Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"You drove off with the gas pump..."

I'm back.

--I think from all that bouncing off the walls prior to my leaving, caused me some short-term delirium as I set off for my trip.

Just less than two hours on the road, in a small town called Livermore, I drove away from a gas station passing a large crowd of people waving and jumping up and down at me and pointing wildly at my car.

My traveling friend turned to look back and said to me as calmly as saying, "you have parsley in your teeth..."

"You drove off with the gas pump.."

Indeed, it looked like a giant snake gripping on to the back side of my car for dear life. It's long thin body flipping and reeling as I drove through the lot.

I drove back to the scene of the crime (despite men waving me to "KEEP DRIVING! THEY'LL NEVER CATCH UP!")... and walked back inside, standing in line, waiting my turn to tell the man with the thick accent that I had driven off with his gas pump. Expecting to sever an arm and a leg to hand over to him, it turned out okay. He didn't charge me... and we were back on the road in no time.

We laughed all the way to the Los Angeles town where our hotel waited, only for our smiles to vanish when I realized I had forgotten to bring the confirmation paper and directions to the hotel who's name I couldn't remember. After an hour or more driving up and down darkened, empty streets looking for the hotel with a familiar name, I blindly walked into a hotel lobby asking if I had reservations there. (Of course not. That would have been too easy!) Finally, a helpful woman behind the desk at the Marriott did a google search for me and was able to point me in the right direction of the hotel across town.

A part of the trip, I stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. You would love it! It's in a prime location along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and across from the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. And it has a storied past. Host to the very first Academy Awards, the Roosevelt has been the playground of stars such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe. Now the poolside Tropicana Bar attracts the newer celebrities. It was so fun and yet so wildly different than the ultra cool mid-century modern hotel in Palm Springs.

Sitting poolside in Hollywood, I felt flawed sitting next to the young self-absorbed Hollywood elite. In Palm Springs, it was a much more gentler crowd. Where we'd sit around and exchange stories. I even met another woman who shared my first and middle name.

I called Valerie Walsh while I was in Hollywood who happily agreed to meet us for dinner in beautiful Malibu. She is an amazing artist who I met on Illustration Friday. She is so beautiful. Inside and out! And she is such a delight with all her colorful stories. It was the shortest three hours I have ever spent.

My vacation was much too short. I am so grateful for my job. Don't get me wrong. But what I would give, to have my three-month long summer vacations again. Just like when we were kids. Three work days and a weekend just isn't enough time.


Janet said...

HaHa!!Something funny always happens to you!
...and dinner with you and fun!!!!!

travel buddy said...

I am STILL laughing. And I second that about Val.

Anonymous said...

"You drove off with the gas pump." That is so HILARIOUS! I was just feeling a bit melancholy and that got me into a fit of giggles! You're so funny Shawn!

ValGalArt said...

Yer hilarious! I have only seen this in movies and tv never in real life! It's one of those great stories that you can pass on to the kids about the good ol days! You are far to kind (considering the pic) but very sweet and I loved meeting you and travel buddy! You are so right it was a very quick time and I could have bored you with at least 3 more hours of stories... Well we always have the castle on the hill... next time Taverna Tonys in Malibu when you and travel bud come down this way. Happy Trails Pardner!

danny said...

ha!! great story and the pic is perfect! well I'm glad those hoses have break-away nozzles, hopefully no damage to your car...
That sounded like a really fun trip!

Doodlestreet said...

Once you rest up...time to start gathering maps and materials for the next big trip!

Rayne said...

Why, oh why, am I never around to see things like this????

Michele said...

Wow, that's too funny. I've ALMOST driven off with the pump, but haven't yet. So I could relate.

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