We've been home for several days now and yesterday I was actually awake most of the day, except for falling asleep during a Clint Eastwood movie and dreaming I was his daughter and needed to get a flashlight from him so I could cross a body of water and win $1 million. I couldn't even watch the end of the movie because the DVD stuck and I had to send it back to Netflix.
But anyway, I decided that I was sufficiently recovered that I could take the day to drive down to my mother's, have lunch, and tell her about our trip. It was a lovely day when I started out. The weather report earlier had shown a bit of rain traveling across the state, but nothing major.
So much for weather reporting. I drove into three HUMONGOUS squalls where the rain was so heavy that I could not see the road in front of me. There was lightning and thunder and one was so bad that I got off at the next offramp and just sat there and waited for it to pass (it took about 5-10 minutes for each squall to pass through).
When I got to my mother's house, she was surprised because they had only had sprinkles there. Guess it built in intensity as it moved east!
We had a very nice visit. I told her all about China, gave her the gifts I'd bought for her, modeled my new jacket (which she loved), and we had lunch.
After lunch, I showed her a slide show I'd put together for her. Only about 150 pictures out of the hundreds I took, but I knew that she would be interested in only the VERY highlights. She was impressed with the Terracotta Warriors and I'm sorry I didn't include more of them in the show.
By 2 p.m., I had begun to realize I was going to either have to leave to drive home or take a nap before I left. The problem with taking a nap was that by the time I woke up, I would be right smack in the middle of rush hour, which I want to avoid at all costs (though somehow "rush hour" doesn't seem nearly as bad as it did before we went to China!)
So by 2:30, I was in the car, had my audio book going and I was getting on the road. Midway across the "you can't turn around or get off here" highway 37, which connects Highway 101 with I-80 I realized that I desperately needed something to help me stay awake,
On that drive, I know where all the fast food joints are and I decided to stop at McDonald's in Vallejo, but I still needed to take a break before that, so pulled off at a marina where I saw this sign...
There's got to be a story behind that. How do you lose a boat? You notice there is no description whatsoever. Maybe finding lost boats is a common occurrence among boat people. I don't know.
That stop perked me up a bit and I was able to continue on to McDonald's to get my sure-fire picker-upper, an Iced Mocha. They asked if I wanted chocolate or caramel...well, "mocha" kinda means chocolate and coffee. I like the iced mocha, which almost always wakes me up because you get the caffeine and the sugar and that dollop of whipped cream on top.
Only this was the worst iced mocha ever. Though I had specified chocolate, they put an anemic drizzle of caramel on the top (and no chocolate IN the coffee, so it just tasted like unsweetened iced coffee--and weak coffee at that) and then instead of the whipped cream dome that they should use, they jammed down a flat lid on top of it, smashing what little whipped cream they had squirted on there. If I'd been macho, I'd have gone back and insisted they do it again, but I just meekly took what I had been given and drove on, though without the sugar (this is the only time I take sugar in my coffee), it didn't give me the jolt I was looking for.
So by the time I was about 20 minutes from home, I was really, really fighting sleep. I could barely focus in front of me. In fact, I came home on alternate roads instead of I-80. I knew I needed to stop for groceries, but I couldn't even think of that. I desperately needed to sleep before I did anything.
I practically fell through the front door, gave the dogs their treats and plopped into the recliner, where I slept for about an hour. Then I was OK and went out to the store.
When I came home, the TV was broadcasting news about the raging storm, with funnel clouds threatening to touch down here and there.
It's one thing to live in a tornado area, where homes have storm cellars; it's another to live in a place where all homes are built on cement slabs with no cellar whatsoever.But the threatened cloud has passed away, finally -- taking the internet with it. My connection seems to be gone with the wind. I have no idea how long it's going to take to get it back.