On September 7, 2021, I took my family on a day trip to Southern California. I haven’t traveled to the region since March 2019 due to the pandemic. We left around 12:15 a.m. to avoid as much California traffic as possible stopping at a gas station in Barstow to fill up. Unfortunately, we couldn’t use their bathroom because the one attendant working decided to take a 1 hour break and closed the store. I did find a metric socket on the ground that I thought could be useful someday.
I wanted to see the DC Comics Headquarters building so, our first stop was Burbank. We arrived at 2900 W. Alameda around 4:00 a.m. It was nice to see the building, the Walt Disney Animation studio, Bob Hope studio, and Warner Bros studio lots. Even though it was dark outside, I wish we took more pictures of the location.
Our next stop was Malibu City, which was about 40 minutes away from Burbank. Since it was getting close to sunrise, we went to Westward Beach. We parked along the road’s edge to the beach. The smell of the ocean breeze and the crashing waves along the shoreline were memorable. After driving along Pacific Coast Highway and stopping for coffee, we decided to go to Studio City.
We went to Lemonade, in Studio City, for lunch and the last location to end the day. I ordered the Garlic and Herb Grilled Chicken sandwich with chips and Tomato/Avocado salad. We ate our food and decided to head home. The turn of the ignition changed everything.
The car would not start. I determined that the battery was dead. There we were, stranded in a Studio City parking garage. We found a Pep Boys location about a mile from where we were located. I made the trek and brought back the last battery Pep Boys had in stock. Sweating profusely from the midday trek, I disconnected the old battery to replace it with the new battery. As I went to lift it from the car, it would not budge. I shined a light to see that it was secured with a hex-bolt. We did not have a socket set with us but I remembered that I found a metric socket on the ground earlier. I placed the socket on the bolt but it did not fit. I remembered seeing a hardware store on the way back with the battery so, we went there to buy a socket wrench set.
After replacing the battery, we started the car and headed home. Despite the heavy traffic, we were making decent time heading home. We stopped for gas in Barstow, used the restroom and resumed our drive. Suddenly, traffic came to a stop. According to Apple Map, there was an accident on our route. It took about 30 minutes to reach the accident site where we saw what was left of a semi-tractor trailer that was burned to nothing but metal.
We arrived home around 7:00 p.m. exhausted. Day trips seem much nicer on paper. A quest for fun that turned into a quest for home. A memorable trip nonetheless.