I remember waking up slowly to the sound of birds and water trickling and thinking 'where the fuck am I?', as I rolled over, I could feel the effects of a big night, I felt foggy, I dared to open my eyes and I notice that the blinds are open, and so is the balcony door, the warm LA breeze negating the need for anything heavier than a sheet. Aaron is awake and rummaging through his shit, "what the fuck are you looking for? What time is it?" I ask. "I can't find my lighter.. it's 10" he replies. "Is dad awake?.. fuck, what time did we get home?" I ask as I stumble out of bed and make the stagger to the dunny.
Dad has an adjoining room, so I knock and call his name, no response, he's obviously catching up on sleep so I leave him be and head out to the balcony to check out where we are. Top floor, overlooking the pool is where we are... funny, I don't remember even coming back to the room. I'm sure I'm not alone there.
Some 20 minutes later dad opens the door, he's showered and looking refreshed, 'bastard' I think to myself.. Best I get myself moving, for what I'm not entirely sure, but we have a stunning day outside, it's day two or this epic trip and I wanna get out there. Little did I know what this day had in store for us.
We decide we're gunna hit Malibu to see how the other half lives, but first we have to get to Ralphs across the road. That's a supermarket, I need water, and fuckin lots of it.
We get into our shit box Chrysler 200, plug in the ipod, and make our way west along Ventura Blvd, then onto Ventura fwy. Dad is sitting in the back, Aaron is driving, and I'm up front loving life. Dad on the other hand, is hating it. With the top down, his ears are getting buffeted by wind, he's gettin shit in his eyes, and he's whinging like a bitch. He hates it. Not exactly what I wanted for him.
We get off the freeway at Topanga Canyon rd and decide it's best to cruise up and over to Malibu, a much more sedate and picturesque way to go. If you get the chance, do the drive, it's bloody nice.
Soon enough we find ourselves on the coast and head north to Malibu. Stunning scenery, and you know you're in a ritzy part of California pretty quick, as BMW's, Porsche's, Mercedes, and other exotics adorn the driveways of the seaside joints.
We're looking for something to eat, and have no idea what we want, so after a quick look around, we decide to head back toward Santa Monica Pier, we'll find something on the way.
We stop on the side of the road to be tourists, take some pics and check it out. It's a bloody beautiful part of the world.
Aaron recognises a joint and suggest we pull in for lunch. I would tell you the name of it, but I'm fucked if can remember. Bloody top joint though, right on the water, we get a booth, hell of a view, order beers and lunch. The cocunut shrimp was UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. When I find out the name, I'll let you know.
Fed and watered, we make our way to Santa Monica Pier. We swing into the enormous car park to the right of the pier, find a spot, it's a glorious day, time to people watch, take some pics and wander around.
I hit the switch for the roof (we're in the convertible) and this is where the fun began..
The Chrysler 200 convertible has a hard lid that pops up and the soft top then extends from under that and latches onto the windscreen, fully automated, it's pretty impressive. Until the hard lid stops half way open, as it it did this day. (see pic below)
We checked fuses, tried it a dozen times, but this thing was stuck halfway. So there we are, so close to the Santa Monica Pier, yet so far away. "You gotta be kidding me.. what a piece of shit' I say, I find the rental agreement with the 1800 number and I remember the agent at the rental joint saying 'here's the number, not that you'll need it, if anything happens". I should have known.. famous last words.
I call and get through to a lovely lady on the other end, all the while, my old man and Aaron are making small talk about how much of a piece of shit this car is. "fuckin gutless, slow, bits falling off it, now this" says dad. We're all being philosophical about it, as much as we're pissed off, we could be stuck in a worse place than Santa Monica on a beautiful day.
'We want a bigger and better car than this, I don't want another one of these" I say, "That could take a while, can you bring it back here?" the agent asks.. "ahh, no, it's a bit dangerous to drive like this, it's like a bloody sail". "Well, it could take a couple of hours to get one out to you" Shit.
We sit around for a while before Aaron suggests dad and I at least get up to the pier and look around, he'll stay with the car and his phone, we agree and go for a wander, just a quick walk to the end, snap some pics, grab slurpees and head back to the car. Aaron gets a call, it's an automated call telling us how long the car will be, it's been dispatched and should be there within the hour.
His phone rings a little while later, it's another automated call, the car is 20 minutes away..
A short while later, his phone rings, its the truck driver asking where we are exactly, Aaron explains "we're in the huge car park to the right of the pier... no I don't know what street it's on, we're not from here... just go down the hill to the car park and come in.. there'll be a guy near the traffic cones.. just tell em why you're here, we've seen a couple of Triple A cars in here, so you won't have to pay... great... thanks"
It's been an hour and thirty minutes since the first phone call I made.. could be worse I guess.
The phone rings again.. it's our truck driver.. Aaron talks to him "no.. dude, we're in the big car park to the right of the pier, you can't miss it, it's massive, where are you?... I don't know where Colorado street is, have you come through the ticket box yet?" Aaron is getting agravated.. rightly so, this shouldn't be that hard, the truck driver is from LA, you'd think he's know where the fuckin carpark at the Santa Monica Pier is, but ooooohh no.. we're dealing with a brain dead fucktard.. but this brain dead fucktard has our replacement car so I'm urging Double A to play it cool. He doesn't.
For the next half an hour the phone calls continue and our truck driver has NO idea where we are, dad goes for a walk to see if he can find this arse wipe with our replacement car. In the meantime.. "listen dude, you stay where you are, we'll find you". "What?.. mate we can't drive this bloody thing like this" "Well fuck, this guys is a complete dumb cunt.. I know it's like a catchers mitt, but what the fuck"
Meantime, dad is AWOL.. he's out looking for this guy too, so we've got no idea where he is, we drive around the car park looking for dad, we find him, he gets in and we hit the highway and do a lap up to where we think he is.. he's no where to be seen. Fuck.. we take a wrong turn and end up back in the car park FUUUUCK! Back out onto the highway (hey it's a big car park, fuck off) and just before we turn down a street, we spy this bonehead truck driver parked at an intersection, our car facing the wrong way into traffic. This guy really is a dickhead.
We pull up, "see I'm at Colorado near the car park he he he" (Yeah mate, we can see that) "Dude, see that HUGE fucking car park? That's where you're supposed to be" Aaron says.
We clear our gear our of the shit box, (I still have the spare key to the Chrysler) grab the keys of this arse clown to our replacement car, a red Mustang convertible (finally!) and head back to the car park for the third time, park, lock up, and head off into the sun.. surely nothing else could go wrong today.. surely..
To be continued...