Saturday morning I expected a rental car to be showing up at the apartment around 9ish. The others had made plans to go to home depot to get supplies for the making of the chuppah for the ceremony. Myself I had plans to drive myself up to Riverside for a visit with MySpaces own Chris aka AvantPunk, or the 'notaninja' and the lovely Sarah. There had been calls back and forth all weekend to nail down a time, but frankly, I never knew what I was doing. So the plan was saturday for lunch as Chris and Sarah had places to be later that afternoon, and this would be the last chance before I got home. So friday night after dinner I had gotten on the comp and made myself a reservation for the cheapest compact I could rent in all of San Diego. On the site, there was a section to fill in asking where you wanted to be picked up. So I assumed that they would be picking me up.
Imagine my suprise when at 9:30 there was still no car. So I call the 'wrong' rental place to see if my reservation was on file. Now, since I called the wrong place, of course it wasn't. I ended up having to wake sammi and anthony up so I could hop on the comp and figure out what the hell company had my car.
Now, my plan had been to leave around 9:30 so as to get there for 11ish. But since they didn't pick me up, I had to get a ride to the rental place when everyone else left to go home depoting. So I didn't end up leaving SD until about 10:30. I had my directions and whatnot and I was off. Incidentally, the guy in the rental place recognized my drivers licence and mentioned that he used to live in Toronto. Small world.
About halfway there, I see a sign on the I-15 that tells me the highway is going to split. According to the sign, 1-15 heads to Los Angeles, and the I-215 heads to Riverside. The Google map had said to keep taking I-15 to CA-91 or some such thing like that. I think to myself, oh the google map must be wrong. I don't want to go to LA, I want to go to Riverside. It only makes sense to take the sign that says Riverside. Now think back to day one, and the important lesson I learned then, as it applies here.
ALWAYS TRUST THE GOOGLEMAP. NEVER PRESUME TO THINK YOURSELF SMARTER THAN THE GOOGLE MAP. YOU ARE NOT.
I find the cut off to the CA-91, but I think it was one of those 'exit up ahead' signs, because the cut off I took did NOT take me to another freeway, but to a residential area. I drive down the residential area, thinking that maybe I can rely on my natural sense of direction to take me where I want to go *snickers*. As I notice the residential becoming progressively more industrial and sketchy looking, I also notice I'm getting low on gas, so I pull over at a gas station and try to pump some gas. I can't seem to get my gas tank open. I pry with my fingers, I pry with my keys. Not something I recommend doing to a rental car. Giving up, I move the car and with one bar left on my phone battery I call Chris. The gist of the conversation:
Me: Chris, the inevitable has happened.
Chris: you're lost?
Me: oh, you betcha.
Chris: Where are you?
I look. Me: I'm at a gas station on the corner of Riverside Ave and Agua Mana (something like that) Blvd.
Chris: *silence* Where?
Me: Riverside Ave and Agua Mana Blvd.
Chris: Heh. I don't know where that is. Wanna spell that for me?
OKay, I never said that, but it always makes the story sound funnier.
So, we figure out where I am, and Chris tells me to go back where I came from and to keep the mountains behind and to the left of me. I look. The mountains are in front of me and to my left. Buh? I say. How does THAT work. How that works is that what I was looking at weren't mountains, but mere hills. It was too hazy that day to see the actual mountains.
Anyway Chris directs me to the highway, and helps out with the gas tank problem by suggesting a looking for a button release. Durr. You see, driving my piece of shit Sunbird, I don't have all these fancy gadgets and buttons. You wanna roll down your window? You turn the crank thing. You wanna pop the trunk? you stick your key in the trunk lock. Wanna open your gas tank? you use your finger to flip the little door open. Simple. I faced further frustration when I couldn't get the pump to work. Apparently the petrol industry is not so trusting in the U.S. and you have to pay first, THEN pump.
So back on the highway. Chris had told me to get off at Van Buren Street. The google map told me to get off at Arlington/Van Buren st. I see an exit for Arlington street and figure THAT must be what they meant.
DO NOT PRESUME TO THINK YOURSELF SMARTER THAN THE GOOGLEMAP OR THE GUY GIVING YOU DIRECTIONS WHO HAS LIVED IN THE AREA FOREVER. YOU ARE NOT.
Adding insult to injury, I kept missing this exit that I thought was the right one, so I had to keep turning around, thus going around and around in circles. Cell rings. Chris. "Where are you?"
"I'm going around and around in circles." Explaining to the spatial-retard that I am, that I still have to go another four exits before I get to the REAL exit. By this time, it's getting late, and we all have about 35 minutes to have lunch and chat and what not. When I finally got there, I was euphorically happy to be the fuck out of the crappy rental car and into the hot hot continental California sun. 100F baby. We piled into Chris's truck and took in a quick lunch at Del Taco, and chatted and their daughters bought me stickers! Family guy stickers, that are currently on my guitar. Sweet girls :-)
Despite the shortness of the visit, it was pretty cool meeting them. I had a great time, and when we came back to the house, there were pictures taken and whatnot, and if I make it back down to CA next year, I'd totally make the trip again, esp. since I know how to get there now :-P
We said goodbyes and I followed them out to the highway and headed back to SD for the 'rehearsal dinner' I guess you could call it, at the Cheesecake factory. I got back to sammi's place just as everyone was leaving, then they found out there was going to be a huge wait to get in (well I guess a table for 23 approx is gonna take quite a while). So I was able to lounge for a bit and take my time getting dressed and finishing harry potter 7. When we got the call that we were going to be seated, Amy (who had also stayed behind to get ready) and I headed down to the restaurant. I had a fantastic but ridiculously filling four cheese pasta, and spent much of the dinner flirting with one of the married groomsmen who's wife was conspicuously absent all weekend. Felt kind of bad about the flirting, but I had NO* actual intentions on following through. It was just hard NOT to flirt. Although it was funny, because he asked me if Amy and I were 'Together' I guess because of the showing up together, and being from the same area. I dunno, who knows how people's minds work.
Dessert was Oreo cheesecake (surprised?) and it was scrumptious, and huge portion so I shared with those around me. I tried to get some pictures of hot Brian eating strawberries provocatively, but none of them turned out well. He kept giggle when I said 'Eat that berry like you MEAN it.'
After dinner, the girls all went back to the apartment to work on all the last minute wedding details, centrepieces, playlist, looking for Tiara's gone AWOL. Passed out sometime around 1 I think. Maybe earlier.
Chris, Me and Sarah.
One of the Family Guy stickers, the other one is on the other side of the guitar.
* talk about the WORST TYPO EVER. Way to make yourself look like a big homewrecking whore with nothing more than one missing word, Andie.