Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Travelogue: 10/19-10/20

Headed down to USCF Medical Center again Sunday. Left just before 11 in the morning. Stopped by Taco Bell to get my traditional XL iced tea. Took ten minutes, or more, to get my tea.

A mexican(?) couple were trying to order something. The order is supposedly ready. The guy was getting some drinks but the lady is telling the cashier dude something is wrong with the order. She doesn't speak english. He goes back and forth with her and her hubby, after he comes back.

Finally the cash guy says something about needing somebody who speaks spanish. He goes to the door and yells outside at someone. Some guy, not in a Taco Bell uniform, comes in and goes behind the register. He knows spanish. Still, it takes another five minutes or so for him to figure out the problem.

The cash guy thought they just wanted six tacos. What they wanted was six tacos for the guy and five for the gal. Good thing they had someone to translate available.

I finally make it to the counter and ask for just an XL iced tea. The guy says, "Thanks for the wait. Have it on the house". Cool. Now we're on our way.
Run into a light drizzle right away. Just enough that it makes it hard to adjust the wiper speed so the wipers don't squeek. Annoying.
Finally get away from the drizzle around Piercy. Nice. Make our usual stop at the One Log House for a sandwich. Great sandwich, as usual.
Made the traditional stop at the Willits Safeway for gas- that being the cheapest gas we'd found, so far. Safeway has it for something like $3.51, after the 3 or 4 cent discount for using our Safeway card.

Driving through Hopland we're surprised to see the Valero station with gas at $3.39/gal and the Freedom station, or whatever it's called (on the right) offering at $3.29/gal. Wow. They've never beat Safeway before that we remembered. We buy gas at the Hopland Valero on the way back.

Gas was something like $3.41 at the Chevron at 19th and Irving in San Francisco. No surprise anymore they beat Humboldt prices but what explains the prices being so topsy- turvy?
Still congested on 101 at Santa Rosa, but didn't slow us down too bad. Same as on the way back. Looks like the freeway construction is almost done. I have a feeling: I hope I'm wrong but I get the feeling the new expanded lanes aren't going to relieve congestion as much as we hope.
Stayed at the Novato Day's Inn, as usual. Nice in that it was so cool we didn't need to use the air conditioner and the room was just about the perfect temperature for a change. Not so nice when we went to the breakfast room in the morning and they didn't have hard boiled eggs available for some reason. I just had toast and orange juice. No biggie.
As usual, worrier that I am, I'm anticipating having trouble finding parking at the UCSF parking garage. This, despite the fact we've only been there one time in almost three years where we absolutely couldn't find parking there.

I thought my fears might be well founded when we enter the first level: no empty spaces except for a few small ones reserved for compacts. Tight next one up, too. Then we see some openings. We decide to check out the Orange Level (D?) as we can use the better elevators on that level.

Amazing. 9 out of ten of the parking spots on our favorite level are open. There were still empty spots on that level when we left. If this keeps up, I might have to get rid of my constant fear of UCSF parking problems.
Left UCSF around 2:30ish after starting a 1:30 appointment a bit late. Not bad, considering.
Made the traditional stop at Willits Taco Bell for some dinner. The wife having a seven layer burrito and myself two bean burritos. I held up the cup I bought iced tea with in Eureka and said I also wanted a refill. The guy says, "No charge for refills..". Cool, another freebie. Full meal cost $4.50. Can't beat that.

Only problem with Taco Bell is the bathrooms. In particular, the lady's bathroom.

All the while I'm ordering I figure Connie's in the bathroom. I head back to the truck and see her still standing by the bathroom. Someone apparently has been in there the whole time. This is not the first time this has happened. Not sure what the problem is there.

We head out of town and stop at the Irvine Lodge Rest Stop, between Willits and Laytonville. Thank god for those government provided rest stops.
Finally make it to Rio Dell area and hit the drizzle again. This time the wipers are making an awful squeek unless I let the window get so wet I can hardly see. Eases off after we get over Tompkins Hill.
Make it home at almost 8:30 to the minute- roughly 6 hours. Takes a half hour longer making the trip going 55mph, but I think it's worth it.


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to STEAL, Fred. We are all so proud of you.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Nope. Refills are free.

Ok, even if it's a different day, as the wifey pointed out, they owed me an iced tea anyway.

It was either the last time, or the time before that we went down there. They were remodeling Taco Bell then.

We ordered some stuff thru the take out window, including a XL iced tea. We get to the window, pay for the meal and drink. The guy gives us the food but then says they were out of iced tea.

We drive off and the wife mentions I paid them for something we didn't get. Oh well. I wasn't going to turn back.

They owed us.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Fred.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what kind of libratarian philosophy is that?

You stole the tea.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Kristabel said...

Oh, Fred....

My ex-husband used to carry around fast food cups in his car so that he could go in and get free refills wherever he went. I swear it's one of the main reasons I divorced him.

I still love you and all, but did you have to give me that horrific flashback?

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should buy gas at Costco in Santa Rosa-cheaper than Safewy in Willits. You were lucky with Days Inn that temperature was OK. We needed heat at night a couple of weeks ago and that can't be adjusted to low so ut gets hot and you turn it off and then wake uip when it is cold and turn it on again.

Maybe you didn't get the coupon books from Burger King a month or so ago. You could have had a 2 for 1 on some of those. I stopped eating at Taco Bell when I got sick every time I ate there - but thrn I don't live in Eureka. The people that I work with also got sick so it wasn't just me.

At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Costco in Rohnert Park is a good stop for the Eureka-SF trip. It's easy to get to- you take the Rohnert Park expressway , go right and right on Redwood dr. and you're there. Cheap gas, clean shitters and the buck fifty hot dogs. Can't beat it.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"My ex-husband used to carry around fast food cups in his car so that he could go in and get free refills wherever he went.".

Nope. I just don't believe in using more cups than I need. I always reuse them and have no intention of ripping anyone off.

I don't even feel I rip off the Cloverdale Quizno's when I buy iced tea there. I usually bring in my Taco Bell cup and tell them I want an iced tea. They charge me for their large beverage. Since they don't have XL size cups and I'm using an XL Taco Bell cup, I actually get more than I pay for.

The manager there doesn't seem to have a problem with it. He did mention once, though, that I couldn't get a refill because I didn't have a Quizno's cup. I told him I knew that and didn't want a refill and planned on paying for it. No problem for him.

"I stopped eating at Taco Bell when I got sick every time I ate there - but then I don't live in Eureka.".

I've never had a problem with Taco Bell. I'm one of their great fans cause hey make fast and inexpensive meals.

I actually think Burger King makes the best burgers around. Problem is, we usually eat while in the truck and Burger King stuff isn't as easy to eat while you're driving.

Plus, you have to touch Burger King food, so you need to wash your hands. With something like a burrito, you don't need to touch the food, you just hold it by the wrapper.

"The Costco in Rohnert Park is a good stop for the Eureka-SF trip.".

You're not the first to suggest Costco. Problem is, I hate Santa Rosa and make it a point to get through there as fast as I can. Even if I could save a little money I wouldn't stop there.

An idea that intrigues me is that Gas Club place between Petaluma and Novato. I think they were advertising something like $3.08 a gallon for members and $3.30ish for non- members.

Easy to stop there on the way south but I think it would be your worst nightmare trying to make the left turn on 101 to get there going north.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Costco in Santa Rosa is also easy to get to. Off at Hearn going both North and South - S. cross 101 turn left and you are there in 2 blocks. Going N. off at Hearn turn left and it is 3 blocks but we turn right when leaving and get on 101 at Baker which is a couple of hundred feet from Costco. Haven't tried Rohnert Park Costco yet.

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like they'll be done with all the construction on 101 going through Santa Rosa too. What a mess that's been the last few years. I don't blame you for wanting to get through there as fast as possible. Man the Santa Rosa area has sure changed in the last 30 years. And can you believe all the grapes they're growing now? Who drinks all that wine?


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