Road Tripping: Going to SLO

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Have you ever puked in public? On your birthday? When you were sober? Yeah. I did that this past weekend. It was not good. We traveled down to San Luis Obispo for my cousin’s college graduation. It was a long, long day. It started on the freeway and ended with me puking near the ocean.

We took the road trip from Sacramento to SLO via I-5 & 46/41. I saw the giant tree where the James Dean memorial sits. It’s a little creepy that there’s a restaurant at the site. I know the actual crash happened at the intersection of Highways 46 & 41, but still a restaurant at a memorial? Weird. Also, I hate two lane roads like that. People are stupid and that makes them dangerous.

Regardless, I was treated to beautiful sweeping vistas of sun-baked grasses dotted with oaks as we crossed over the San Andreas Fault towards the ocean. I love the Pacific Ocean. It really does give me a sense of peace when I look at it.

The whole weekend was frenetic, but fun. My cousin was excited to end her college life and begin her adult life in Minnesota of all places. I still can remember when she was a newborn and I was 16 years old. Sometimes I wish we had been closer in age. I think we could have been very good friends. We still could be now that she’s all grown up.

Oh, yeah…why did I puke? I don’t really know. We went to one lovely winery, Tolosa, full of wind and more sweeping vistas. I had maybe two glasses of wine with lunch. Also, I kept a bottle of water nearby. At this point in my life, I know hydration is key when drinking alcohol.

Tolosa Winery

Then we checked into the Madonna Inn. If you live in California and you haven’t been to this slice of Americana, you really should do yourself a favor and stop in at least to the coffee shop. The hotel was nuts. We had a suite that I swear was bigger than my last house. We had 7 people milling about it at one point and it didn’t feel crowded at all. The only problem was that it lacked comfortable seating. It was decorated like an 1890’s brothel even though the name of the room was American Home.

We got ready for dinner and I noticed a slight headache beginning. I should have taken a pain killer, but I was too busy trying to settle in and get ready for dinner. Since it was my birthday, I refused to do any driving. I hate driving and I wanted to be free to drink alcohol with abandon.

So we finally round up the troops, and head to dinner. My headache was slowly becoming a migraine. I forced myself to drink as much water as possible because I knew it was being caused by dehydration. Long road trips mean no liquids can be ingested on a regular basis if you ever want to make it to your destination.

Looks good, doesn't it?

We ordered what seemed like a delicious meal. Over the course of this meal, I began to feel queasy. It wasn’t until after I’d gotten half way through my main course that I noticed a weird sensation in my stomach. I stopped eating and wondered what the hell was going on. Needless to say, the next 30 minutes or so, I am terrible at tracking time, were hazy and lead up to me fleeing the restaurant with my sister in tow for moral support.

Luckily, when the vomit surfaced, I just happened to be right by a planter. Or maybe my sister pointed it out. One of the things you learn in college is that if you have to puke in public, find a planter or a bush.

Regardless, I was stone cold sober and sick as a dog.

We made our way back to the car to await the rest of our party to finish dinner and pay the bill. After what seemed like an eternity, they finally arrived. The next 20 minutes were spent willing myself not to puke in the car.

I almost made it to the hotel room. Since almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, I ended up puking on my shoes in the parking lot of the hotel. At least, I didn’t vomit in the car. That would have been a horrible ride home. Five hours in a puke scented vehicle?

You know you’re sick when you don’t even feel embarrassed about puking in front of strangers.

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