I'm laughing because the alternative won't do me any good.
Before I forget to mention this again, we've been in CA since the 16th and haven't seen an open rest area on any highway or freeway, anywhere. Instead you see signs telling you that the upcoming rest area is closed from Nov. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2010. Or the next one that says it closed Dec. 1, 2009 and won't be open before Dec. 31, 2010. The state has no money to keep rest areas open????
So now let's add to the lack of restrooms all the rain & wind and cold temperatures. Such a lovely time we're having.
We had rain 2 days & nights of rain getting to, staying in, and leaving Carmel.
It rained cats and dogs last night in San Simeon and continued this morning as we headed across the street for breakfast. The waitress informs us that Hearst Castle was not only closed yesterday but is closed again today due to the high winds and rain. Are you kidding me? I drove down that twisting, winding Hwy 1 in the rain yesterday for the sole purpose of visiting this castle and they've shut it down again?
What can you do? You eat your breakfast, get back in the car and head out for Santa Barbara. We didn't stop for lunch, which was a mistake. But we did find our first open rest area. You'll soon know why that's such a good thing. About the time we hit Santa Barbara we hit a traffic jam like you can't imagine. 3 lanes narrow to 2 with a sign that reads "road construction next 3 miles". And 2 car lengths from the first sign is a new one that reads "road constuction next 15 miles". And now the right lane ends and all traffic is merging into one lane which is chaotic. But wait! There's an entrance ramp dumping more traffic onto Hwy 101 South at the very spot the lanes have merged into one. Who's the moron in charge of this stuff?!?!?!?
We sat in that bumper to bumper line for an hour, barely moving and were thrilled to finally get past it. We both commented on how grateful we were to have found that rest area open for business. But the euphoria was short-lived...like less than one minute, because our rental car died on us as we climbed a slight incline. We coasted over to the emergency parking shoulder right next to a call box in total shock.
I used my cell phone to call Alamo, who tells me first that they're going to have a wrecker collect us and take us to our hotel. Then he comes back on the line to say no, they're going to bring us a car, and then back again to say we're going back to plan A. First he says they'll get to us in 1 1/2 hours, then it's 30 minutes. It was 2 hours before they arrived with a Chevrolet that's smaller than the Nissan Altima we've been driving.
But it runs beautifully, which is certainly an improvement, so we'll keep it thank you very much.
And while we're waiting for the tow truck my cell phone never rings. I've now missed 8 phone calls, 4 from the tow company, and we can't figure out how to turn the ringer or the vibrate mode back on, no matter how many buttons we push. It's been ringing all day but from the moment I called Alamo, there's not been a peep. When it rains it pours...isn't that what they say?
Alas, we've now checked into our hotel with a view of the marina (less than 30' from our balcony) and had a fabulous seafood dinner at the end of the road, also overlooking the marina.
I'm wearing my piggy footies, sipping my ice water, and awaiting the new episode of Modern Family. What more could anyone possibly need?
So I'm still smiling and able to laugh about all this, and have high hopes for tomorrow. First stop: Verizon, to get my phone whacked back into shape. And then we're off to explore. Keep your fingers crossed that the car keeps moving!
a top shelf kind of Friday
1 day ago