A good night’s sleep is a wondrous thing. I didn’t have one, completely, but I had enough of one to make me feel better.


First stop after breakfast was the bustling Ventura-Ojai metroplex, home of one of California’s greatest concentrations of good trhrift stores. Didn’t buy a thing.

I hit Santa Barbara next. I really don’t like Santa Barbara; it’s a nauseatingly cutesy, semi-upscale sort of place. The first Motel 6 was in Santa Barbara, and it’s still there (I think) but rooms go for about 60 bucks now. But I drove through town all the same.

The rain started around Isla Vista. It pretty much didn’t stop for any long period of time until San Jose. There was rain through Psimo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles (where I stopped at two uninspiring thrift stores and one really smelly convenience store).

There was a quick break around King City, which let me shoot three generations of Safeway stores there.

I think it was also right around King City that the thrill of the trip ended and I just wanted to be home. After cheap gas in Salinas, and the joys of San Jose and the Peninsula, I was. Upon walking in, I found my house torn apart by drywallers and a layer of white dust all over everything. So much for a shower and a relaxing weekend to cap the vacation…

All in all, it was a good trip, but it was way stressful. Never again will I take a long vacation with so much pending work. And on the next trip, I will worry less about who I see (which will probably result in seeing more people) and will shoot for quality time with each person and place I visit. Even at the expense of covering lots of real estate.

I’d also prefer never to travel in the south during pollen season again and to get more sleep, but this might not be so easy to arrange…

I miss my family and friends on the east coast. I miss good, cheap food, and the unpretentious people of the south. I miss trees and hills which aren’t brown, and the whole landscape back east.

I don’t, however, miss the weather and the pollen and the depressing nightlife and the less literate population. Nor do I miss Hardee’s…

Come to think of it, this whole trip was not one of my favorite vacations. Nothing quite worked out the way it was supposed to. Still, there were some good moments. I got to spend (not enough) time with my parents and with Duncan, Jeff, and Eugene, among others. I made first contact with Becky and PJ. I had sex in Atlanta, sucked face in Greensboro, ate well, and took lots of pictures.