I have always loved road trips. Maybe not the entire trip there and back (when ‘there’ was far, far away). Starting out on a road trip is always exciting, which is good because the scenery is boring. Every road trip begins from the same place – home.
Anywhere you go from Livermore you usually get on Interstate 5. At least for part of the way. Your scenic view consists of black top rolling through brown, sunburned hills. Oh, there is the occasional dairy farm, that you smell long before you see a cow. And ugly oak trees called “scrub oaks”. This scenery is monotonous to me, but maybe it would be interesting to someone traveling from, let’s say, Arkansas.
My favorite road trip (lately) was in 2007. My daughter, granddaughter and I packed up my Honda and set out for Laguna Niguel to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. Our husbands were not invited (they were not upset about that at all). We probably packed enough snacks to feed us for a week if we got stranded in a snowstorm. Which does not happen when you drive through the desert in May. But then, with my sense of direction, we could have ended up in Canada.
The just-us-girls aspect of the trip was enough to make it special. This was also an historic trip because I was driving. Yes, she who gets lost in her own backyard, was driving. I felt so grown up!
The GPS unit I got for Christmas had several different voices to choose from. We decided to use a man’s voice that had a slight Jamaican accent. We wanted a cute, fun voice to come along with us. Oh, he was fun. My granddaughter named him “Sebastian”, after the character in The Little Mermaid.
We had not even turned off my street before he yelled at us. “TURN DE CAR AROUND!!” Sebastian wanted us to take the long way to the freeway. We ignored him. After sulking a few seconds, he recalculated the route and we were on our way.
Sebastian began to grate on our nerves after the first 100 miles. His tone was getting more panicked and loud as the trip progressed. “STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE!” “LEFT TURN AHEAD!” He screamed out directions sounding so damned urgent I would turn at the next turn, which was not yet the correct turn. Causing more screaming. I must admit that we all thought “TURN DE CAR AROUND!” was funny the first 8 times we heard it.
I have to give Sebastian his due, we made it through L.A. and found my mom’s house. However, when our visit was over, “Tim” guided us back home with his smooth and easy-going British voice.