So, the day is April 18th. The Gorillaz just finished their set to a rather confused crowd at Coachella (Cloud of Unknowing was a rather melancholic song to end on, you can read about the whole show HERE).
We moved rather swiftly out of the Empire Polo Fields, considering there was about 75 thousand of us leaving at once.
An hour later (after the walk to the car, leaving the venue in the car, fighting traffic in the Indio area) we make it back to our hotel. It's 1AM at this point.
We pack up our things and then - we are off. At 2AM. Driving from Indio, California to San Francisco.
Yes, you see we had a plane to catch at two in the afternoon. The drive is eight hours long. We originally were going to wake up at 5 AM and go but my mother - God bless her - suggested we don't sleep and pull an all-nighter. Just get in the car after the concert and drive to San Fran - that way we'll beat the crazy LA/Coachella traffic and not miss our plane.
So that was the plan. I was tired beyond hell, but I was armed with snacks, Faith No More blaring from the speakers and two giant cans of Red Bull. In the back, Mike slept, preparing to take over the drive in about four hours.
Surprisingly, there was a lot of traffic on the 10 heading West. Not surprisingly, I took a wrong turn - the signs come up so fast and by the time you realize it, you don't have time to cross over four lanes of traffic. So I ended up going to Riverside, which ironically, we accidently drove through when we came down to Coachella days earlier.
After Riverside, I hooked on to another highway that was heading North and again missed the turn off to Pasedena. I am normally a VERY good navigator but at the point in the night, it's three AM and I am freaking hallucinating at the lights on the road. Also, you know, I wasn't able to read the map, it was dark and I've never driven myself in this area before. But I knew that if I just headed North to San Bernadino, I could turn West somewhere around there.
Well, I overshot San Bernadino, kept driving up some dark mountain pass and freaking out in an increasing manner. The Red Bull wasn't keeping me alert, it was keeping me paranoid and scared.
Finally I decided to pull over in Victorville and figure out where the fuck we were.
I'm glad I did because I probably would have ended up in Las Vegas had I kept driving North. Anyway, I made Mike take over because I was in NO form to drive at this point. I tried to sleep in the back while Mike took us on the West heading highway.
I barely slept... the highway was two-lane, deserted, going through a blackened desert, with barely anyone else on the road. How did we know we were going the right way.
Finally I raised my head at 5AM after 45 minutes of shoddy sleep. The sun was coming up on the dry hills where pricey suburban homes perched. Traffic was increasing and I got the feeling we were heading... South.
Yup. The sign told us there was only so many hours till Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES? We needed to go to San Francisco!
There was a minor freakout from both of us as we thought we had driven in a circle. Luckily, again, though the highway branched onto our beloved I-5. We headed North, not South, this time. I breathed a sigh of relief, fell asleep for maybe another hour.
I woke up somewhere in some town just outside of the LA outskirts, after the "Grapevine" hills that leave Valencia. We had breakfast at McDonalds. I felt like shit and Mike was done with driving. It was my turn again and I did not know how I was going to pull this off. See, I don't do well without sleep. I don't even speak or walk properly. DRIVING? Crazy.
But somehow, I got in that SUV and piloted it North on the I-5, all the way to San Francisco. OK, I accidently went through Oakland which robbed me of more time and patience (traffic, holy hell), but we eventually made it to San Fran and to the airport with time to spare.
At this point, we were both zonked but managing. Some yummy clam chowder at the SF airport did us some good.
Then we got on the plane for Seattle - that's where my actual car was parked and we had tickets to see Conan O'Brien that night. WHEW! What a day, am I right?
We parked at a well-priced parking garage near Seattle centre, then had dinner at a nearby bar before the show.
Conan was an amazing way to end our somewhat miserable, somewhat brilliant vacation. He put on such a good show. I'm sure you all know about the show and what he does, etc, but the highlights were definitely Reggie Watts, the Meatloaf Bat, Jimmy Levino and his band, Andy and Conan's beautiful repetoire, the Chuck Norris clips, Conan serenading us in the audience and the special guests - Eddie Vedder and that other dude from Pearl Jam... they did a cover of The Who's Baba O'Reilly which was brilliant, check it out below.
YA GOTTA WATCH! Eddie Vedder @ Conan O Brien's Prohibited Tour covering The Who's Baba O'Reilly
Conan high-fives Vedder (waving) and proclaims to us that was the most awesome thing he has ever seen. He meant it!
Conan is inspired by Vedder... and Elvis, I guess
Coolest Conan ever
After the show we were elated, despite not having slept for 36 HOURS. I've watched Conan O'Brien since 1995!!! 1995, peeps. What a great way to end our vacay, right?
Happy smiles - Coachella wrist band still intact
NOPE. Turns out the car lot we parked in locked up only minutes before we got there. Mike, running high on no sleep and adrenaline, somehow scaled the wall and got into the parking lot and tried to open the gate from the inside. NO LUCK. But man, was I proud of his monkey ability!
SO, we had to call the tow truck who charged us FIFTY BUCKS to open the gate. MOTHER F*CKERS. So, it seemed like our bad luck on this disaster trip wasn't over yet...
Once we got our car out and got past the injustice of it all, we STILL weren't done. It was 11PM and we had a 2 and a bit hour drive from Seattle to our home in Vancouver. SIGH.
Mike drove at first until he started veering off the road (just a tad) and then I took over. I was kinda hallucinating while praying I didn't kill us, but by the time we got through the border crossing and into British Columbia, I started to relax a little.
We finally got back to the city at about 2 AM. I am not sure how I managed to get us there in one piece, but it happened.
You know that scene in Almost Famous when William Miller finally gets home, he sees his bed and throws himself on it with open arms? That's pretty much how I felt to a tee.
Luckily, we had just done a little bit of cleaning up and redecorating before we left, so it was even more welcoming than ever.
Speaking of, I have the honour of doing a review for AllModern.com and other CSN stores - something I am really excited about because our apartment still needs some fixing up. I'm not sure what I'm going to pick...headboards for our bed, wine glasses, wine racks, cool wall art decor, kitchenware, new snazzy pillows for our ugly couch? I'm very excited, they have so many cool, quality items!
I'll be sure to tell you all about it though AND - better news - I'll be doing ANOTHER giveaway with this company sometime in the near future, a treat for all you readers :P Vegas Princess won the pricey gift certificate last time - who will it be this time?
OH RIGHT - I have a new layout. I've had the Classic Template for four years now but Blogger has made some annoying changes. For one, I can only have three posts on one page and there was NO way to link to older or newer posts. So basically I was missing half of my blog. Anyway, I had to change to the new template - something maybe I should have done a while ago - and luckily, though it will still only show 3 posts, least I can link to previous posts at the bottom. Anyway, change is good. Hope you like it!