Monday, September 17, 2007

Vacation '07, Chapter I

This isn't exactly breaking news, but it's now recorded for posterity, on the intertubes.

It's 9 am, and I'm sitting in the dark in a Holiday Inn Express in Madera, CA. Emma's oogling in the corner with the iPod, and Vicky and Sam are still sleeping. They never make it to the complimentary breakfast.
Yesterday, we had an uneventful 350 miles or so. We'll probably do about a thousand miles on this trip, and never leave California. Think on that, Yankees. The Wide Open spaces. This also means we gotta drive forever to get anywhere from the lower left hand corner of the country. Of course, it's a bit silly to leave a major tourist attraction to see others, but it is the American way.
It certainly is different, traveling now as opposed to when I was a kid. I mean, we used to head out in the middle of the night to cross the desert(it was cooler - no air conditioning, and cars were more likely to overheat), and I'd crawl up into the back window and look at the stars as we drove. Now, we're strapped in, there's a video system set up in the car with Elmo for Emma, Sam's playing nintendo games on his Wii, and Mom's playing podcasts through the radio from her iPod. We found the motel, a bit late, and set out for dinner in this farming town. Your selection. . . The International House of Pancakes! It was either that or a place called "Chubbies." The ambiance included picture boxes with dinnerware in them, an interesting medium. Andy Warhol would have been momentarily intrigued, then bored.
I had country fried steak, eggs, and pancakes for dinner no active cultures for me. . . The Wal-Mart was jumpin' at 9 last night. This is migrant farmer country, lots of small apartments filled with families. It's the land of Cesar Chavez, grape country. It's also over 100 degrees in the daytime, so folks come out at night. We found ourselves at Wal-Mart at about 8:30, picking up some things that we'd forgotten to pack, recognizing that we were the tallest people in the store. I'm just sayin'.
Anyway, the plan today is Yosemite, then on to Sacramento to see our fabulous Capital. Ahnold, most certainly, will be away on some juggernaut with the Kennedy family. So, a fair amount of mountain driving, today, crappy National Park concessionaire lunch fare, but probably better choices for dinner.