This Halloween weekend, I made the drive out to Long Beach. It was the last place I took an actual “road trip” to a couple years ago, and it’s one of the places in the greater Los Angeles area that I feel comfortable driving in and navigating. I haven’t been out of town since New Orleans in February, and I was starting to feel a little caged in. Sometimes it seems like a waste to leave only for a day or two, but sometimes these quick trips are the cures for my bouts of anxiety (or ennui depending on the situation).
The dogs and I stayed in a Motel 6 again, because I’m just comfortable in a Motel 6. I don’t know why I always stay at Motel 6; I think the short answer is because it’s cheap, convenient, and pretty much the only motel I feel “at home” in. I say that because it was the only place my parents and I ever rented from when I was a kid (well, the only place that didn’t scare me half to death – but more on that later), so when I check into one I feel like I’m carrying on some kind of family tradition. A very cheap, sometimes shady, tradition.
When we got into town, I stopped at Veggie Grill for dinner. I’ve had them a couple times before, and they’re one of the best vegetarian/vegan places I’ve come across, at home and not. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I like it because it’s big on flavor, while still being healthy. I hate being on the road and eating McDonald’s after Carl’s Jr. after Burger King. Plus, we don’t have a Veggie Grill back home, so the added novelty was a bonus.
Other than that, we just explored. We went to Recreation Park and Uptown Dog Park, and visited the marina.I planned on stopping at Rosie’s Dog Beach before we left, but an early-morning power outage forced me to be on my way much too early for that. It wasn’t the greatest, most lavish weekend getaway ever, but it was relaxing. It was problem-free. It was everything I needed at the present moment, and that’s the hallmark of a good time.