to an evening of not doing anything for a little while, then going to bed.

Our flight out yesterday was on JetBlue, and again they did a terrific job. I took several books on the plane but ended up not reading any of them, because on the satellite TV we watched specials on Bravo about "The 20 Greatest Super Heroes" and "The 20 Greatest Super Vixens," a They Might Be Giants concert film, an episode of "Scooby Doo," and some gut-wrenching History Channel programs about the Battle of Midway and the capture of a German U-boat.

Really the only snag in the travel part was that we spent a lot of time standing around at Hertz. (We are currently renting a pretty nice -- if terribly gas-guzzling -- Ford Escape. I don't remember camstone's Escape being this thirsty.) By the time we got in to our hotel in Sunnyvale, it was something like 9:00 local time (or midnight biological time), and we still had to eat dinner and whatnot. mammallamadevil and makovette rallied 'round for the dinner part, Kerry kindly loaning me her laptop so we could check the hours of the Snoopy Museum. (I think I am going to have to break down and get a laptop for future trips -- not having the internet is really irritating.)

Sleep, when it finally came, was short-lived, alas, as the hotel was infested by some sort of sports team, and at 4:00 a.m. local time (i.e., 7:00 a.m. biological time, but we had gone to bed at 3:00 a.m. biological time) a pair of them were wrasslin' and laughing and slamming doors out in the hall. We put up with it for a few moments, but when it escalated instead of going away, Laurie called the front desk (and was informed that they'd already sent security up to have a little chat with them).

The morning was bleary -- much more so for Laurie than for me, 'cause she never did quite make it back to sleep. We gathered ourselves and our stuff as best we could and went down to the free breakfast.

Turns out, it was overpriced. :P

So after checking out, we made a quick stop at a nearby Starbucks for supplmentary breakfast and then got on the road for Santa Rosa and the Snoopy Museum. The route Laurie had acquired from Google took us across the Golden Gate Bridge, which was quite impressively large and extremely red for a purportedly golden gate. Once out of the immediate San Francisco area we found ourselves very quickly in rural CA, with lots of bald mountains, scenic overlooks, cows, and the occasional vineyard.

The Snoopy Museum was very cool, of course. I'd just been there myself in January, so this visit wasn't quite the pilgrimage for me it had been the first time. But they did have some neat stuff on exhibit this time they hadn't last time, including some original art from Dilbert, For Better or Worse, and Garfield, with Schulz tributes. They also had artificial snow fall in the ice rink, which was very cool. (Laurie asked if skaters in the southern hemisphere lapped counter-clockwise, which I must admit I didn't have a good answer to.)

Lunch at the Warm Puppy Cafe was a little disappointing this time (I suggest giving the pizzas a miss), but it filled our stomachs enough to get us back on the road.

So then we went north on 101.

And went north.

And went north.

We drove through mountains, through valleys, through wide open spaces and densely-packed cedar forests. We paused at a rest stop, and then got back on the road and kept going north.

And kept going north.

And kept going north.

Fortunately, we had a CD of Thank You, Jeeves to listen to, so for the most part the drive was a pleasure, but still very tiring. Sadly, my driving was not so hot -- twice I started to merge from one lane to another to discover somebody lurking in my rather large blind spot. :P Fortunately, I managed to avoid killing anybody, but only just. -.- Before we head out in the morning, I'm going to have to do some heavy-duty rear-view mirror adjusting. I can't keep merging blind!

Eureka seems to be more or less a town that was built on the tallest hill for a hundred miles. It's a bona fides city (it's got a Starbucks, that's good enough for me), but it is definitely a small one. Supposedly there's a Victorian old-town section, but it wasn't along the main drag of 101 that we saw. We might do a little poking around town tomorrow before we make the rest of the drive to Portland.

But now it's 9:00 local time (midnight biological time), so I'm going to turn off the Clié, read for a while, then (hopefully) get a nurturing 8 hours of shuteye.

-The Gneech
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