I’m at the Oxford Suites in Redding, CA. This is by far the nicest hotel room I’ve stayed in on this journey, but I really needed it tonight, and it’s money well-spent. Seriously when I get back to Seattle I am canceling all obligations and scheduling an emergency spa day. All this road-tripping has been so rough on my skin and my hair. After spending an entire day driving from San Diego to Redding, I can tell you with total confidence that nothing is larger than the state of California except for my pores. Awful, awful.
Leo is running from one end of the suite to the other and back again at full speed. He has been doing this for 45 minutes now. I think he’s been cooped up in the car too long.
This morning, we met Sister Beet, Cousin Beet and two Uncle Beets (Uncles Beet?) for brunch at Cousin Beet’s bar in San Diego (Players on Clairemont Mesa … swing by, ask for Michael, and tell him I said to give you a beer on the house). Sister Beet got to meet Leo for the first time, even though Cousin Beet wouldn’t let Leo into the bar (“Health Department blah blah blah…” — this is why he owes you guys a beer).
After eating, Papa Beet and I headed up to L.A., my former hometown. We stopped in Manhattan Beach to say hi to some of my friends. It was a gorgeous day, the ocean was sparkling, we drank Starbucks on the beach, and all the girls were running around in bikini tops and denim skirts. It brought back a lot of happy memories, and, for about an hour, I really, really missed Los Angeles.
Then we got back on the road.
After paying $4.60/gallon to fill up the tank, we promptly sat in traffic on the 405 for an hour and a half.
Then I didn’t miss Los Angeles anymore.
The rest of the day was uneventful. Just a lot of driving. Papa Beet dropped his cell phone without noticing at a truck stop. The guy who found it went to the trouble of going through Papa’s outgoing calls and reaching my sister, who called my cell phone, and then my sister got to describe me to this guy while he walked around a huge truck stop looking for me so I could get the phone and give it back to Papa Beet. You know, not all people suck. This was really nice of that guy, and it definitely saved our day from certain disaster.
While we drive, Leo sits up front between Papa Beet and me, and the three cats hang out in a (huge) soft, mesh crate in the back. About an hour south of Redding, I catch a flash of white in the back seat. It’s Josie. She’s executed a stunning escape. She has forced her way out of the top of the crate, somehow managing to loosen the zipper. She wants to come sit with Papa Beet and me.
Now Josie’s problem is that Leo occupies the space between me and Papa Beet, where she wants to be. Leo and Josie fight about this for the next half an hour, scratching and pawing at one another. I spent that entire time trying to get a photo that captured the cuteness of this cat/dog battle. I must have taken 20 photos. Since it was nighttime, each photo resulted in a bright flash. Sadly, I never got my perfect shot.
Five minutes after I gave up, a lightning storm began.
Papa Beet announced that now even God was trying to get a photo of Josie and Leo. They were that cute.
Anyway, I’m gonna get some sleep now. With any luck, we’ll be back in Seattle by Saturday night, and I’ll update again from home sweet home! Yay!