May 23, 2005

feeling guilty

The weekend was full of ups and downs, fun and mini-depression. Friday night started it off well - straightened my room up a little, did some laundry, and watched "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz" on television. Hot.

Saturday morning I woke early to be the first MINI at Steve's Auto Clinic. He bent the warped lower plastic bumper/lip-thingee into place, removed the bent and broken lower mesh grill, and revealed that my condenser had suffered enough to cause it to curve inward. My air conditioning is functional, and that's good, but I don't like the idea of hedging my bets.

The core support system which holds the condenser and radiator in place also broke on the right (erm, driver's) side. One good bump and I suppose the whole thing could drop.

Steve called the dealer for prices for replacement parts - and it was about $1200, not including tax. Add labor to that and I'm looking at over $1500 for repairs. Eek.

I had put out the call for help, and verified that, because the tire tread had been launched, was moving - airbourne, if you will - it should be covered under the comprehensive side of my insurance. In my particular policy, I still have a $500 deductible for comprehensive, at least it shouldn't count against me. My broker verified this and gave me the claims number to call.

I tried holding for awhile this morning, but couldn't deal. It's just too intimidating, and I wasn't feeling like recounting the details again. It's very nerve-wracking - I guess because it's my car, everything new is a bit scary.

ANYhow, after Steve's Auto Clinic, I drove home and sat down to do some gaming ("Medal of Honor") until Erik arrived. We hung out all day and went and saw Star Wars 3 that evening. Although I wasn't nearly as excited about the film's release as was every freaking male person I know, I still had a good time.

Sunday morning we had a late breakfast at Du-Par's in Thousand Oaks, and then drove north - thinking we'd hit Jalama Beach, maybe get a burrito at Freebirds in SB. We hit Santa Barbara pretty quick and then decided to take the 154, through Solvang, then take the Santa Rosa Road to Highway 1, and then get to Jalama Beach.

On the 154, we pulled off onto the Painted Cave Road - a longish, seriously windy, seriously narrow and seriously treacherous road. People actually resides up near the top. It was so high up. We couldn't figure out what the attraction was, until having turned around and heading back, we saw a small little stop - some Chumash Cave with petroglyphs, I guess.

We didn't stop, however, because the idea of going up all those steps just to look in a scary cave didn't sound appealing to me at that moment. We got back down to the 154 and turned inland toward the Santa Ynez Valley. By the time we got into Solvang, we were both a little nutty from the heat (100 degrees - in Solvang!!), and Erik was further nutty from both illness and lack of caffeine.

We ended up stopping at a gas station in Buellton to stock up on Sobe, Amp, and Starbucks bottled frappuccinos. We then hopped on the 101, hopped right OFF the 101, and traversed the gorgeous Santa Rosa Road. This wasn't the first time I had been on this road. The first time, I was, again a passenger in Erik's MINI, but also, we were kept at a snail's-pace by a hundreds of bicyclists along the entire stretch of the road.

This time, there was no such slowdown and I was treated to one of the greatest small little drives of my life. So smooth, so pretty, so relaxed. At the end of the line was Highway 1, and Erik shot out onto it, and a few miles later, hopped on the road to Jalama Beach.

Jalama Beach was crazy. A 14-mile windy road takes you there, and when we got there, the wind was racing across the beach at high velocity, creating waves of sand moving southbound at our feet, blowing into our eyes, ears - everything. We couldn't stay long, as just walking in the high wind was exhausting.

We returned to the car, yeah, exhausted. Erik was coughing a lot. He'd been sick all weekend, unfortunately. I feel so guilty, now, taking him out into the world on Sunday, because by the time we got back to my place at around 7:30pm (quickly: horrendous traffic through Santa Barbara - while having to pee like crazy, no Freebirds :( , dinner in Oxnard - at the crappiest McDonald's EVER), he sounded just miserable. But he was a trooper - he kept me smiling the entire time.

The weekend came to a close as I drifted off to sleep shortly after 10 o'clock.

posted by julie at May 23, 2005 10:27 AM