California Revisited

22 Jun

This weekend, the whole Bee clan (well, on my side of the family anyway) traveled down to the Sacramento area for my grandparents’ 800th 65th wedding anniversary. I would’ve mentioned it earlier, but I didn’t want to be all “Hey! Our house is going to be vacant for the whole weekend!” and then be one of those total assholes who are shocked when their house is then burglarized while they are on vacation.

It was a fairly quick trip for us (down Friday afternoon and back by dinner Sunday), but I did take note of a few things along the way…

Folsom
I totally expected this “prison town” to be a cross between Detroit and a Mad Max Australia.

You know, with palm trees and shit.

But what we quickly discovered is that Folsom, besides being a totally nice bedroom community, is a haven for shopping (whoda thunk?) and cosmetic surgery. There were plastic surgery clinics on practically every corner in that place! The only conclusion I could come to is that it’s for convicts to change their appearance after breaking free from the pokey.

THE California
Seriously, what is the deal with Californians preoccupation with the word “the”? It’s not Orange County, it’s THE OC. It’s not Interstate 5, or even I-5, it’s THE 5 (or THE 80, THE 50…). Shit, it’s even “strange things are afoot at THE Circle K”*.

I’ve found it’s almost as annoying as the UK’s aversion to the word (like “going to hospital/university/etc.”).

I see you have reserved a shitty car. Would you like to upgrade to…a shitty car?
My HOUR waiting in line to pick up the rental car (so much for “trying hard” Avis) gave me time to reflect on the current state of the rental car inventory.

My final conclusion: Most, if not all, American cars are total shit.

Now don’t get all Frankenstein pitch-forky on me. I’m just as “rah rah! Go America!” as every one else. I just think that besides maybe Ford trucks, the American car industry produces THE (haha) shittiest cars that I have ever driven.

Normally I am subjected to the red Dodge Neon curse of Southern California. Without fail, every time I visit, I get the same crappy car that I assume has like a V2 engine? This trip to NoCal warranted a shiny black Ford Focus. Ooooh, fancy.

When Mr. Bee was surveying the car, taking note iof any dents and whatnot so that the rental car company wouldn’t accuse us of making them, he came back in the car with a horrific look on his face.

“What’s wrong?!” I asked.

“It’s still a Focus,” he said.

Figuring that it at least LOOKED better than the Neons I am accustomed to, it must drive better too, right? Not so much. In a state where you must go from 0 to 812 miles per hour when entering the freeway, it would really help to be driving a car that goes isn’t dependent on how fast you can pedal with your feet.

Vroom! Beep. Beep.
With all that said about the innate craptasticness of rental cars, I loooooooove driving in California. All the speed limits are retardedly high and even if someone *does* cut you off, it’s probably because you are driving too slow and they usually speed off in front of you.

See, here is Washington, it’s commonplace to not only have someone cut you off just to slam on their brakes and go slower than you were going, but to have four or five cars do that in what looks like a synchronized swimming exercise. And then those four or five cars will pace each other for the next 50 miles. Arg, it makes me want to road rage just writing about it!

Hey! Is that…?
I have to say that the most exciting part of the weekend was when we got back to Seattle. Mr. Bee had run ahead of Bee and I in hopes of snagging our luggage quickly, so Bee and I made our way slowly through the terminal to baggage claim. Just as we were leaving the terminal and passing security, I looked up and saw…wait, it can’t be…But then I heard this person speak to the lady he was with and all I could hear in my head was, “Bueller? Bueller?”
bueller....bueller....

That’s right, bitches! I saw Ben Stein in the flesh!!

Jealous??

*Extra bonus points for those of you who got the Bill and Ted reference!

Song title: California Revisited (everyone I Meet Is From California) by America

4 Responses to “California Revisited”

  1. Holly June 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi! Stopping by from SITS.

    That is SO wicked that you saw Ben Stein!

  2. Lin June 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Haha…I’ve had non-californians tell me the same thing about how we (californians) put THE in front of almost everything. I hadn’t really noticed it but I guess we do a lot, lol.

    • Mama Bee June 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

      To be fair, I was born in SoCal, so I did quickly start saying it myself! Kind of like when you visit the deep South and can’t help talking with a twang in your voice ;)

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