Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Final Exciting Leg

Thursday I spent the day with the customer, then went to dinner with the customer to The Cheesecake Factory – which had a massive menu (something silly like 15 pages long). I had the salmon - it was good. After that, I went back to the hotel, couldn’t get any internet access out of the rooms (their server was down) – but the business services computers still had I just stole their network cable for a bit.. I went over to the Coyote Grill For a couple drinks – there was a live band there that was similar to dueling pianos in style, but instead there were 5 different musicians and pianos, electric & bass guitars, etc. All 5 musicians would rotate instruments – and they were very good on each.. There was just a small crowd – but boy were they LOADED. It was funny…I had a few pints of Bass, and went back to the hotel to get some sleep at around 1am…up at 7am to head to the airport; where I’ve changed my flight to Los Angeles (instead of back to SF). The flight was really cool – the scenery heading into LAX from PHX is impressive; except for the disgusting smog once you get above the city. Why LA you ask? Ooooo…aren’t you just dying to hear…!

Well, I rented another convertible - tried to get a Cadillac XLR or Audi Cabriolet but they only had mustangs – and did the shoreline drive from LA to SF! It was sweeeeet…I got started around noon, and then went through the VERY BAD Los Angeles traffic....on a weekday afternoon...:

Now the worst bottleneck, but previously No. 5, is the Ventura Freeway at Interstate 405 in Los Angeles, where California highway officials estimate traffic is jammed for nearly five hours every weekday afternoon.

Let's not forget about the construction!!

It was 2 or so and I was hitting Hwy 101…then eventually off to Hwy 1 (the shoreline hwy). It was beautiful – I LOVE California..:) Soon I’m heading up Hwy 1, and notice a massive mountain directly in front of me – yep – I’m heading up it. From 65 Mph down to 25 Mph – and suddenly that last 300 Miles looks much, much longer..:) Up and down, around all sorts of bends was making me a bit dizzy – I just can’t get past that stupid fear of heights!! There were some pretty crazy parts – I recommend EVERYONE do this drive because it’s just astonishing how much scenery you absorb. The drive from San Luis Obispo to Monterey was truly awesome.. I didn’t have much time to stop and absorb….because I just couldn’t pull an all-nighter (flight next day at 6am). This is an excellent writeup describing the drive.

I really wish I had one of the better cars – the entry level mustang convertible is really weak at cornering, and overall, it’s one of those cars that you have to “pay attention to” (instead of hugging the road nicely).

By the time I made it to Santa Cruz, it was dark. Of course I stuck to the shoreline highway, and this section wasn’t as “bendy”…plus it was really dark and I couldn’t “see” the immediate drop off in heights..:) But I *knew* it was there… Either way, I was at the hotel by about 10pm or so – not too bad overall (10 hours for the drive)…Asleep by 11:30pm; and up at 3:45am to get to the airport for a 6am flight home! Ugh.

Connecting in Cincinnati right now – back to EST…where or where did my 3 hours go?!?

Oh – if you want to know a sure way to get pulled aside in security? Change your “return flight” the night before to a one way to a different city (ie to Los Angeles) – they will be searching all your stuff. It happened to me again on the flight out of san fran this morning, not sure why that time. When you get your boarding pass, if you see an “SSSS” on it – you’re getting searched. It’s not bad, however, though they may touch your bathing suit area..:)

No comments: