Day 1 – Happy Birthday to me

Miles: 315.3
Location: Grover Beach, just south of Pismo Beach in Central California.

I’ll not bore you with the details, but let’s just say moving out of a home you’ve occupied for ten years is like when you’re a kid and the snow is melting, leaving some really good mud to squish way down in, only to discover that you can’t get your boot out. I never knew how many clothes I had, especially since I don’t buy clothes very often at all. Triska’s last legacy.

The problem was exacerbated when I was told that the boxes I had packed to ship to Prague were too large. They didn’t really seem that large to me, but then no one asked me. Suddenly I had even more crap to take care of – I had already taken three large garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill. The break wasn’t as clean as I wanted it to be, then, as I must go back to take care of a few boxes, and some other junk. If I had stayed another day I could have got more of it done, but I was getting antsy to get out of there.

So, finally, on the road, car loaded with new luggage poorly packed, I almost missed the turn to go north on 5, driving on habit. Yesterday I was imagining that the moment I drove away to be one of euphoria or excitement, but instead I felt nostalgia, melancholy and just plain tired. I couldn’t help but think how much I had liked living in that house, and in San Diego in general. I stopped off at the Chevron on Birmingham and I wondered how much two twelve-packs of Sheaffer would cost these days. Certainly more than $9.10. I was not tempted to drive by the Emmadome multi-sport complex; I just jumped back on the freeway and rejoined the stop-and-go traffic.

LA was LA. I regretted moving out of range of KPBS, but then I found other stations. North of LA, when the scenery becomes spectacular, it was dark, but the drive from there on up was pleasant. Got a little lost finding the house (East Grand is west of Grand, which made me think I was going the wrong way, so I turned around and then I was going the wrong way.)

Got here just in time to have a single Birthday Guinness before it wasn’t my birthday anymore. Bushed, I went to sleep.

So the trip did not have that Hollywood “Vegas, baby! Vegas!” opening scene. It started in a contemplative mood, as a sequel might, which is perhaps more appropriate.

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