So I think I already mentioned the trip to D.C. at the end of June for my cousin's wedding, during which one of those so-called storms of the century hit? July, my kids had a bunch of day camps and summer school classes to attend, so I spent my weeks putting over 100 miles per day on my car, without leaving the City of San Diego. At the end of July, however, most of the programmed activity was over, so I declared a road trip for myself and the two younger kids. We traveled to Chico, a Northern California town housing a notorious party-school university, a town one of my friends in law enforcement affectionately refers to as "the weed capitol of the world."
Now, you might be asking whether this assessment is true, or perhaps a bit exaggerated. Judging from the mellow evening aroma of my sister's neighborhood, the white-haired grandma who lit up a joint at the creek (while watching her toddler granddaughter splash and make mud-castles with the other little kids present), and the giggling, poncho-clad group of students (mind you, it was 102 outside) devouring food at the next table when my sis and I went out to breakfast, I'm kind of thinking my friend knows what she's talking about. Anyway, that's Chico--also home of the original sports-bar laundromat and a barber-shop pub--the town where my car's factory transmission decided to rest in peace.
With the national SCBWI conference starting around 8:00 a.m. in Los Angeles the morning of the day my car was scheduled to be ready around 3:00 p.m. in Chico, and my daughter's pricey, prepaid-for volleyball camp starting back home in Carmel Valley on the following Monday, the choice was clear: I had to rent a car for a week, drive the ten hours home to San Diego, then return to Chico after the conference to pay my ransom and collect my vehicle.
Looking on the bright side of things, I got to spend some bonus time with my sissy, during which we went into town and I got to check out the local independent bookstore, Lyon Books. Cool place! Not to mention the fact that the clerk I chatted with there was a fellow teen fiction writer herself(!!!).
After I got home, water polo started for my oldest kid, so it was straight to driving all over the place again. Then my beater car (a 1994 Toyota Camry) got broken into, so I had to have a window replaced yesterday. I guess that makes three if you count the ticket I got driving home from Chico the first time.
Anyone else ready for some good news?