No pictures for this entry because my camera was packed away and I couldn’t reach it. So use your ~*imagination*~. This is about the 379 mile trip up from Orange County to San Jose while crammed into the backseat with no leg room for five hours.
Day 1 of Fanime is always hectic. For those driving up from so-Cal, there’s packing to be done and costumes that “need the finishing tweaks” which takes hours instead of minutes. But it’s about what happens after burning the midnight oil to get everything done that is the tricky part.
It’s about playing Tetris with luggage and props to get everything in the car to actually head up to the far away destination. I just follow four simple rules that helped me for any given trip. Even when slipping across the Polish border (I’ve done this before. I’m not kidding.)
1. Always pack thoughtfully ahead of time.
2. Be mindful of the space. (see rule 1)
3. Double-triple-quadruple check.
4. Keep a positive attitude with your pals!
Luckily I didn’t have to worry about shoving all my crap in the car because my guy friend Robert insisted on doing that while we were taking care of everything else. I took the opportunity to go home to â€œsleepâ€ for an hour and we were on the road by 5am, aiming to get to San Jose in six hours or less. It was a four-man trip (three woman – one man trip?) with me and my friends Kelly, Lauren, and Robert.
I found myself wedged into the backseat, literally unable to move since every spare nook and cranky was filled with something, be it a large prop sword and a spiked bat or bags of clothes or my sewing machine. But I am well trained to squeeze into small spaces due to constant 14-hour coach flights to Taiwan and my dad’s penchant to drive through entire countries at a time when I was younger.
We hit a bump once we reached Anaheim: one of us forgot our phones so we had to backtrack and pray that we didn’t hit the LA morning rush. Then it was full speed to San Jose! Literally. With Robert behind the wheel, we were going at least 90 most of the way. I was too freaked out to go to sleep for a good two hours because the winds outside of LA are brutal and they kept pushing the car sideways.
We ate breakfast at Harris Ranch at the “midway point”of Coalinga.
Itâ€™s a place well known for their steak but I normally donâ€™t eat heavy food in the morning if I eat anything for breakfast so I just got waffles. They were gosh-darn good!
I’ve had quite a few things on the menu from steaks to salads and I’ve got to say that it’s a good rest point if you find yourself having to make the long drive from one end of California to the other. I didn’t know this until now but apparently In-N-Out uses their beef for their burgers.
We switched drivers from Robert to Kelly and Robert kept pushing ALL THE STUFF onto my side of the car when he slept. Now I really couldnâ€™t move and I had to hold up the large props so they didn’t fall over.
We also forgot about the cows in the feedlot by the ranch so we were treated to the ripe and pungent smell of cow manure. Heavenly.
Special rule 5. Switch your AC to circulate BEFORE you spot the cows.
I think I passed out after that because I woke up to the smell of Gilroy‘s garlic. The stuff grows everywhere in this section right before San Jose and the smell gets pretty strong by the afternoon. I’ve smelled it slightly the first time up and 1) I have a horrible sense of smell and 2) it was at night. Yup, it’s strong. The place could kill vampires in two seconds flat but it smells very yummy to me. If we had room in the car, I would have wanted us to stop there to get fresh fruits and veggies at one of the fruit stands. And garlic ice cream! OM NOM NOM.
I think we actually made it to our hotel before noon! Cue dumping everything inside and doing a quick change of clothes. I’m not even sure why I changed because I was already dressed as Kuroha but I changed anyways!
Then it was off to register for Fanime 2010 in San Jose.