Julia and I drove up to Sacramento this weekend to visit Todd.  Todd moved up there because he was promoted and his job moved out of the San Jose area.  For those of you who don’t live in California and don’t know, Sacramento is the state capital, but it is not the state’s most populous city.  It is, however, almost two and half hours away from San Jose, making visiting him a bit of a drive.  If only someone would invent the transporter from Star Trek, I’d be set.  Then again, I think that if someone did invent a transporter, it would be a really expensive toy to use and only the super-rich would be able to use it.

But I digress…  We made it up to the city, but we got lost trying to find his apartment.  Apparently, it was located in between the two I-80s located within the city limits.  One is a business loop, the other is the main interstate.  The original map from Google said to use 80 to 5, but then we wanted to hit Sonic in Tracy off the 205, so we altered our approach and changed the map accordingly.  On our way up, Todd told us he wanted to go get lunch, so we decided not to go to Sonic, because then we’d be full by the time we got up there.  I thought I had memorized the first map pretty well, and let me just say that Sacramento is not an entirely foreign place to me.  My family is actually from Yuba City/Marysville area, and my dad was born in Colusa County, near Sutter.  We would go on car trips up there all the time.  Admittedly, we would always go up 113 before we hit Sacramento, but occasionally we would drove through Sacramento to get to 120 which took us into Yuba City.

Okay, well… so we get up there, and Julia pointed out that there was an exit with the name of the street we wanted on 80, but I thought it was too early to take the exit, thinking that since I couldn’t see any housing whatsoever that far west of the city, I figured he lived deeper into the city and I didn’t feel like driving side streets to get there.  Of course, if I had actually listened to her, we wouldn’t have a) driven so far up 5 to hit Arco Arena and then double-back and hit Elk Grove.  Let me just say that I know now that Todd’s street has no southbound exit, which is why neither of us saw it coming back the other way.  Oh, and did I mention that Todd has the navigational sense of Ryouga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2?  In other words, he couldn’t find his way to the bathroom with a map and a flashlight.

We finally arrived, but 2 hours late.  And we ate and hung out, caught up with him and visited.  It was pretty cool, though his apartment is in a questionable part of the city.  But he is only a few blocks away from his job, so he just has to walk over I-5 and he’s pretty much at work.  Still, I really wish he didn’t have to move up there and I wish there was something I could do to get him to come back down to San Jose.  He doesn’t drive, and he doesn’t know a lot of people up there enough to really hang out with anyone, and it kind of makes me a little sad to know that all he does is sit up there, watch tv, and play the occasional game of EverQuest.

Todd started falling asleep on the couch mid-evening, because he had to get up early to clean his place up before we arrived.  So we said our goodbyes and we hit Sonic on the way back.  I don’t know if it was just me, but I felt like we made it back home quicker taking 5 than we did taking 680 to 80.

The holiday week has begun and I’m the backup on-call guy.  I’ll be the primary on-call guy for next week, for the first time.  It’s worth it in bonus pay for being on-call, and I think I get another shot at on-call before Christmas (or possibly the week of Christmas).  Anyway, I’m looking forward to this weekend because it’s Turkey Day on Thursday and I get to eat turkey.   This time of year also means that next month is present time and it also means that I get to buy gifts for people.  Well, within reason.  I’m sure that Julia will pull on the choker chain pretty hard when I start to get out of hand.  I remember one year, I ended up spending almost two grand on gifts and nearly went into the poorhouse.  I didn’t even buy myself anything that year.  I think even food was off the table for a while.  I was subsisting on sugar packets and bread.  But that was a really fun year, too.

I’ll be back tomorrow… so long as things stay quiet.