Walking home from work on Thursday (wearing, by the way, my most comfortable shoes), I got a blister. It started bleeding before I reached Bleecker Street. An ill-fated way to begin a hiking trip, don't you think?
We arrived in Seattle at midnight, due to a 2 hour delay on the Newark tarmac. Hertz gave us a free navigational system, which was recorded by a woman who must have been taking a break from her real job as a phone sex operator.
We named her Betty, and she was very helpful. I asked Guy if we should just stay at a motel instead of braving the Duckabush Vortex, but he must have had coffee on the plane or something, because he wanted to drive on. I called my father to check that it was in fact Duckabush Loop (not Drive or Lane or Street or Culdesac) we were heading for, and he seconded the motel idea, even throwing in a suggested place.
So we reprogrammed Betty to take us to Shelton Motor Lodge, and dependable she is. The Shelton Motor Lodge looked like a place where old hookers go to die. And my father said he'd actually stayed there.
Suffice it to say, we chose not to follow his example.
Betty took us right to Duckabush Loop. None of the following is her fault.
Duckabush Loop is a very short street--only, I'd say, a quarter mile long. And yet we drove up and down it several times, looking for my Grandmother's garage. There was no cell-service, so I couldn't check in again with my family (whose advice, by the way, is now and forever suspect). We finally found a place that looked right--it had a trailer, it had a garage--unlike, it must be stated, any other place on Duckabush Loop. It didn't look like I remembered, but I hadn't been there in ten years and the garage hadn't existed then, so my memory didn't count for much. Also it was 2 a.m.
We tried the keys on the garage. It took a good deal of jiggling to get in, but then that's what I do every day with my bathroom key.
Inside, there is a golf cart. Huh, I think. I know my Grandfather was an avid golfer, but who goes to the trouble of buying their own golf cart? We move along, up the stairs to the small apartment. Only there is no small apartment.
"Wasn't there supposed to be a bed?" asks Guy.
"Um, yeah," I say. I'm starting to feel kind of bad now. When you plan a gift-trip for someone, you generally hope that they won't have to sleep on a splintery floor for any of it. But this must be the place! There are shelves and shelves of doll magazines. No one in the world would read this many doll magazines, except my Grandmother. And the trailer had the exact same layout I remembered, except maybe the shower was shaped differently.
All of this key-fiddling and Duckabush circling has advanced the clock to 3 am. Which made it 5 am our time. On top of being up since 4 am the night before. We have been awake for 25 hours. We decide to just go ahead and sleep in the camper.
Come morning (i.e. 4 hours later), we pack up and go back to the garage to lock up.
"Hey, there's a boat there," says Guy. "I didn't notice that last night."
Hang on a minute. My Grandmother doesn't have a boat. She can't afford a boat.
"Oh my God. This isn't their place."
Yep, folks. I confess. We were breaking and entering. And really, it's surprisingly easy. All you need is a key--any key will do.
Traffic in the Sky, Jack Johnson
Mal: "Well, you were right about this being a bad idea."
Zoe: "Thanks for sayin', sir."