lost, for a little while


interlude: san clemente
June 23, 2011, 3:39 am
Filed under: trips

Trestles Beach, San Clemente

The farther west I went, the harder it was to find places to stay.

I’m pretty proud of my networking skills–they’ve helped me more on this trip than they ever have with the job search (pleasesomeonegivemeajob)–but by the time I reached California, they were being stretched a little thin.

My plan for San Diego fell through and I still had a week before I could hit up L.A., so I wracked my brains and came up with a possible solution: my buddy, Dave. Dave and I met while we did our internships at Outside and bonded over the fact that we were both from the Midwest and thought the Great Lakes really were the Greatest thing ever. He ended up working for Canoe & Kayak in San Clemente, and wouldn’t you know it? San Clemente’s only an hour south of Los Angeles. Yahtzee.

Since Dave’s from Minnesota, that means he’s automatically one of the nicest guys ever, and he immediately gave me the thumbs up to crash at his place for the rest of the week. There was just one catch: he’d be in Idaho the whole time doing a paddling trip.

Alright, so it would have been nice to see him and catch up on the past year, but who are we kidding? I wasn’t going to complain about having an empty apartment all to myself for a few days. I was kind of looking forward to it, actually. Except, Dave didn’t exactly live in an apartment.

“You are totally welcome to crash. I’ll just have to run it by the landlords first; they live here in the house with me, otherwise I wouldn’t bother asking. They’re rad, though, so it should be cool.”

Wait, what?

It turned out that Dave was renting a spare bedroom in the home of an older couple in San Clemente. The arrangement was no problem for Dave, Mr. Gosh I’m Swell, How Goes it with You? but seemed a little intimidating to me, She Who Avoids New People and Strange Situations at All Costs.

But I can’t really say that any more, can I? I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be a social butterfly, but at this point I’ve shared rooms with complete (and foreign) strangers in hostels, eaten dinner with hippies in the middle of a forest, and swapped stories with random people less than five minutes after I met them. That’s progress, people. I could totally handle being a polite, unobtrusive house guest for a few days.

…Which is what I kept telling myself that first night during dinner with the landlords and their friends, where discussion ranged from visiting Tijuana for medical care to growing marijuana on the back deck to buying new mystical crystals. And surfing. Lots of surfing.

All kidding aside, I think I need to move to San Clemente when I retire.

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