We're on the home stretch and we're about to kill each other.
The day started with very little sleep (thanks to Ben being a complete maniac last night for no good reason).
I packed up the bedroom, the kitchen, the freshly folded laundry, the towels, the beach toys, the electronics, the legos, the books. I packed it all down the stairs, across the courtyard and into the car. Ben watched me from the stairs and yelled frantically, "MOMMY! WHERE ARE YOU? I CAN'T SEE YOU!" This went on for about eighteen rounds of up the stairs, gather a load, go down the stairs, hear Ben's shriek, tell him to shut up - for the love of God - most of North County is still sleeping! I didn't exactly use those words.
Then I packed the vodka bottle in the back corner of the ice chest. What was I thinking?
We finally loaded up and landed in Laguna where I drove through to see if the best restaurant in the world from the worst date of all time still existed (it does). We made a brief stop at the 24 Hour Fitness in Laguna Niguel where I logged the shortest workout in history. The sea of tanned, augmented bodies was a bit much, even for me!
On to Laguna. Guess everyone else in LA planned on coming to Laguna today too because there were cars and people everywhere. We finally found parking and the meter took credit cards! How cool is that? I gave Ben 90 minutes.
Although I should have given him 60 minutes because then we would have missed the tidal wave that took out my entire set up of magazines, towels, misc beach toys, camera, purse (and contents), and cell phone. As I was thinking of wrapping up Ben's sand transport mission, I heard a shriek next to me and looked up from behind the camera - where I was snapping candids of Ben - to notice that I was utterly enveloped by water. And so were all my belongings. Right now, I have a purse full of sand, a sticky Blackberry that has keys that are not working so well, and two soaked beach towels.
On the long drive to Bakersfield where we encountered traffic in every single city you can mention along the I-5 corridor, Ben went on a mission to find MORE sand and announced several sources that I really didn't need to know about. Back to the traffic: what should have taken maybe four hours, took six.
I was so hashed when the sign "Welcome to Bakersfield" popped into my vision.
My visions of a leisurely swim and a nice dinner out were gone. It was already 6pm and Ben was begging for McDonald's. So he had his nuggets, I had ice cream and we found our hotel.
I don't think I should be this tired at the end of the vacation. This is not a good sign.
After an hour of swimming, we needed more sustenance. Thank God the good people at the Sheraton sell Zone bars at the front desk.
I just found out that the car has to be returned by 1pm so we are going to be beating feet tomorrow with minimal bathroom stops.
I say we wait a few years before trying the long road trip again. I'm thinking that an airplane, a quiet place free of amusement parks and a much, much slower pace is the way to go!