Saturday, I flew to Santa Barbara to attend my cousin's wedding in San Luis Obispo. Initially, I was on the fence with whether or not I wanted to go. I had bought tickets to see my dad in Kansas and I have the big 1/2 Marathon coming up in a few weeks. Flying to Santa Barbara seemed unlikely due to previous planned travel.
But, my aunt e-mailed me and asked me I would be attending the wedding.
I thought about it and knew that if I didn't go, there would be no other family from his mom's side of the family. And, it was California...how could I say no to a trip to Cali? Wine country, olives, sunshine...it seemed like a no-brainer.
Plus, I had seen Jason three times in the last 10 years. I saw him a few times while visiting a friend that lived in Santa Barbara. And, I took a road trip of the western states and spent the night at his house with his brother, Scott, and Scott's wife, Kelly. We had dinner at the brewery and drinks at the James Joyce.
I knew him. I wanted to support him and be part of the celebration.
So, I closed Friday night. I rechecked my bags, made sure that I had my tickets and set my alarm. I was concerned that I would be sleep deprived but I was excited about my trip to the Central Coast.
I drove to SLO. I had a few hours to kill before going to the wedding. I drove around the college town. I love college towns--the energy of them. They are filled with idealism, possibility, hope. I wanted more time to check it out but wanted to arrive, promptly, at 3 pm.
The wedding took place at Tiber Canyon Ranch. A beautiful venue. Exceptional, really. Wine was available the entire event. I was in heaven, but trying to be smart. The road to Tiber Canyon Ranch was windy and unlit. I did not look forward to the drive back to the hotel.
The ceremony was short (thank god) and afterwards, photos were taken with family and people mingled. Hors doerves were passed and tables were set up with multiple olive oils to sample. In all honesty, I was enjoying myself. I spoke to my aunt, my cousin and met other guests and the staff at the wedding. I used to cater and so I was interested in how this company worked.
Eventually, Kelly, Scott's wife, told me that I should take the bus with the other guests to SLO and continue to drink with them. She even encouraged me to ask my aunt for a ride back to the ranch in the morning. I concurred. And, it enabled me more one on one time with my aunt. Breakfast was arranged and I had a way home safely. I knew that I wanted to continue to drink wine and not be concerned with my drive home.
We convinced the driver to drop us off in downtown SLO. I was grateful since I knew that it was near my hotel. We went to some club where they had bottle service. I think there were 15 of us that continued the wedding party. I danced. And danced and danced. It was great.
At this point, I was drinking vodka. I like vodka--always have. I have calmed down on my consumption since vodka, to me, is like tequila for most people. It makes me crazy! I drink wine now. Vodka is a rarity in my diet.
Saturday night, it was the only option since I was with the group. I could tell that I was reaching my limit and so I convinced one of Scott's friends to call me a cab. I waited outside for the cab. I waited and waited and waited.
Irritated, I decided to start walking. I had to be close to my hotel. I had driven around San Luis Obispo and figured that I was close to my bed.
I started walking and sensed someone behind me. I look up and there is this solitary guy walking my way. Inebriated, irrational and full of crime tv shows--CSI, Law & Order, The Wire--I run into a 7/11 and ask the clerk to call a cab for me.
She dials the number, waits for a split second and hangs up. I asked her to call again and she smarted off to me that I could call with her phone.
The cab doesn't answer and instead of purchasing the necessary Gatorade for morning relief, I storm out of the store.
I know. I was short-sighted on my decision to not wait for the cab. But, I knew that I needed to leave. It was in my best interest to go to the hotel and not drink any more vodka or wine. I was exhausted due to lack of sleep, flying and then the wedding.
I made it back to the hotel--safe--no encounters with random scary men. I watch too much tv....even Nip/Tuck has episodes that create fear in my mind when traveling, alone. Seriously. When I saw that guy, I freaked out, a little. I had this need to be in a cab.
I walk home, in Denver, but it is my home and I feel comfortable, here.
In SLO, inspite of the fact that I had driven around the town, I still felt extremely uncomfortable with my surroundings. I had no concept of direction. I had a general sense that I was heading the right way, but I could have easily gotten detoured.
Nevertheless, I arrived, safe at the hotel. I woke up, early, Sunday morning, wishing that I had Gatorade......