I have come to realize that one of two things is an absolute fact:
A) The traffic gods hate us.
B) The traffic gods hate California.
Either way, we are not getting much help from them, which made today a little rough.
We left Sacramento around 8:45. I decided that since I was very tense yesturday, I would be chill today and not become a traffic nazi. We had 2 1/2 hours to make an hour and a half drive, and ended up half an hour late to our Oakland signing which was only an hour long. The final 10 miles took nearly an hour. Argh!! John and Marilyn were wonderful to us, and so understanding. They have a very cute store and we got to chat with some customers and get to know them and sign a bunch of books. Certainly not a wasted trip on our part, but we hate letting them down. AND because we had to get to Bakersfield by 4:00 we couldn't stay longer, which was equally aggravating.
I realized last week that the drive from Oakland to Bakersfield was going to be an issue. We had only given ourselves 4 hours to make the drive--which, according to our preliminary mapquest was plenty of time. When we did the detailed maps, however, we realized the drive was 4 1/2 hours. So we flew out of the Oakland signing, grabbed some almonds and cookies from our snack pack and headed south on the 5. We did pretty good until the low fuel light went on, which meant we had to stop for gas--and the pump didn't give us a receipt (we need all our reciepts in order to get reimbursed) so I had to stand in line behind 10 truckers only to find that not a single employee could figure out how to print a receipt. I asked for a hand written one and they said they couldn't do that because they couldn't verify the amount. It was now 3:45 and we had 20 miles to get to Bakersfield. I had no choice but to leave in a huff. It cost us a precious 10 minutes, which made us 20 minutes late. But...awaiting us at Beehive Books in Bakersfield was this:
I know! And just in case you missed the details, Vicki (the store owner) had made a lemon tart, English trifle, and a chocolate trifle. Not to mention 'rabbit food' and sandwiches. It was as good as it looked and Julie and I both snarfed--cookies and nuts are not a good substitute for a meal, but Vicki took good care of us. (I don't know why I look like I just swallowed a bug in this picture, I didn't) We got to meet a writer/reader and hear about her story, which is fabulous, we got to visit with Vicki and enjoy her cute store. She really is an amazing woman, with so much enthusiasm and energy. It's so satisfying how no matter where we go, we find ourselves among freinds. Both Seagull and Beehive Books were so gracious today, despite our tardiness.
After the Bakersfield signing, we headed for LA where we are staying tonight with fellow author Victoria Gunther. She has written a book called Girl in a Whirl and will be traveling with us to the Ensign Book stores tomorrow. She was wonderful to offer us a place to stay tonight, so after three more hours of driving we arrived at her house and are now settling in for the night.
We drove for ten hours today and we are very, very tired. We determined that it was a blessing we didn't have evening signings this week. I don't know how we would have done it. Next week we have a little more wiggle room and so I'm glad the presentations are then, not now.
Julie is already asleep, the Gunther house is getting quiet and I need to get to bed as well. Tommorrow we will be at three of the Ensign Book stores in the greater LA area. Go to my website for details www.josiskilpack.com
Topics discussed today: foster care, grain silos, pedicures, girl scout cookies, temple work and farting.