So, I can’t recall if it was the next day or the same day, but I wandered a little further down the coast from Trinidad to Arcata. A little place I like to call ‘The Promised Land’. A quaint little town square (referred to as The Plaza) was surrounded by unique, local owned shops filled with yummy food, unique wares and fantastic people. As I walked around The Plaza, I was really shocked by how friendly people were. I felt a bit as if I was in the film Truman and wondered if it was a stage all for my benefit. It was real.
I had a rather tasty latté in a small cafe just off the square then I strolled down to a really wonderful shop filed with lots of Asian inspired arts and crafts. After that I walked next door bought a cool outfit for Hannah at a shop called Beautiful People and then had a beer in a beer/wine bar that was just opening for the first time. It was a fantastic afternoon.
Mis compañeros were waiting in the car so I headed back and got them out for a nice stroll through the town. We meandered past the baseball field up the hill past the theatre that was showing The Big Lebowski…one of my all time favorites! (AND you can have beer while you watch the film!) I window shopped at the local realtors, strolled past the 100 year old Minor theater and just wandered around for a while.
When we got back to the car. My keys were missing. The car was locked but no keys in my pocket. No keys in my bag. Crikey. Well, I must have dropped them along the walk somewhere so I walked the same path again looking for them. Nope. Nothing. Poop. Beginning to panic a teeny bit.
Ok. So I have my doggies and no way to get into my car. I start going from business to business seeing if I left my keys. No. No. No. No and no. Ok now what? Its getting dark. Better call AAA. That went a bit like this:
“Thanks for calling triple A are you in a safe location?”
“Yes but my phone is almost dead and its getting dark and I’ve lost my keys.”
“Have you lost your keys or are they in the car?”
“Well they could be in the car I guess but I can’t get in it so I have no idea.”
“Well, which is it?”
“Does it matter?”
“Can I have your triple A number?“
“I don’t have my card with me.“
“Can I have your phone number?“
“It might be under mine or my partners which are XXX-XXX-XXXX or XXX-XXX-XXXX.“
“Hmm. Nothing coming up. Could it be under another number?”
“Ok. Where are you right now?”
“I’m in Arcata California in the town square.”
“Oh, I will have to transfer you to the California AAA.”
“Welcome to triple A, are you in a safe place”
OMG YES! We go through the whole thing again only to find out that I need to be transfered to the WASHINGTON call center. WHAT THE HECK? The databases aren’t connected??? Um, yeah. Speechless.
They have no record of me. Phone is running out of battery…have about 10 min left. I have to pee. The lady futzes around with her computer…’please wait’…’just let me transfer you’…
“LADY! MY PHONE IS ALMOST DEAD. ITS DARK! JUST SIGN ME UP FOR A NEW ACCOUNT OR WHATEVER. I NEED HELP!”
“Oh. Ok. Well, I’m not sure how to do that. Can you hang on a minute?”
“I just can’t find any record of you.”
“Forget it. I’ll just find someone around here to help me.”
Phone down to 8%. So I figure I better find a place to stay. Two small problems. Zak and Lucy.
A lady at one of the shops told me Hotel Arcata doesn’t take pets but she is pretty sure the motel at the other end of town does. I start walking.
On the way, I give one of the many people ‘passing through’ a banana as he is begging for food. The motel is about a mile away from the car. When I get there, the first thing I notice are several large signs that say “NO PETS. NO EXCEPTIONS”. I attempt to talk the very nice girl into doing just that – making an exception. I explain the situation. I can tell she is sympathetic, especially looking at the two cute furry faces next to me. But she doesn’t do it. Maybe she could call her boss and ask? She looks frightened of that idea. I ask her if she knows of any other place that takes pets. She doesn’t.
Do you happen to have an iphone charger I can use? Not much hope there as I can see quite plainly she has an android phone. However, she keeps chargers for guests and she offers me one. Things are looking slightly better! Can I pay for it with a card. Um no. I have $1. I give it to her. She gives me the charger. I plug in my phone. I call the Hotel Arcata and believe it or not THEY DO TAKE PETS!!
I really have to pee by now. I ask if I can use her restroom. She says no. Boss has security cameras everywhere. She says ‘you could try Subway across the street’. Thanks, I say, but they probably won’t let me take the dogs in. She very kindly offers to watch them for me. She seems like a cool person so I leave them with her.
“Stay here guys. I’ll be right back.” They look at me like I’m mad.
I run across the street to Subway. No we don’t have any restrooms. Really? How do you pee then? Run two more blocks to little hot dog stand and just make it to the toilet. It seems like that stream is NEVER going to stop. Finally it does and I get back to the dogs as quickly as possible.
We walk to the hotel and get a room. The man at the desk (Ben) is really helpful and friendly and get this…he calls the parking department and tells them about my car so they don’t tow it! Really? Can you imagine someone in Seattle calling the parking enforcement and saying “Please don’t tow my car”. If you are lucky they might not hang up on you.
We get to the room and we are starving. The in hotel restaurant and room service is sushi! Score! I order a couple of rolls for me and some plain chicken for the dogs and we settle in for the night.
To be continued…