Odometer Reading: 1025
I’d hoped to take the Pacific Coast Highway down to my sister’s, but after talking to Uncle Dennis and my brother-in-law Will, they convinced me that it was foolhardy to think we could make it down there in one day. It would slow-going and expensive, two things I didn’t really want. So, instead, we rose early and got back onto my least favorite highway: I-5.
Eight hours later, we rolled into Los Angeles swarming with people and pollution. Just being in LA makes me a little insane and I’m sure the kids were completely baffled by the dramatic rise in my stress level, but the highways just mix and mingle and get all backed up and I feel like I might just lose my mind. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I’m the driver; I didn’t stress out in Bangkok, Hanoi, Boston or New York City, but I never had to drive there. In LA, I really feel like I’m gonna blow my top. Music turns off. Kids keep quiet and my knuckles turn white on the steering wheel.
On the southern side of the sprawl, just before we hit Orange County, we stopped for food. Stuart and Audrey have never had the joy of eating at In-N-Out, a lovely step back in time for anyone who enjoys a burger. Of course, being wheat intolerant these days, I stuck with french fries yet again (starting to abhor them). Despite their limited menu (and my even more limited options), In-N-Out has got to be one of the best fast food places out there. I still prefer Burgerville–because, really, what can beat rosemary or sweet potato fries–but this place is a close second. And the kids are believers, too.
By 4 p.m. we were rolling into a parking spot outside my sister’s home; her daughter safely returned ten days after they parted ways in Portland.