Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Roxy's Wildest Vacation

Some of my fellow bloggers have been asking me to write about my wildest vacation, maybe even post a little photo action, and now there’s a great reason for Roxy to Travel-and-Tell… Trusted Tours & Attractions is having a contest to win a $150 iTunes gift card! Show me the music, baby!

Now, way back in the Summer of 1992, long before Rex even had the chance to catch my eye, never mind steal my heart, Roxy and Melissa made our first trip ever to the West Coast…from things to do in Los Angeles to things to do in San Francisco, and all the things to do along the way, including a breathtaking drive up the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur, Roxy and Melissa found it all!

I dug deep into the Roxiticus Desperate Memoirs to find old journal entries from Roxy’s Wildest Vacation.

It all started when I flew out ahead of time to attend the Radio & Records Convention in Los Angeles, California.

June 10, 1992 5:40 P.M. Central Time Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport

L.A. bound, with a new notebook and a bag of Pepperidge Farm milk chocolate macadamia cookies in hand. Slept on the plane most of the way here because the man next to me was a chatter and wasn't going to let me get much done. I've forgotten his name already, maybe it was Dave, but he's just further proof that there are plenty of jobs more boring than mine. Accounting & financial systems design. But a really sweet guy, just interested in me as a person to talk to (safe with a wife and daughter at home). Meanwhile my mind wanders, as always, to Johnny MoneyBags. Man of my dreams... woman of his desires.

He called me on Saturday from the airport in Dallas (maybe he even used the same phone I used today... pant pant drool drool)... just to torture me with thoughts of us together. First he wrote me a long letter starting "Dear Roxy, you are the best writer in the world..." Power letters, I call them. Then the phone call. He's been reading a romance novel, Man of My Dreams by Johanna Lindsey. About a beautiful wild redhead who has her heart set on marrying the handsome duke who is hell-bent on foiling her plans, never imagining that the enchanting schemer will turn out to be the only woman he would ever dream of marrying. He ends that plot twists with "Sounds like you and me, Roxy." His head games are unbearable but I want him just the same. In a way, he's right... our relationship reads like a bad romance novel, so far with no happy ending. So we talk about my screenplay and make casual plans to work out together when I'm next in Washington, which I know he will blow off just as casually.

No interesting passengers on my flight to L.A. Well, tomorrow begins the big Shmoozathon, trying not to take rejection personally. What do I have to lose by introducing myself to absolutely everyone at the R&R Convention?? And hitting every beach and bar with Melissa in my hot new outfits! But what of a long-distance relationship that begins in L.A.? I'm pretty firmly planted in New Jersey, but I do have enough frequent flyer miles for a pretty substantial fling.

June 10, 1992 11:00 P.M. Pacific Time

Well, it seems I've found Agent Cooper's dream lodging... a clean, comfortable room, reasonably priced. I never thought I would stay anywhere like this -- the serendipitous Travelodge, down the road from the Century Plaza where the Radio & Records Convention is being held in Century City. Tomorrow awaits me.

June 11, 1992 10:00 A.M. California Haiku

What is R and R?
Quagmire of Debauchery
Host of friends and foe

He stares at her chest
Could this be my lucky day?
Don't hold your breath, pal

June 16, 1992 6:30 A.M.

Sitting on our balcony at the Holiday Inn Bay View on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, looking out at the Bay from about 5 blocks away. I could almost live in L.A. Yesterday we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Zuma Beach, stopping along the way to buy a beach blanket and meeting yet another self-proclaimed "tour guide." Everyone is so friendly, ready to recommend their favorite beaches, bars, tourist attractions and most importantly, star gazing hangouts. "Let me tell you the secret to Los Angeles," and out comes the map. We laughed every time we saw one of those guys selling StarFokker Maps or sightseeing tours of where all the stars live in Malibu and Santa Monica.

"Oh, you're driving up the coast to Frisco? You're going to need a day to stop in Santa Barbara, maybe stay overnight, two days here, a day or two here, don't miss the 17-mile drive..." What they don't understand is that we're doing all of this in a little more than one day! I could come back and spend a year, with the motto, "If it looks like fun, stop and do it!" There is a surplus of attractive beach boys here, with the teenage surfers stripping off their tight little wet suits in a private show that we can enjoy from our beach blanket.

A typical day (or yesterday) in paradise goes like this: The air raid alarm clock in our room goes off at nine o'clock and I'm into the shower to wash off the grime from last night's metal club. I dress in a loud floral print bikini with matching mini skirt and halter; Melissa wears a pink shorts set. We stop at the Bay View Cafe for the breakfast that comes with our bed, all for one low price of $89 per night. Then we drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway, noting the totally excellent juxtaposition of mountains and beaches. Stealing or supplementing Dave's terminology, we shout "tits" or "dick" at the highlights of our trip. I point out Gladstone's 4 Fish on the left as we enter Malibu, and we plan to stop on the way back to sip pina coladas as the sun begins to set.

Continuing north, we find a seedy shack for a cheap Mexican beach blanket and words of wisdom from a self-proclaimed tour guide in a Sex Wax T-shirt. I wonder what sex wax is and what it does for "your stick"... either Johnny MoneyBags or my new Vancouver sex slave Mickey would be interested in the details... but I refrain from asking. Now I'm sorry because I'll never know, unless we pull in on our way up the coast to ask the burning question. With blanket in hand, we pass a broken-armed surfer dude in the parking lot, who stumbles into the liquor store before noon with the doofy look on his face that Melissa likes in her men.

We park by the side of the road near Westward Beach, just a frisbee throw away from Zuma, and walk towards the sand to the sound of admiring car horns. One undesirable middle-ager points like a hunting dog and shares this little gem with me (and my loud floral outfit): "You make me crazy. That's why I'm so....... crazy!"

We stretch out our blanket with a perfect view of the ocean, mountains, and fine young surfer boys with their inviting tans and muscular backs. I love L.A.

Trying to recapture the feeling that made us want to live there, a combination of gorgeous men with long hair and great bodies, warm (but not too warm) weather all year 'round, the juxtaposition of expensive houses in the mountains with private steps down to the beach, the way everyone talks to you, the warmth of the sun on our backs and the healthy glow California is starting to give us, the palm trees, the dramatic inspiration of it all... but would the feeling last beyond vacation?

“Dreams die hard as we watch them erode but we cannot be denied... the fire inside.” – Bob Seger

Since my plane landed at LAX, and with increasing intensity after conversations with each new person we meet, I can't help feeling that I'm missing something, letting my dreams die slowly as I commute into the city every day for a job that I don't care about, instead of risking it all to pursue my writing in a positive environment. Then SLAP! back to reality and I understand that I do have reasons to stay in New Jersey -- friends, family, the stability and steady income that lets me afford expensive vacations -- but it's definitely a case of The Road Not Taken.

I couldn’t find my notes on San Francisco, so that, along with Chicago things to do, will have to wait for another time and another post here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. As it turns out, you guys don’t even have to Travel-and-Tell about your Wildest Vacation like Roxy just did to have a chance of winning a $150 iTunes gift card. Just hit the link in this post to sign up for the Trusted Tours & Attractions eNewsletter and you’ll be entered into the contest. Hurry up, offer ends Saturday, May 31st, 2008.