Tuesday, April 19, 2005

the getaways

Today Kiyash and I made a getaway... twice.

First, we drove down to Monterey for a 24-hour escape from the East Bay. The official reason: I was invited to give a talk at Cal State University. More importantly, we had also planned some unofficial getaway fun: a trip to the famous aquarium before my lecture and an overnight stay near the beach afterwards.

At the aquarium, we both touched a shark gently with two fingers. (And we touched a skate. And a sea urchin.) Kiyash enjoyed it. I felt like I was on Fear Factor. We learned how to do sea otter impressions (lie on back, paw at both cheeks while rubbing feet together) and considered having a pet penguin instead of a dog. We spotted something concrete and sandy to scramble on by the beach. So we did.

We had a service-challenged lunch at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in downtown Seaside. The atmosphere and menu reminded me of the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Beijing. The summer rolls reminded Kiyash of the ubiquitous gummy spring rolls in Melbourne that we ate almost every day while we were there.

We checked into our hotel. [...] I gave my talk. [...] Then we decided to go back to Berkeley instead of spending the night in Monterey. A second getaway! In one day! We were unstoppable.

So we raided an Albertson's at 9 PM for a getaway meal. Then we checked out of our hotel room at 10 PM, raising the hotel manager's eyebrows. "So soon?" He definitely thought we were up to something. I said to Kiyash on the ride home, "So we spent $100 on a hotel room we didn't actually stay in. At least we'll have a good story to tell." He helpfully pointed out, "...a good story, which we can't actually tell anyone."

Hmmm. Right. Well, I managed to tell at least PART of the story here. The ellipses are the plotpoints that Kiyash and I may just have to take to our graves. I guess that's how you know you've made a really great getaway. When you can't tell another living soul how or why you did it.

No comments: