5 July 2005
T is for Travel. Yesterday was Travel Day.
Because I had to review a show tonight, we decided to travel home on the 4th, instead of the 5th (we did that last year, and it was too harrowing, hoping we'd make it in time). Lemme tell you, if you want to travel comfortably on a holiday weekend, travel a day before (or after) everybody else. We may have been "cheated" out of an extra day of vacation, but was more than compensated for by the fact that there was almost no traffic whatsoever; there was only one spot where we even had to slow down, when tomorrow I know there will be several long stretches of stop and go traffic.
We took it slow. We slept late (amazingly, I slept every night--till 7 a.m. the first night, after 9 the second, and 8 a.m. this morning!) and then hung around the house until nearly noon. Walt's sister and Walt sat out on her deck reading the morning paper, but Walt was disappointed that no dogs jogged by the trail in front of the house.
We dropped by Walt's mother's place to give me an opportunity to see it, now that it's all furnished. I hadn't gone over earlier in the weekend, when Walt went with his brother to have a visit. She looks like she's comfortably settled in.
So we headed off on the 8 hour drive home. I settled in to read David Gerrold's new book, Child of Earth (which I finished just as we pulled into Davis). We really hated to leave all that cool fog along the coast, so we drove up the coast as far as possible before we finally had to turn our wheels inland, where, in no time, we had the car air conditioner going again.
We stopped for lunch at what appeared to be the only eatery on what we thought was a main street in Paso Robles. It turned out to be upstairs in a bar and service was not exactly swift, but it did force us to take an hour to relax before getting back on the road again.
(I loved the sign in front of this Paso Robles school. It read:
Aug 22 Orientation 6th GR 6 p.m.
They'd better hurry if they expect to hold school here next month!!!)
We also discovered that if you select the CDs for your 6-CD changer carefully, you can make it almost all the way from Santa Barbara to Davis without repeating any, and by that time you're already in range of San Francisco talk radio, which can carry you the rest of the way home.
Our aim had been to be here before fireworks started, since they spook Sheila, and we were, by about 20 minutes. Walt went off to watch fireworks with some friends, and I stayed home with Sheila trembling under my feet. I felt good for being here for her.
The one thing that made me angry on returning home was a message on our voice mail. I had contacted our next door neighbors (who have always seemed like they don't like us), letting them know we would only be gone two nights, and that we couldn't keep Sheila locked in the house, but that I hoped she didn't bark too early and disturb them. I received a note from the guy thanking me and telling me he'd "let me know if anything goes wrong." That was Friday. On SATURDAY they left a message at 7 a.m. saying "This is the XXX's (like I didn't know who the XXX's were--which may actually be a logical assumption, since they haven't spoken to us in about 20 years, for reasons I am totally unaware of). "Can you please bring your dog inside. We are still asleep."
What the hell was that? I had just TOLD them we were going to be away and nobody would be here to lock Sheila up and apologized in advance for any problems that might occur. Sheesh! I'm sure I will hear plenty about the "problems" Sheila caused. Well that will be novel--they might actually talk to us.
However, my ire at receiving that voice message was balanced by the e-mail from Ashley saying that all the puppies seem to be doing fine. Apparently there was a "Paul-like" puppy in the other half of the litter that were being bottlefed by some other family, and both puppies are doing well now. I find I am very eager to see little Paul and his siblings again.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This was the photo I took with my PDA, which was