So, after yesterday’s screed against the media elites, your host traveled first to Venice Beach with his youngest daughter and only wife, on account of the former hadn’t been and the latter wanted to have a look at Teh Crazy. From thence we had planned to navigate via the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara, where the latter hopes to attend college school.
We took the new ride up the coast, the ancient BMW having been successfully sold. It was a ret pleasant trip, at least so far as Venice Beach, which quite lived up to its reputation. The Kat was unimpressed, while the Hobbit – an inveterate people watcher – was fascinated. For my own part, I felt more than a little out of place, the demographic consisting largely of 20-somethings with dreadlocked hair in various stages of deshabille, and pervy 60-somethings watching with creepy vigilance. Lunch and gone, and wouldn’t the PCH be a blast?
Perhaps as late as the late 1960′s it might have been possible to navigate US-1 north of Venice Beach to Santa Barbara, but those days are gone, long gone. At least for the four-wheeled set. Over-large men on over-large motorcycles placed their lives on the line threading through traffic which moved with the stately speed and packed efficiency of a car-carrying ship, if by fits and starts. We broke out of traffic on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, which would ordinarily have been the kind of scenic, twisty road which the M5 was made for, were it not for a passive aggressive sport who insisted on going five miles an hour under the speed limit as cars stacked up behind her, steadfastly refusing the opportunity to graciously employ anyone of the several and various slug pull-outs cleverly engineered to allow more enthusiastic drivers to pass.
I have grown, gentle reader, and there was a child in the car. So while I may have simmered just that wee bit, I was cautious – oh, so cautious – to let no external sign of it show. No cursing or muttering under my breath, no imprecations for Jovian lightning bolts, no regret that the laser cannon option had not been selected by the previous owner. No forearm banging off the dash or steering wheel. Well, nearly none.
Got into traffic in some town or another, from whence I was required and desired by the Kat to maneuver into the left lane, the better for to ease myself in to California 101, our pathway to SB. Having found a suitable gap in the traffic behind and to my left, I deftly maneuvered into it at all of 5 MPH or so. At which moment a clearly exercised young woman pulled up alongside, window down, shouting something unintelligible. I rolled down the passenger’s side window the better to understand her concerns, whereupon she set on me something vicious, like:
Her: You almost hit my front end, you should be more careful!
Me: When? (Thoroughly mystified – how does one, when moving forward, almost hit the front end of someone behind them?)
Her: And you have passengers, too. You should know better!
Me: Farewell, adieu, enjoy the rest of the day! (Wondered what the rest of her life was like, “hit my front end” forsooth.)
I had thought that the 300 mile trip up to Santa Barbara was intended to you know: See the campus. But no, the campus is apparently some little way out of town, and the shopping is right there on main street, so that is where we stopped, and shop is what we did. I don’t get that many opportunities to spend eight continuous waking hours in the company of my 17-year old daughter, so I believe that I bore the strain of shopping manfully. Or as manfully as any man can, the male gender being more of the “hunter” type while the typical female – and here I place myself at risk of correction – being more of a “gatherer.” All regardless of my firm impression that there is really quite suitable shopping right here in Sandy Eggo.
Turnabout and back in to sand-poundingly dense traffic on the 101 south, which gave way in time to the 405, which is where apparently everyone in southern California with a death wish drives at 80 MPH in close company, waiting for someone else to make the first move.
Lex’s motor-carriage dictum: Anyone who drives slower than me is a moron, anyone who drives faster is a maniac, any one who drives the same speed is a threat.
Anyway, got back home at 2200 last night well knackered, and now I’m off to get a little systems refresher in a Cessna 182RG with Aspen panel and GNS 530 WAAS. If only for the instrument currency that’s in it.
Talk amongst yourselves.