Monday, July 17, 2006
Road Trip Wedding Weekend
We took our daughter on her first real road trip to San Francisco (technically Pal Alto, but it’s all the same to a SoCal people) over the weekend for a good friends wedding. We decided against the plane ride just because a summer road trip just sounded very “Americana”…you know, hook up the iPod and play really weird music, diner food, stop at some weird creepy truck stop in a place called Kettleman and some hippy walks up to you asking for “spare change” for pot (I mean “gas”). Yeah, it seemed nice in theory until we were actually driving and living it. We may just do the 45 minutes plane ride and ditch the 4 1/2 hour drive next time.
Our daughter did pretty well in the car; we thought she would sleep more, but staring at central California off the 5-freeway was more interesting (not sure why?) If you’ve ever driven the 5 through central California, there’s really nothing to see except farms, cows, and an occasional signs for Fresh Frozen Pies. The drive up the 101 is much more exciting –goes past the ocean a few times and also through “Little House on the Prairie/Bonanza” looking countryside --but the trip takes twice as long.
Palo Alto is a nice old country-looking place; this is only my 2nd real trip to the area, so that makes me an expert on the region now (well no, not really - 1 more trip though…). The place is “in the middle” of Silicon Valley, so you pass places like Cupertino (where Apple/Mac lives), and Yahoo!, Ebay, Paypal, and the hot shot places on the way up. So now a 2 bedroom, 1 bath 800 square foot house costs over a million dollars (not pesos, but hard American cash). So while that Google engineer might be making $135,000/year, he’s pretty much eating Top Ramen noodles from Costco, living with 4 roommates, in a 1-bedroom apartment near Stanford University. Poor guy, how can he possible survive!
My wife and I had fun looking at the home “luxury collection” magazine in our hotel room. Living in L.A. you get this sense that nothing can be more expensive, then you discover “the bay area”. Houses in the magazine started at 8 million and then capped at 19. These weren’t on a Beverly Hills, Palisades, Malibu, scale either. I'm convinced everybody in Palo Alto sells drugs, on the side, just to "make ends meet".
Our friend, Picalo, (not her real name, but it should be) had a dazzling wedding at some winery (that I forgot the name of already…Thomas something) high in the mountains of Woodside overlooking the entire South Bay. She moved up to S.F. about 4 years ago to work for some big clothing design firm in the city (She “did” Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s clothes before the chains dropped them…and she has some pretty good stories on “the monkey babies”…) After years and years of bad guys, she finally met “the one” and he couldn’t be more perfect for her. She’s been planning this wedding her whole life – and the entire wedding looked it. Very beautiful, and so much fun that it went by really fast. The best part was sitting at “that table” way back in the corner, you know the one that’s so loud that it should have it’s own zip code. Or maybe be moved closer to the kitchen (or in this case parking lot). We sat on our own island with all the other broken toys and loved it! My wife and I, and our circle friends are not stuffy people (we’re all artists and creatives for God sake! What do you expect?). But if our friend, bride Picalo, were sitting at a regular table, it more than likely would have been ours. All in all, we had a great time. Until we had to drive back down the 5-freeway again…