Last Tuesday, my daughter and I left San Francisco at 6:45am…headed for home. We decided to drive home a different way than when we arrived, and headed through town towards the freeway that would take us to Pacific Coast Highway 1. The bellman at the hotel warned us that we would go up a substantial hill at one point and then we really needed to make sure to slow down or it would feel like death. That made me feel better. 🙂
Yeah. A lot of THAT. We ascended, and then descended the highway heading south, through patches of wayward fog, and tiny towns without even one stop sign. The scenery was spectacular, don’t get me wrong. Breathtaking in spots, especially winding our way past Monterey, through Carmel and into Big Sur. I took this one. 🙂
The problem with experiencing views like this is that it was mandatory that I stop the car and get out of it. Often. Clam Chowder in Monterey. The overlook in Carmel. Hiking into the giant redwood trees in Big Sur. I had too. It doesn’t sound like these should be issues but when you have to be home that day, at some point, because your daughter has to be at work in the morning, well…it can pose a problem! 🙂 By the time we got to San Simeon, I had enough of the windy, white-knuckled parts of PCH 1. It was too tempting to look at the scenery, and too tiring to have to concentrate on not dying that much.
We take the first highway going East we run into, highway 46, then hop on the 101 South and bolt for home. As we head from the 101 South to the 405 South, passing under the new overpass that caused the scare of “Carmegeddon”, Kaitlin and I start to hear a high-pitched squeal. It was terrible! Oh man, I am pretty sure that is what people hear who have tinnitus, and it was annoying as hell. We look all around the inside of the car to see what might be causing it. We turn off the radio, and we still hear it. We are near LAX Airport, so I was thinking maybe something there was interfering with the radio signal, but no. Kaitlin is holding her cell phone, and she moves it around and then the sound stops. Oh wow, it’s her cell phone causing that piercing sound. If we had dogs with us, they would have been howling like mad. Horrible, horrible sound.
A few minutes pass, and the sound is back. Oh Lord! She starts moving her cell phone all around and it stops again, then it comes back. I finally tell her to turn off her cell phone completely. The sound doesn’t go away. What on earth? I look at her. I’m in the carpool lane of the 405 South. Anyone familiar with the 405 knows how crappy a freeway it is, and I am trying to keep from turning my car into the cement guard rail with every bump and groove in the road. I have now been driving almost 14 hours. The heel of my right foot is raw from resting my foot on the floor mat and moving my foot on and off the gas pedal. I turn to Kaitlin,
“We have a F*cking Dolphin in the backseat!” I shout. She looks at me and starts to laugh hysterically. I look straight ahead and then I lose it…laughing so hard I’m going to pee in the car, tears stinging my eyes. “Holy crap, it does sound like a dolphin!” she says. “Eeeeeee Eeeeee Eeeeee!” Kaitlin does the worst impression of a dolphin I have ever heard, and up until that point, I didn’t think our trip could get any better. THAT was the best. I DIED.
The stop eventually went away. I went to unpack my suitcase, and the entire brand new can of hairspray that we had packed had slowly exploded all over the inside of my suitcase, saturating all of my clothes, dirty and clean. It was in the trunk…AND it totally stunk. Oh goody.