Saturday, July 30, 2011

Driving to Cotati

Oh what fun to travel for 12 hours straight with these two. Loved it!

I am finally catching up with all the goings on of late. I think I put my car in cruise control and automatic and it finds its way to California to be more exact to the City of La Puente.

My new motto is STOP and read those darn maps before you hit the road.

Last week I took a small vacation and headed to La Puente right after work on Wednesday, the plan was to leave for Cotati the next morning but for one thing or another we didn't leave until Friday at around 10:00 a.m. The as fate has it I immediately took the wrong freeway but not to worry because that one too would meet Hwy 5 too. Once on the 5 and back on track we pushed north.

It wasn't until I was in this town and saw the freeway entrance signs said I was on Hwy. 99 and not on the 5 as I should have been.

Up the hill past Gorman you will find the split for the 99. I was driving on the far left lane so I assumed that lane would continue to be the 5, wrong! I guess at the split it does a crisscross and I did not notice so a few miles ahead we stopped for lunch. We walked the dog and had some hamburgers and then it was back in the car to hit the road. As I am entering the highway I notice that it says 99 North... What? 99? How in the heck did this happen? why am I going towards Fresno instead of San Francisco, grrrrrr for the second time I took the wrong highway.

Not realizing we were on the wrong highway we enjoyed a couple of hamburgers and walked the dog in a nice little park across the restaurant. At that point all we cared was that we were traveling together and having fun. Which is what makes a road trip that much more enjoyable. Oh, by the way, that little thing on the leash is appropriately named "Cosita" (Little Thing)

Now going back would have meant an hour delay so I decided to push forward on 99 event though I knew it was adding many miles to my trip, but I also knew that eventually it would lead to a pass to cut across to San Francisco. Sure enough, we went through Los Banos and it was at this time Abby called her son for instructions.

Well, he said take such and such highway but be careful as it splits even though it remains the same number, do not go towards San Francisco but take the one that says
Berkley. Well my co-pilot and I missed that split so guess what, we we found ourselves in a mess of traffic to cross the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Can you see a pattern here, once again we took the wrong highway and found ourselves in a city that was so enclosed in fog that the sun (and it was a sunny day all day long)would not shine through.

We crossed the Bay Bridge into San Francisco and just like that somewhere along the middle point we went from nice sunny skies to dark, foggy, gloomy weather. It wat really cold too.

I started climbing up some streets that went up, up, up a hill into a residential area. I am one of the few men that will actually will stop at a gas station to ask for directions. So I get off the car and bam it hits me, it was freaking windy and cold and I am wearing Phoenix summer attire, so I run into the convenience store and ask the attendant whom had a thicker accent that mine.

"Excuse me but I am heading to Sonoma and somehow I am here, can you get me back on the right track" I said. "Sonoma? Then what you doing here my friend, you no need to come to city to go to Sonoma, so go and cross the bridge and you will find the 101, take it going north" he said. "Crap that means I have to pay six bucks again right?" I said, "Oh no, come into city you pay, you say bye bye you no pay" he replied.

No matter what the situation is I always know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

By this time we had Abby's son found us new route again to get out of this mess and it coincided with what the guy at the gas station told me. We were instructed to cross the Golden Gate bridge and go about a mile, then we would find a mall so we were to wait there.

Yep, 15 later they showed up to pick us up. lol I tell you, this is the last time I go out without printing my mapquest maps as I always do. While Abby was here in Arizona her phone's GPS led us everywhere but somehow in Northern Cali it kept freezing and repeating the same instructions. Grrrr frustrating, and my phone was not any better as I know I have a cheap service so I expected for it to malfunction, except mine was actually doing semi-good too.

Yeppers! That is actually me walking Cosita at the mall's parking lot.

Before jumping on the 101 we had dinner a Cheese Cake Factory restaurant, ummmm my chicken enchiladas with black beans and rice were most excellent.

Finally at around 10:30 at night we were finally at our destination. But to me it was all fun and part of the experience, we got to see many places that normal tourists will never see, unless like me they keep taking the wrong highways.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Post Jose! SO HAPPY

Jose said...

Thank you Betty and stop walking away and leaving us alone. lol

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