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Like the description suggests, this is pretty much a list of all of the trips I've taken since 1997. Most of them aren't really worth much, and a few of them even have photos.
In any case, here's the deal - all of the trips will have at least a basic summary of the trip listed in here. Where there is a full story, I'll put that here, unless there's photos, then I'll include it with the photos.
Mind you, not all of these are roadtrips as such - a few of them involve at least one airplane.
Route taken: Started in Placentia near home location (roughly Richfield Road and Orangethorpe Avenue); proceeded to state route 55 to the end at Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1), go north; follow road into Long Beach, cut south to Ocean Ave; take Ocean onto Route 47/Vincent St. Thomas Bridge; go north on 110 freeway into Los Angeles. Find our way into Alhambra, eat at a chinese restaurant out there, return home via 710, 5, and 91.
On this trip, Dave had just purchased a new Honda Civic and needed to break it in. No matter, get in the car and go.
We wound up eating fried rice at this restaurant called Alhambra Gardens after driving around for an hour or so before we returned home. Particularly enjoyable trip.
Route taken: From our then home in Yorba Linda, take state route 90 to Placentia to get supplies; from there, continue on 90 to route 57, cut west on 10 to the 101 and bear north. Returned using roughly the same route.
This was a trip where we just needed to get the hell out of Dodge for a couple of days. Stress was taking its toll, rent was overdue, and we just wanted to see something different. No problem. Get the radio, stick the antenna on Dave's car, grab Stephanie and their mom's permission, swing by Albertsons in Placentia, and go.
Our primary focus getting up the state was specifically getting to San Jose, so we didn't make too many stops going up 101, barring gas and restroom breaks, and a food break up in a remote Carls Jr. We didn't make it into San Jose until roughly midnight, however. On arrival at our friends' apartment, we schmoozed a bit, and crashed out in their living room.
We left the next morning, stopped at McDonalds and had a breakfast that couldn't be beat (which was good for McDonalds), took pictures of the area, and headed off to the Garlic Festival and hd some fun. Got a couple of wine glasses too.
Going down wasl also interesting - we stopped in this small bay just north of Pismo Beach, where Dave and Stephanie had a swim, took more photos of the area, and even stopped for gas in Buelton.
Regretfully, I don't know where the photos went. One day I'll find them....
Route taken: 90 west to 57 north to 10 west to interstate 5 north to state 152 west to US 101 north. Returned same route in reverse.
This was another trip where we needed to get out of Dodge. The beginning of the trip was a little interesting - going out, around 10:30 AM on I-10, we were travelling and preparing for the interchange to the 5.
(Before I go on, an explanation here: between El Monte and downtown Los Angeles on interstate 10 is a carpool lane with only two access points - one near the El Monte Bus Station, one from Del Amo Blvd (I think) - that lets out into the downtown LA interchange, where the 5, 101, 10, and 60 all come toghether, and not too far from there are the 2, the 710, the 134, and a couple of other freeways. Going the other direction, you can get in in Los Angeles, but can only exit at Del Amo and the Santa Anita bus station.)
Anyway, I digress. Just after we passed the Del Amo entry point for the carpool lane, I spotted a stalled vehicle in the median strip that separates the carpool lane from the rest of the freeway. No matter, dig out the radio, get on a frequency, and start reporting it for somebody to call CHP.
And then the ultimate happened. We watched from our position in the number 1 lane as two people in the number 2 lane stopped, got out of their cars, and started having a fistfight on the freeway. In the middle of traffic. On Interstate 10. In Los Angeles.
Believe me, I could not make this up if I tried.
After reporting this, the trip was otherwise uneventful. We got to San Jose, were treated to food, saw a bit of San Francisco, and then returned home after seeing Home Alone 3 on their TV.
We both needed to get out for a while. I had just gotten off of swing shift at my then fairly new job at a nearby Circle K, and was a bit tired.
The phone rang. It was Dave. "Dennis, call some airlines and see where we can fly to in just enough time to get you to work tomorrow."
So I do. No luck. I'd get home a couple of hours late.
I accordingly told this to Dave when he returned home roughly 1:30 the next morning, to which he replied: "OK, so where can we drive to in that kind of time?"
I started naming cities. San Diego. El Centro. Blythe. Santa Barbara. Carpinteria. Barstow. If we're really lucky, we could do Phoenix.
We chose Barstow.
I got the radio, we got supplies, we drove. Left at about 02:00. We stopped in Lenwood, just a bit south of Barstow proper on I-15, and had a breakfast that couldn't be beat at the Denny's there. Then he looks at me. "Dennis, how far north does this road go?"
"All the way up to the Canadian border in Montana," I replied.
"And given the time constraints, how far can we go?"
"If we're really lucky, St. George, Utah."
"What else is there on this road?"
I thought a moment. "Well, it cuts through Las Vegas, spends some time winding around southern Nevada, cuts through the upper left corner of Arizona for about 30 miles, and enters Utah about 6 miles from St. George."
We went to Vegas.
Before we did this, we stopped in Barstow to gas up, and got a disposable camera. Then Dave crossed over the 15 to the other side, and pulled into the parking lot there at the K-mart. I think he mentioned something about a Furby.
They were closed, at any rate, so we continued. We stopped in Baker for a little more gas and some supplies, looked at the world's tallest thermometer, continued up the road, and wound up at a rest stop in Valley Wells.
It was freezing. And yet, the sunrise was beautiful. I have a picture somewhere.
We then continued, and got to state line about 7:45. Five minutes later, we were at a dead stop for a few minutes, then watched a medivac copter take off. Something happened. We found out later there had been a car fire on the median of I-15, just a few minutes past where we were - Clark County FD and NHP were on scene still.
So we finally got to Lost Wages, wove our way around town a little while. Dave commented on just how slimey it felt in town, and then we stopped at a Target.
And went straight to the toy aisle.
Now as a reminder, Furbies were the toy of choice for Christmas 1998, and were accordingly extremely difficult to come by. They were also just in the second generation run - they just had the bugs worked out, but were later a subject of a lawsuit by the people who made the movie Gremlins, due to the apparent similarity to Mogwais, those cute and fuzzy things that aren't supposed to be fed after midnight lest they turn into the evil creatures.
But I digress.
So we got to the toy aisle, I spotted a clerk. I pulled her aside and said - not asked, but said - "You don't have furbies, do you."
She pulled us both aside. "Actually, we just got a shipment of six in. How many do you want?"
"Just one, just one!" Dave replied.
She went in back, got the furby - the gray striped one - and returned, trying to be inconspicuous about it. She was rather successful.
From there I went into the restroom, did my business, came out, and noted that there were people around saying "Thefurbiesareherethefurbiesareherethefurbiesarehere!".
As we left, Dave said that the truck driver who brought the shipment in was purchasing one.
Nothing spectacular for this one, and all the pictures are here for the most part. Many thanks to Dave's mother, Felicia Brannon, for driving us to and from the airport.
Route taken: from home in Anaheim, take MTA (Los Angeles) bus 460 to Norwalk greenline station, transfer to Green line and get off at the Avation station; transfer to G shuttle, get off at LAX terminal 7; catch Continental Airlines flight to Cleveland, OH, and change planes to get to Bradley International (Hartford, CT). Take Taxi, overshoot Chicopee into Holyoke, turn around, find directions to wife's former home in Chicopee.; pretty much the same getting home, however got ride from mother from LAX
I will say this about Chicopee, MA - the place has potential, but in general the people don't really seem to care. It's a generally run down town. My wife, Karmin, lived out there until March 2001, when I brought her out here to California to live. It is safe to say she is much happier.
If anything, Chicopee can be described as one of those towns that would appear in some Christmas movie, but it seriously needs to be dressed up a bit.
The only really eventful thing was at LAX. Now for a quick explanation, when smoebody is "blowing up" in my world, that means that one of the n electronic devices they are caring has an alarm of some sort that is going off. A pager has been pegged, a cellphone is ringing, a digital watch alarm is going.
So in my state of having only received three hours of sleep the night before and having had NO coffee before arriving at the airport, I mentioned "blowing up" to the security guard at the checkpoint.
Major dumbass attack on my part.
Now I had arrived two hours early, so therew was some waiting around. After a while, people pulled me aside and asked me a few questions - mostly management types for Continental Airlines.
Now I have to admit the food on the flight wasn't all that great (frankly, the Whopper I got at Cleveland airport was the best thing I'd had to eat all day), but I have to publically commend Continental for their actions. They were very calm about working with me, were more than happy to reassure me that the mass of hard disks I was carrying with me in my carry-on bag were not going to self destruct as they examined them, and were in general very professional about working with me. It did help that I cooperated with them, I guess.
It was well after I returned home that I decided I was in love with Karmin.
Route taken: carpooled from work with Frank Gioia, a friend of my mother's, picked up Dave in Yorba Linda, caught a red-eye American flight from LAX-ORD and took a taxi to Arlington Heights.
This was probably one of the stranger conventions I've worked. More convention pictures are found here .
Route taken: convoluted, see story.
The general gist of this is such: Dave and I ran some errands before we made our way to Los Angeles via the 91, and 405 to meet with the rest of the party, which was everyone listed above except Russ; from there, we proceeded up the 405 tp the 5 into Valencia, retrieved Russ, sent Rod and Vicky back to get Vicky's purse, waited a bit, went to Borders there in Valencia, came back to our rendezvous point, and continued up the 5 to the 580 into Richmond.
Going back, Russ flew down on his own.
We have pictures, but I have to sort through them still. I'll get to it.
Route taken: driven to Bradley Airport by family; flew out on American Airlines BDL-JFK and changed planes to get to LAX (originally was BDL-ORD-SNA); returned SNA-DFW-BDL (was originally SNA-ORD-BDL), luggage caught up with her the next day, see below
This was the trip where I proposed to Karmin. It was her first time out here in CA in years (the last time was when she was a child - some doctors decided she had a neurological condition that would prove fatal by age eleven, and so her parents took her to see the world. 26 years later, we married.)
There are pictures of her trip out here floating around, but I don't know where I put them off the top of my head.
Insofar as flights was concerned, this was probably the worst we ever dealt with - a fourth party added "unaccompanied minor" to the ticket without authorization, and we had to do a lot of flight rearrangement due to various problems (bad weather in Chicago coming out, shortage of pilots going back), and going back there was a one-hour delay getting out of SNA due to a passenger injury. (The captain had ordered the injured party's luggage removed, and to do that they had to remove everything off of the 757.)
Fortunately, everything has been made right. I spoke with a sales rep from AA later on about the UNMR issue - it turns out that, while it was a fluke and should not have happened; but if somebody is paying money over the phone to add this, there isn't really something to stop them. We both agreed something needs to be done, but how this is done is left as an exercise.
Route taken: OCTA bus routes 47 to 76 into SNA; Take United flights from SNA-ORD-BDL, get ride at BDL; same going back in, but was retrieved by my mother on arrival at SNA
Back to Chicopee. Met the rest of Karmin's family.
Participants: Dave Andrews, Dennis Carr, Karmin Carr, Katie Hailey
Route taken: From home, Dave drove us to his place; continued to retrieve Katie from ONT; took 15 to 91 to 57 back to our place, paid rent, grabbed dinner at Burger King, took 5 to my mother's place in Commerce; was driven out to LAX by my mother via 605 to 105 to LAX and flew on a non-stop United flight; pretty much the reverse flight home, except got directed through SFO due to a missed flight.
Going out to Chicago was rairly uneventful - getting back, however, involved a missed flight, a late departure from ORD resulting a missed flight at SFO and an overnight stay, and hell at the baggage claim at LAX.
I'm never flying LAX again if I can help it.Pictures of the con are here
Route taken: Going up, took 57 NB to 91 EB to 215 NB to 15 NB; returning, took some roads into eastern Hesperia to the road behind Silverwood Lake (number unknown?) to 138 NB into Wrightwood; turned around and took 138 SB to 15 SB to 91 WB to 57 SB the next day.
Not a bad trip, we took a ride through the area. Saw Roy Rogers' old place, saw a few other sites. Also went to Table Mountain, and ate at a lodge that left something to be desired, IMNSHO. (Diced tomatoes in the tuna salad is welcome to me, but not Karmin - she doesn't eat tomatoes.) We enjoyed the trip in general, it was a good excuse to get out of town.
Pictures are around.
Route taken: took OCTA 54 EB to Tustin Ave, connected with 71 NB and got off at Katella; got lost looking for Jason's place, so went to payphone and called him; we were picked up by both Allen (my father) and Jason, and from there it was 55 NB to 91 EB to 15 NB.
Karmin had commented that it was one of the more pleasant thanksgiving gatherings she had experienced.
Route taken: 5 NB to 101 NB, went into Rampart district and ate at the much revered Tommy's; returned 101 SB to 5 SB to Chapman Ave, straight through Orange onto county road S18; followed to closure just into El Toro, turned around and followed S17 out to Coto De Caza or thereabouts; found our way to I-5 and headed north to get home.
I ws pleasantly surprised by the trip down S17. It is covered in trees for about 1 mile as you go down this road. It is quite pretty, and I regret not having a camera for this. I was not feeling that good that morning, but I was feeling good enough to eat a tommyburger by mid afternoon.
For the record, I lost my job the next day. It was unrelated to this, but what I will say about the circumstances is...well, never mind. If I have anything nice to say about her, it is that working under her helped develop some spine on my part. But that's for another day and another time.
Route taken: 22 WB to 405 NB to 710 SB to docks for Catalina Express; took ferry across into Avalon; returned pretty much the same thing.
This time, we had our camera. We also struck it big. Karmin and I went on an inland tour of the island for free, as they were breaking in a new shuttle. The roads are rather treacherous, kind of a joke on the part of the Wrigley family. But we went up to the airport there at Avalon (AVX), which is 1601 feet up and is capable of handling nothing larger than an old McDonnell Douglas DC-3 prop job, which arrives once per day for mail delivery, and leaves once per day for mail pickup to return it to the mainland.
The hotel - the Villa Portofino - was rather nice, if not a bit small; the accomodations were a bit tight, but we managed.
Admittedly, I enjoyed the getaway, but Karmin didn't really care for Avalon. It reminded her a bit of Cape Cod - nice, but they overdid it a bit. I don't mind in that it's a nice place to just get away.
Route taken: Carpooled with my father to John Wayne (SNA), caught United flight non-stop SNA-ORD; hotel shuttle to the Hyatt. Caught bus on River Road to nearbyMotel 6, stayed there for two days, and went home via River Road bus, Blue Line into ORD, and non-stop flight from ORD-SNA. Carpooled with Brant from SNA to home.
Pictures, of course, are here
Route Taken: Carpooled with my father to the Fullerton Amtrak Station Caught Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner to Los Angeles Union Station, and transferred to the Coast Starlight to Seattle. Picked up by David Lawson and Steeltael Wolf in Seattle to get Karmin and I, as well as our belongings, to our new home.
It was time to transplant. I had ultimately decided, after much handwringing and angst about having no more opportunity in Orange County, that we needed to relocate. So, after losing a job I had at Fedex Kinko's in 2006, we did just that.
Shortly after this, Karmin left me. But that's another story.
Route Taken: Took shuttle to SEA from my home in Kirkland. Caught a United flight from SEA-SFO-ONT; my mother retrieved me from there, and we took I-10 to her home. Spent time between her house, my home of youth, and my grandparents' house.
With Karmin having left at this point, and with having the extra miles, I decided to take a trip to California for Christmas.
Route taken: I-405 to I-5 south; reverse this to get home
This was an event that I had been told of a number of times. So we went. Denise and Chris were with me on the trip down, but due to employment concerns, we all had to leave a day early. Denise left early with another friend of ours, and Sam, Chris and I left later.
Route taken: I-90
A friend of a roommate's had attempted to transplant out this way, and it ddn't work out so well. I wound up driving her home after a one week visit. The next day I went to work at Speakeasy.
Route taken: I-5. Paused in Portland to wait for a possible carpool mate and to recycle materials.
With this, I had been dating Denise for about a year; regretfully, she could not go. But still, I went.
Route taken: I-405 to I-90 in Seattle; change over to WA 99, take this to bypass traffic going into airport. Continue down I-5 to WA 16, take 16 to 302 and proceed south. Return trip used WA 302 and WA 3 to get to the ferry terminal in Southworth; take ferry to Fauntleroy in West Seattle. Take West SEattle Bridge to I-5, merge to I-90, 405 NB to home
At this point, Denise and I had broken up, and I was battling some depression. The road trip was largely because 1) I needed a new washing machine, and 2) it was a good excuse to get on the road to buy one. It helped.
Route taken: I-5
A repeat of last year's.
Route taken: I405 to Tukwila to retrieve Shels, then 405 to I-90 to Thorp. Reverse trip brought us home.
I needed out of town, and wanted some wine. I knew where I could get some interesting wines. I mention this, and Shels wanted to go. OK, no problem, go and get her. Done.
That trip brought home a pineapple, rhubarb, and a couple of other wines. I think one was an apple wine, and I think that's gone now. I still have a blackberry wine from that trip. Now I want to find a good blueberry wine.
One note for those inclined: these were not wines with added flavoring, these were wines made of those fruits. Or plants, as is the case with rhubarb.
Route taken: ST 535 to CT 116, find my way to Therese's home. Load my gear, find our way to I-5 and drive south. Occasional driver changes ensued. Return trip had I-5 to I-405 to drop me off, before Therese continued home.
In December 2012, my car died, so I was pretty much unable to do anythingn that involved driving long hauls. I had a roommate's car more or less available, but not for this. So I had to skip a year. It was later on that Therese offered to drive me down to Faerieworlds.
This was also the weekend of a partial closure on I-90, so that WSDOT could replace some aging expansion joints proceeding west into Seattle from I-405. We thought it would be a good idea to take I-5 through Seattle.
It wasn't. Everyone else had the same idea. The traffic resembled that which I have experienced in the Los Angeles basin.
We had departed the Wednesday before Faerieworlds, so that I could be there in the morning the next day to help with setup. Therese was allowed in, much to my pleasure, so we were able to cancel the extra night on the hotel room I rented for the purpose.
The return trip was largely uneventful until Therese hit the buzz strip on the highway just south of Kelso. I think she was zonking out, but there's a part of me that thinks that she was at least slightly annoyed by my snoring. =^^=