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Today I want to tell you about the first time I ever went to California. Daddy was a cop. We didn’t have lot of money. Family vacations were normally spent fishing up in Minnesota (I already told you the ‘walrus’ story about my mother) and we did take one Route 66 vacation to the Southwest. I’ll tell you about it one day. There was no Disneyland vacation in my childhood, but I’ll bet you’re not surprised.
The first time I went to California I was an adult, kinda, living in Colorado. This trip started out as a long lazy, camping through the desert, trek. We were in Telluride, Colorado. Our tent was set up on a mountainside somewhere and we headed into town to meet some friends who used to live in Breckenridge. I had to make a call and went from the bar were we met our friends to another bar across the street that had a pay phone in back (yeah you heard me right, a pay phone). When I made my call, I got some really bad news. So bad, in fact, that my friends found me sitting on the floor underneath this pay phone, quite literally rolled up in a ball. So, being really good friends they took me back to the first bar where I proceeded to get drunker than I have ever been in my life. I came to the next morning in that tent on the mountainside, wishing I had died.
I’m not sure how but I managed to help ‘break camp’ and load up the car then we headed for Chicago (due to my bad news) by way of Los Angeles. Ok, now I know you’re confused, but this is my story about the first time I was in California, not the bad news, or the trip to Chicago, maybe I’ll tell that another time, not today. Let it suffice to say there was something I had to pick up in California and take to Chicago with me. So the trip to Chicago had to be made the long way around. Oh, there was one more thing, I had to be in Chicago within three days time.
Anyway…we drove straight through from Telluride to Los Angeles. Our little car had no air conditioning (are you kidding me? I lived at 9600 feet above sea level, you don’t need no stinkin’ air conditioning there) we drove through the desert at night where the temperature dropped to about 130 degrees. I think I was still hung over and trying to sleep. I was leaning against the center console with my feet propped out the passenger side window, wearing some little sundress. It was early morning, you know how it can be on the west coast, warm, muggy and kind of grey foggy all over. I wake up to the vroom, vroom sound of some jet engine and look out the window at the undercarriage of a monster truck with ‘The Boss’ screaming 'Born to Run' out of the stereo. This guy looks down and under my carriage, I’m sure. He smiles and says ‘Welcome to L.A.’
That’s it. The first time I went to California. I picked up what I need to and within five hours we were on our way to Chicago.