"Grungefuthock oomfslup flimphlesnook aargh glumf eeklphlurge
("Ape-descendant your face is very strange it must be odd not to
see your own mouth.")
Quote from one of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
aliens that appears in the TV series (Babel Fish part)
STEF AND TIMS BOGUS JOURNEY
(Totally excellent, dudes!)
By Stefan Posthuma
During the month of July 1992, Tim (Moss, a.k.a. Manikin of the
Lost Boys) and I travelled through the southwestern parts of the
United States of America - partly because of some convention I
had to go to but mostly just for fun. It turned out to be a
journey that would give new meaning to the word 'amazing', and
both Tim and myself are not very likely to forget this for the
rest of our lives...
I kept a diary, roughly on a day by day basis and this is the
end result as I read it again and write down all I remember of
this place, a place of wonder, a place of sunshine, a place
Date : 7-7-92
Location: Airplane from Amsterdam Schiphol to New York JFK
My watch indicates two times, the local USA (New York) time on
the large, analog dial and the time back home, a place far away
now, in the little digital readout. In Holland, the evening has
just set in, it's half past seven there. In New York, it is mid-
day, half past one.
Time passes slowly as we chase the sun across the Atlantic. In
fact, I think we're flying above land now, probably Canada for we
passed over a cloudless and breathtaking Greenland a few hours
ago. Lestat the Vampire, the music of the Cure and the Sisters of
Mercy keep my mind occupied as I sit here in this remarkable
little world. Friendly stewardesses busy themselves with cold
drinks and snacks while the TV's attached to the ceiling display
a myriad of images ranging from ABC News to documentaries about
ancient Egypt. We are due to land at JFK airport in about one and
a half hours, I sit back once more, pick up my book and join
Lestat in the land of the Pharaos.
Date : 7-7-92
Location: JFK Airport gate 33
I just cashed a traveller's cheque, and once more I held in my
hand some green dollar bills. I bought myself a Budweiser beer
and am now sitting in a large hall, voices of children and
announcers echo like voices from a dream. If I look out of the
window, I can see the aircraft that will carry me to Salt Lake
City, across the USA. From there on one more flight to San Jose,
Back home it's half past ten, time to sit back, relax and
perhaps have a whisky. Something tells me that I won't be able to
do that for a quite some time.
I am now officially in the US, let the games begin...
Date : 8-7-92, 7:10
Location: San Jose airport Holiday Inn, room 167
Jetlag is a strange thing, I woke up about an hour ago, feeling
wide awake. The whole journey from Oss to this hotel room took
almost 22 hours and I should be exhausted after a mere six hours
Whereas the seat next to me from Amsterdam was unoccupied,
allowing me to sit more comfortably, I had two companions as I
flew across the States to Salt Lake City. Daniel, an American who
was going home after two years in Norway, and Elkzi, a girl from
the eastern part of Berlin who is a figure-skating coach and who
was on her first trip to the USA. She didn't speak English very
well and when she ran into some trouble at Salt Lake City with
her luggage, I actually managed enough German to help her out.
The flight to San Jose was a bit of a haze, I was dozing off
even before the aircraft had finished it's taxi run. Sleep came
and went, leaving me with fleeting images of the dreams that came
to me during those brief moments of real sleep. Sometimes I woke
up, seeing the Californian landscape outlined in thousands of
little lights far below me.
At San Jose airport, I called some hotels and half an hour later
I was in my room, staggering towards my bed.
Today, I have to find the convention centre and see what this
convention is all about. The 'Channel 7 morning news' predicts
hot weather. Yes California, show me what you got.
Date : 9-7-92, 1:20
Location: Hotel room
The first day of the conference was pretty interesting yet I
have the feeling that I haven't been told anything radically
different from what I already know. The convention centre is
huge, and the organisation near perfect. San Jose is a large city
with those typical broad streets lined by stores and motels. This
morning, when I entered the hotel lobby I spotted this young man
reading a convention information booklet very similar, in fact
identical to mine. So I sat down next to him and asked if he was
going to the Informix conference too. He smiled enthusiastically
and told me that he was. Ivo turned out to be from Guatemala, and
we shared a taxi to the convention centre, Ivo told me about his
fellow Guatemalans present at the convention and how he would
introduce me to all of them.
They turned out to be a very diverse and colorful bunch of
people, all very friendly and enthusiastic. One of them, a
beautiful and sensuous girl named Ivette managed to impress me
and leave me a bit speechless with her charms, but I thought
nothing of it at that moment.
We just returned from San Francisco, and this city was indeed a
spectacle to behold. As we drove up highway 101 and crested the
last hill before downtown, the city centre was displayed before
us in all it's evening glory. The skyline outined against the
deep-purple ocean sky, glimpes of the Golden Gate beyond. I held
my breath at that moment, as we drove into the city itself. We
kept following 101 north, until we crossed the fabled Golden Gate
itself. A dense, rolling fog from the ocean covered the great
bridge and when we crossed it for the first time, I felt a sense
of admiration, a sense of joy. A feeling I would have many times
during this vacation...
The fog was even more impressive at the other side of the
bridge. It came rolling in from the ocean and slowly worked its
way up the hills of Golden Gate Park, and rolled down the other
side of these hills, soon to evaporate in the hot summer air
above Sausalito. After visiting this wonderful little town at
the Bay, we returned to San Francisco and drove down Lombard
street, the worldfamous curly little road down a steep hill into
Fisherman's Wharf. A bustling boulevard with many stores and
shops, crowded with tourists and beggars.
After a long drive back (traffic jam) I am now finally in my
hotel. Tomorrow I have to get up at 7:30...
Date : 10-7-92
Location: Hotel room
The last two days have been kind of hazy. I slept very little
and the conference was exhilarating. My little speech went OK,
sometimes my words stumbled a bit due to nervousness but it went
fine in general.
The convention ended at one, so Ivo and I rented a Crysler
Lebaron Convertible and have been driving around the area
extensively. It takes some getting used to again, the American
traffic but in this kind of car I love it. Just press a button
and the top slides down, allowing the sun in and the wind in your
hair. It handles like a dream, now I know what they mean by
'cruising'. We found a huge record store and I bought Tori Amos'
'Crusified' EP. Something I had been looking for for a long time.
Yesterday evening I was at the conference party, which was held
in the open air, amidst the palm trees. There was a good live
band and lots of barbeques and cocktails. Ivette and I had a good
time, this girl is something else allright...
Tomorrow Ivo and myself will go down to Santa Cruz and check out
the beach. Tim is also to arrive tomorrow afternoon in San
Francisco airport. But before I go to bed, I have to wait for
Ivette who will come by to say goodbye. She's going to her
cousin who lives in Walnut Creek, just across the Bay Bridge from
Date : 12-7-92, 10:25
Location: Temple Hotel San Francisco, room 304.
Many things have happened since the last update. Yesterday
morning Ivo and I went to Santa Cruz, to have a look at the
boardwalk there. It was great, almost like a Carnival. I bought a
T-shirt and went for a ride on one of those typical roller-
coasters. Too bad a large bank of fog had decided to settle
itself just above the beach, I would have fancied a swim in the
Pacific. After Santa Cruz, we took route 1 along the coast to San
Francisco. We were very impressed by the rugged coastline,
sometimes it looked like a large hill had been simply cut off to
make way for the ocean. The road winded itself endlessly along
the coast, and sometimes we stopped at some small beach to sit
there for a while and watch the surf and feel the salty air in
We took the 1 across San Francisco and once more I crossed the
Golden Gate bridge. This time it was unobscured by fog so the
camera had some work to do. Finding the airport was simple, and
Tim did actually arrive!
We dropped Ivo off at his hotel in San Jose after we had some
'California Cuisine', big, juicy hamburgers with enormous chunks
of potato which they called fries.
Tim enjoyed himself immensely on the ride to San Francisco,
marvelling at the sights, the American freeways, the large
billboards, the gigantic cars. Once in San Francisco, finding the
hotel was surprisingly easy. The place looks a bit shabby, but
the room is fine.
When Ivette came by last night I set up a meet in a club in
Walnut Creek. It took us a while to find the place but we did in
the end and I am glad we did. Ivette and I soon realized that
there was more going on between us than just friendship and that
night was one I will not forget easily. We were back at the hotel
at about 2:30 and Tim was a bit devastated. After a long flight
from London to San Francisco I dragged him to a nightclub until
late in the morning. I didn't blame him for being very, very
tired. I promised Ivette I would meet her in the airport the next
morning, even if it meant getting up at 7:30. But it was worth
it, she is ever so sweet. I felt sorry whe had to part so soon,
it pained me to see her leave, back to Guatemala, a place so
distant, I didn't really know where it was exactly!
Date : 12-7-92, 13:25
Location: Hotel room
We took the car up to Golden Gate Bridge and boy, did we have a
sight displayed before us when we ventured up the hills of Golden
Gate Park! The splendour of the bridge with San Francisco behind
it is hard to capture in writing and we sure hope that panoramic
camera does what it is supposed to do...
We're now going to get some food here in Chinatown, our hotel is
two blocks away from it. The memories of this morning in the
airport are still occupying my mind. Will I ever see her again?
Date : 13-7-92, 8:15
Location: Hotel room
Yesterday afternoon we spent roaming around Fisherman's Wharf.
This place is consumers heaven, so many stores and food and drink
that it drives you mad. The weather was gorgeous and the first
signs of suntan are visible on our bodies. Also, the first
postcards have been ornamented with my scribblings. Today, we are
planning to go to Height Ashbury and some other downtown shopping
areas. Last night I was so tired that I was fast asleep before
ten. I feel a lot better now.
Yesterday around this time I was in the airport, engaged in
saying goodbye to Ivette. It's a shame we had to part one day
after we found out we liked each other quite a lot...
Date : 15-7-92, 6:00
Location: White Wolf camping site in Yosemite (elev. 8000 feet)
I haven't updated this for a while. Probably because I have been
writing to Ivette too much lately. Our last day in San Francisco
was well-spent, I finally deciced on a pair of black Nike Air
trainers and I also got a pair of Levi's 501 jeans for a price
that is one-third of the one in Holland. The afternoon we spent
in Golden Gate Park and Height-Ashbury. The latter being a
wonderful place full of the most far-out shops and other weird
places. It used to be the hippy-centre of California in the
sixties and the atmosphere is still there. Most of the people on
the streets there seemed to hold on to the sixties like they
We also went to see Lethal Weapon 3, in on the of the most dirty
and shabby cinemas I have ever set foot in. But the film was OK,
great action and humor although the story left much to be
desired. It seems the Lethal Weapon series has turned into a
chain of humor and/or action scenes loosely tied together with a
flimsy story. But it is very enjoyable anyway.
We found a very nice Chinese in (where else) Chinatown and had
rather a copious dinner, that managed to satisfy us immensely.
The next morning we were woken up by a buzzer in our room
indicating a phonecall. Tim went out to answer it, and it slowly
dawned upon my still sleep-infested mind that it couldn't be
anybody else but Ivette, she was the only person in the world
that had the number to my hotel. And it was, she was calling me
from home in Guatemala. After I put the phone down I realized
that maybe this would be more than I though it would be...
Too bad the car is some kind of horrible mint-blue or something
(I have to admit that the color grew on me as the days passed).
But it is a Lebaron Convertible and drives like a dream. Driving
through San Francisco is surprisingly easy, the street system is
very logical and with a map finding your way is no trouble at
all. I am used to the intricate mazes of Amsterdam and this city
is a relief compared to our mediaeval capital that is in some
ways similar to San Francisco, the same friendly atmosphere is
there for sure.
Tim soon learned to appreciate the pleasures of the car and was
driving enthusiastically after almost three years of not handling
a car at all.
Yosemite National Park is totally gorgeous, large mountains with
windy roads and breathtaking views beyond every bend in the road.
We found a campground at White Wolf at 8000 feet and set up the
tent. It was raining by the way, and it continued raining for
most of the night. In fact, it was damn cold and I had a bit of a
After we set up the tent we went for a ride and got pulled over
by Park Rangers. It seemed to them that Tim was swerving over the
road, crossing the white and yellow lines. They wanted to know if
we had been drinking at all. Now I was just having a beer at that
moment, something that turned out to be illegal! No open
containers of alcoholic beverages in the car or something like
that. They were very friendly though, and we got off the hook so
we could laugh about it afterwards.
The weather seems to have cleared up so maybe today will be nice
and warm again and we get to see some big trees!
Date : 15-7-92, 10:15
Location: Traveller's inn, Fresno. Room 242
Today has been like a dream. Yosemite National Park must be one
of the most wonderful places on Earth. Some of the views just
made us sit down and stare in awe. The weather was perfect all
day, and having a convertible in the climate is a true blessing.
Just two days on the road and suntans are already forming on our
skins. After Yosemite we got a bit lost, in fact we ended up on
one of the smallest and windiest roads I had ever been on. It was
scorchingly hot, we had no idea where we were going and the gas
was running out ominously. The map wasn't of much use anymore and
we just had to hope for some kind of signpost soon. The desolate
hills went on forever, the sun parched our bodies and desperation
crept into our minds when we finally came upon a larger road that
took us to a little town that was indeed on the map! Never before
had I been this glad to see a gas station with gas for the car
and cold drinks in it's refigerators. This was our lesson never
to try and follow little white roads on the map, they aren't very
So we ended up in Fresno where we found a real nice place called
The Traveller's Inn. We just saw 'Batman returns' and it is a
fantastic movie. It's gothic art direction and set dressing is a
true masterpiece, the amount of time they must have spent on
building those sets and props must have been amazing.
We are now in our motel room, with a cold sixpack of Budweiser.
Tomorrow another day, more roads lie ahead...
Date : 18-7-92, 8:40
Location: Rummel's Motel, Las Vegas. Room 21
After Fresno we headed for King's Canyon and Sequoia National
Park. The first was rather stunning, enormous cliffs and gigantic
rock formations sometimes rising thousands of feet into the air.
Another astounding drive this was, and the weather was again
majestic, incredible blue skies with a little fluffy cloud now
and then lazily drifting across.
Sequoia was beautiful too, a place filled with enormous
redwoods, little roads through deep forests and mountains. Never
before have I seen so many trees and mountain views. In the
afternoon we found a campsite at Buckeye Flats, next to a fast
flowing river. It was a great place, the sense of nature was
incredible here. In the evening we attempted a campfire,
fighting off the blood thirsty insects that were attraced by our
attempts to make some light. At a certain point, our evening
drowsiness was disturbed by some tumult further in the camp,
people were running around with massive torchlights, and
something was going on. I didn't realize it was a bear until I
saw it's silhouette in the light of one of the torches, it
trotted off into the woods after no doubt investigating someone's
food supply or tent. Wow, a bear. I mean a Bear. You know, these
huge hairy things with teeth and claws that you see behind steel
bars in zoos.
After we finally calmed down a bit, the arrival of a Park
Ranger, the subsequent removal of an enormous rattlesnake from
someone's campsite by the same Ranger managed to stir us once
more. So we are wildernis camping. Better zip up that tent.
The next morning we decided to go all the way and washed
ourselves in the icy waters of the river, and took off for Las
Soon, we were out in the desert and the temperature rose to
about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, some 40 Celcius. It was hot, it was
amazingly hot. Hotter that hot, and just very, very hot. It was
also dry by the way. I'm from Holland, a small, green and water-
infested counry. Dig a hole two feet deep and water will greet
you. Deserts were an unknown fenomena to me until yesterday. The
sheer immensity, and desolate dryness impressed me utterly. By
the time we got to Vegas it was 110 and all we could do was lie
in the motel pool and think of icecubes. We wanted to go out that
night to check out some casinos but invading sleep and high
temperatures prevented this. We were both asleep by 10, the airco
blazing. I managed to call Ivette that night so I slept well...
So now we are ready to go into Utah and see what those national
parks have to offer us.
Date : 18-7-92, 23:50
Location: Thrifty motel, Cedar City. Room 215
After fruitlessly driving around Vegas for a while we decided we
didn't quite like the place and split. We headed for St. George
and had a copious Pizza Hut lunch over there. After St. George we
drove into Zion National Park and got our first impression of
colorful and impressive rock formations. The highlight of this
day was a walk down Zion canyon, wading through the river. It
was truly fantastic, cliffs rising up on both sides, the water
flowing around our legs. At a certain moment the canyon became
narrow enough for the water to become deeper very rapidly. If it
wasn't for cameras and wallets I certainly would have gone for a
We were planning on camping out, but all campsites in the area
were full so we had no choice as to go to Cedar City, being lazy
and watching Point Break on HBO. This morning wasn't my lucky
morning. I screwed up some of the photos of the first roll of
film by incorrectly rewinding it and I lost my sheet with all the
postcard addresses on it. So now I have a pile of postcards and
nobody to send them to. Wonderful.
Date : 19-7-92, 23:00
We are at the "Thousand Lakes" campsite between Torrey and
Bicknell in Utah. It's a perfect place, with excellent
convienences, fantastic surroundings and a night full of stars
that is utterly breathtaking. Never before have I seen so many
of them, including the swirl of the Milky Way. I just lay there
on my back in the soft grass, staring upwards at the wonderful
spectacle of the Universe. Describing the scenery here is a bit
hard, it's like being on the moon or on mars. The rocks and
canyons go on for ever and the roads take you from one amazing
view to another.
Bryce Canyon was very impressive, yet I believe that we are
experiencing some sort of weird senses overload for we took it
well, compared to the total stupors Yosemite inflicted on us from
time to time. But this whole place is so utterly amazing. You
just have to see it to know what I mean.
Right, time to slip inside my sleeping bag and rest.
Date : 21-7-92, 20:25
Location: Lake Powell village motel, room 18.
Yesterday is kind of a blur. We went to Capitol Reef national
park which was (of course) amazing. Describing it would mean
using the same superlatives again, so let's not.
After Capitol Reef we got into a bit of trouble when Tim took
the car beyond it's limits on a little road that had just been
gravelled over. A terrifying frenzy of yelling and cursing in a
car that was totally out of control followed, and we ended up at
an insane angle totally stuck in the rocky shoulder of the road.
After managing to get out of the car I scanned the skies for any
signs of Guardian Angels or other Divine Beings that were
hovering somewhere, because the amount of luck we had at that
moment was almost supernatural. It had only taken a cliff at the
side of the road (they were there for about 75% of the time), a
steeper shoulder, another car coming from the other side, a big
rock (thousands of those around), a large tree or anything else
and we would have ended up looking very bruised, very dead or
It did take a four-wheel driven, hundreds of horsepower beast of
a truck to pull us out of there and the only thing that was
damaged was the left front tire which we had fixed for seven
We stayed in an RV park/campsite in Boab, Utah. It was allright,
but the one we had before was better.
Today we did Arches National Park and it was (yes, again) very
impressive. It's getting ridiculous, this country. The drive down
to Arizona took us through Monument Valley, another great piece
of scenery. We planned on staying in Page but it was packed,
expensive and horrible. So we retreated to a motel in Bigwater, a
shithole just across the Utah border. There was no phone in this
motel (yes, it was that kind of place) but I found a phone a few
minutes away in the middle of the desert. So I was standing there
in the evening gloom, the sun blazing a deep red at the horizon,
talking to Ivette with Nothing all around me. Quite an
The timezones by the way, confuse us. It's an hour earlier here,
we're on Pacific time again. We thought that we were on mountain
time, one hour before California. But for some reason, it isn't.
Later we found out that it has something to do with the fact that
Arizona has no daylight savings time. So technically, we're in
the same time zone as Utah, but crossing state borders still
means that the time changes. Utterly confusing, I can tell you.
Tomorrow it's Grand Canyon time, and after that...we'll see...
Date : 23-7-92, 8:45 (or 9:45?)
Location: Tent, Jacob Lake campgound.
The Grand Canyon surely is as grand as it is supposed to be and
a lot grander still. The view from Bright Angel point at the
North Rim was fantastic. The sheer immensity of it all is a kind
of a belittling experience. We sat on a big rock for almost an
hour, 8000 feet in the air, staring at the Big Hole and writing
postcards and letters. This is something that I will never
forget, seeing the Grand Canyon displayed before you in dazzling
sunshine, the fresh wind blowing in your face, it's something
everybody should experience once in their lives.
We found a campsite in the morning at Jacob Lake, some 40 miles
from the North Rim. Quite a good place and we had some
interesting neighbours, two Canadian girls named Tara and Lori.
We built a campfire, got some beers and crisps and chatted all
night. At a certain point, Lori locked the keys of the car in the
trunk and right now they are still trying to open it. The
situation is a bit desperate, they have no money and no car and
we are in the middle of nowhere. Some guy is now trying to break
the lock of the trunk by means of a screwdriver and a hammer. I
hope for their sake that this works. We'll go to the South Rim
today after Tara and Lori have been helped out. They were a
remarkable pair, on the road through the States for three months
already. After writing down my address in Tara's "Places where I
can stay for free" book and having her spell the word "Schmeeb",
which means "cigarette" in Tara and Lori language, we were on our
way once more. The lock operation worked and they could even
still lock their trunk.
Date : 24-7-92, 9:04
Location: Yuma. Motel 6, room 203
South Rim was even more impressive than the North Rim. A fairly
long drive along the rim had a couple of viewpoints that were
quite amazing. The panoramic camera has been exhausted and the
regular one had some work to do as well. But it has to be said
that the South Rim is more crowded, the North Rim is a bit more
tranquil and more 'authentic'.
So after saying goodbye to one of the most impressive places on
Earth I have seen sofar, we went down to Flagstaff and found a
reasonable motel, right off the old Route 66 and next to the
Santa Fe train tracks. A short food quest brought us to a place
called The Sizzler where we had the most amazing dinner for an
even more amazing price. Steak and salmon, massive all you can
eat salads from the most extensive salad bar I've ever seen and
free refill Cokes for 13 dollars. Incredible.
Today was a driving day, down from Flagstaff to Yuma, 20 miles
from the Mexican border. Yuma is a neat place, we drove around a
bit and will do so again tomorrow morning and do some shopping.
After that, it's San Diego time.
Date : 26-7-92, 9:20
Location: San Diego. Motel 6, room 104
This place is big, crowded and confusing. Highways everywhere,
mad traffic, insane junctions and two bewildered tourists in a
car who have absolutely no idea where they are going or how they
got to the place where they are now. We found this motel on "The
Hotel Ring", something I remembered from the Motel 6 booklet.
It's identical to the one in Yuma. We drove around San Diego a
bit, we found Sea World (didn't go there, it looked a bit too
packed) and downtown but we never really got to having a good
look at things. We found a parking place somewhere along a wharf,
but there wasn't all that much there except for a giant
cruiseship and a seafood bar where we had some lunch. We did find
some nice T-shirts though, three for twenty bucks. We decided to
head north and find a more relaxed place somewhere along the
The strange thing is, this is the southmost place either of us
has ever been and it isn't even sunny! A massive deck of clouds
is obscuring any sun, what a shame. Last night I actually drove
to another hotel on the Ring where they had a creditcard phone so
I could talk some more to a certain girl in Guatemala...
Date : 28-7-92, 15:05
Location: Beach near Arroyo Grande
After we left San Diego, we ended up in a place called
'Oceanside'. A small beach town, and we found ourselves another
Motel 6 there, again identical to the ones we'd been in before.
We spent the afternoon on the beach, Tim getting even more
sunburned than he already was. It was very enjoyable, standing in
the Pacific as some very big waves crashed on me, completely
wiping me off my feet and carrying me along the sandy beach. I
had a great time, the sun was out and the beach life is very
It was a sunday and the place was a bit dead at night. Tim was
nursing his sunburned body by lying prostrate on his bed, but I
was restless and took the car for a long ride in the area. There
was some cruising going on along the boulevard, some of the cars
had some interesting low-ride custom jobs done to them. Also,
some of the boomboxes in these cars are pretty amazing. You can
feel the subsonic basses when the car is a few blocks away. I
felt a bit pathetic with my little radio in the car, but still a
big convertible like this still manages to attract some
The next day brought us to L.A. After San Diego, I knew what to
expect and I was right. A maze of freeways, large streets and
traffic everywhere. The smog was terrible, the lush hills
shrouded in a sickening yellow haze. We did find Universal
Studios after a while, and however much I despise theme parks
crammed full with tourists, I found it very interesting. The
Backdraft thing is most impressive, with some very spectacular
pyrotechnics. No cheap illusion, but real and hot fires and
blazing explosions. It even managed to stir my nerves a bit when
something exploded under us and the catwalk we were standing on
dropped an inch or two. Great stuff! The tramride around the
sound stages and outdoor sets was good too, we saw the famous
Jaws come out of the water, drove across the collapsing bridge,
were in the middle of an earthquake complete with collapsing
subway stations and fires and stuff. The E.T. set was most
amusing. It's a journey through the world of E.T., full of his
fellow creatures, strange plants, all animated puppets and stuff
like that. When we entered it, we had to give our names and at
the exit of the compound was E.T. himself saying goodbye to you,
"Goodbye Stefan", it uttered.
It was a long ride from L.A. to Arroyo Grande, home of Paul
Steffen from the TPPI, one of the very few American ST demo
crews. We found his house, had some pizza, watched some demos and
slept on his mammoth sofa. We are now sitting on the beach,
watching the endless fog drift in from the Ocean. This means no
sun, and so much wanted to put that nice finishing touch to my
We shall head furhter north tomorrow...
Date : 30-7-92, 22:00
Location: Motel 6, San Jose room 447.
This is it. Game over. I'm in bed at the moment, tomorrow it's
rise at five to go to the airport.
The last night in Arroyo Grande was amusing. One of Paul's
friends took us to a place called 'San Louis Obispo'. It's a nice
little town a bit north from Arroyo Grande and we had some great
Mexican food there. Margaritas from a beer mug, way to go!
After a very satisfying dinner we went to a little alley
nicknamed 'Bubblegum Alley'. You probably guess what it is, an
alley some six foot wide and some 100 feet long completely
covered in bubble gum. Kids of all ages from San Louis come there
to get rid of there bubblegum and over the years the walls have
been covered in a thick layer of the stuff. Call it disgusting
but it is so typically American, you can't believe it when you
see it for the first time.
After this we went to a place called 'The Madonna Inn', built by
an excentric rich American. It's a place of almost absurd
tackyness, the highlight of which must be in the men's room, you
pee into a waterfall in a cave!
The next morning we drove up route 1, along the coast. This was
a very impressive one, the rugged coastline between Cayucos and
Monterey is very beautiful. The crystal blue Pacific ocean
crashing on those immense rocks jutting out from the hills and
mountains is something else. Sometimes drifts of fog would cling
to the hills and make things even more impressive. There were
several viewpoints, one of which is called 'Rocky Point' (how
aptly named) near Big Sur where we stopped for a while and went
for a climb. It was a perfect day, the sun was out (it turned out
that the lack of sun at Arroyo Grande was caused by large banks
of fog coming in from the ocean. Another 10 minutes driving
across the coast would have brought us clear skies again) and
the ocean breeze made sure we weren't too hot. It took all
morning, this drive and I treasure it as the last great
countryside we saw on this vacation.
We spent the afternoon in Santa Cruz, hanging out on the
boardwalk and the beach. The eternal banks of fog were here too,
but they seemed to be looming a few miles from the coast,
allowing nice sunshine in Santa Cruz. Peculiar, most peculiar
this Californian fog.
In the evening we found ourselves another Motel 6 somewhere in
San Jose and headed out for a Sizzler we saw earlier in downtown.
After some more great food we randomly entered town, hoping to
find some nice bar or something to spend the evening. We were
literally picked off the street by two very friendly and
enthusiastic Americans, Brad and Sam. They turned out to be
absolutely mad, but in a friendly sort of way and we had some
good fun going to some places in San Jose and talking to the
girls that we were dragged to by our hyperactive friends.
Today we spent around San Jose, in a mall, a museum, a movie
(Patriot Games, not too bad) and that kind of stuff. Food at the
Sizzler again, why not. And now it's over, finito. What a
holiday, I've seen more stuff than I ever did before, sunshine,
heat, drought, lots of driving, redwoods, beaches, bears,
canyons, deserts, the USA certainly has it's good things for us.
A time I will not forget soon....
It's a week now since I came home. The flight back wasn't very
pleasant. Hours of delays and I felt sick for most of the time,
the exhaustion of the holiday wrecking my system. Back home,
jetlag did it's thing and after a 23 hour trip which expanded
into a 35 hour stretch of no sleep, I slept for about 5 hours and
was wide awake again at five the next morning. But I slowly
adjusted and I have already worked for a week again. Photos have
been developed, stories have been told dozens of times and
suntans are starting to fade already. This vacation is in the
past now, but memories are still bright. Also, my relation with
Ivette is still alive and kicking, letters are travelling back
and forth in the multitudes. Chances are very high that I will
see her again in Guatemala around the end of this year...
If you are considering a holiday in California and surroundings,
stop considering and do it. You will never forget it.
It's been almost four months now. Memories have faded and
blended but they are still sweet. Some things are very clear
still, my time with Ivette (the flight has been booked, three
weeks in December/January!), the Grand Canyon, the deserts, the
ocean. I'm glad I wrote this, reading it brings back all those
times. Like I said before, if you ever get the chance to do this,
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