I slept a little extra today because I did a lot of computer work after driving yesterday. I passed out quickly and woke up very slowly. I was in a good frame of mind, so I warmed up with some excercises. After some stretches, modified moves with the chair and bed, and some strong barbell workouts, I was ready to wash up and pack up.
After loading everything in 1 trip, I was ready to head west on the 215. Soon, I reached the 10 West, and the moment I saw the red lights in front of me, I knew I was near L.A. Slowing down on the 10 was no big deal as long as I was able to stay in the moment and center my mind.
I felt a little edgy after being on alert for a while, so I pulled off the freeway to Pasadena to chill for a few minutes and check my maps. I remember that I watched an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” with Gordon Ramsay about 2 years ago when he went to Lancaster, CA to make over the Casa Roma Italian restaurant. I knew I had to check it out for myself, so I made my way up the 14, which leads to the Antelope Valley and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.
As soon as I made an emergency “pit stop” at a nearby K-mart, I got busy looking for Casa Roma. When I did find it, I remembered that dinner service didn’t start until 5 pm, so I sought space to jot down my thoughts. I eventually found a nice little park where there were empty seats near the little league baseball field. I like how these parks just seem to absorb the din of city noise and provide a nice backdrop to help me collect my thoughts. At 5, I headed back to the restaurant.
When I walked in, I noticed that the place was dark. The music was blaring from the stereo system and the menu was for a place called the AV Roadhouse. One quick look around told me that the pizzeria was gone and the previous owners had pissed it all away. I was disappointed of course, but at least I got a glimpse of what the Antelope Valley had to offer.
The next hundred or so miles were almost a blur as I tried to put my so called “mistake” behind me. Trees, desert brush, traffic pockets, houses, and businesses bombarded my burning, bloodshot eyes as I headed west. I stopped only once to go to the bathroom and eat something quick in Moorpark.
It was almost 8pm when I made it to Santa Barbara County, and after a short drive, I located the nearest hotel in Goleta. Despite the finicky lock mechanism and the subpar internet connection strength, I was able to settle in. This one has recently been remodeled; I’ll have to remember this one in the near future.
I feel like I’m not too disappointed, because finding these places has been a nice little memory that’s been made. Next time I travel, I’ll do a little more research, but not too much so that it spoils the surprises!