Wherever the river takes you

I’m a plan maker, people. I make plans. I set times and I get things done. So imagine my chagrin last Saturday when my plans didn’t pan out the way I originally designed them. My friend Kara and I went to L.A. to make an Ikea run. If you don’t know what Ikea is, I’m sorry. It’s a magical land of joy and wonder…and joyness. It’s spectacular! OK, so it’s a home furnishingas store. But it also has every household item known to man under one roof. You can’t beat that with a stick. Anyway, I had a plan to get there by 11, make my purchases, and be back in San Luis Obispo at 6:30 for sushi.

So, we’re on our way to Ikea, and nature calls right around Ventura. We make a quick stop, then head back to the 101. Unfortunately, you can never get back onto the highway the way you got off in the first place (ah, the joys of California) so I started driving through downtown Ventura to the next 101 entrance. Fate intervened a minute later when Kara spotted a used bike shop. Kara is wild about used bikes, so we stopped. K dashed from the car to peruse the cycling goodness. The lady there pulled out a cheap bike, and Kara was contemplating making the purchase so she would have something to ride around Pismo Beach. I figured I had better make sure we had room for it, so I went to the truck to move some things around. Only I didn’t have my keys. They were sitting in the driver’s seat. WITH THE DOOR LOCKED. So our 10 minute bike stop stretched to an hour and a half.

I was all kinds of ticked off at myself. My plans for the day were shattered to bits. By the time the locksmith came, however, I knew why we had been there. In the parking lot, there was a Fillipino couple handing out drinks and snacks to riders who came through on a charity bike race. Talking to them was as close to Indonesia as I may get for a while. It brought back good memories, talking to the short man with the quiet demeanor and laughing eyes. I saw Kara open up to people from a different culture, which is something new, since she has never been outside the United States. It’s all preparation as she gets ready to go to Africa next month. Good times.

The day continued to veer out of reach of my control. All that Ikea goodness took longer to navigate than I expected. then Kara called her friend DC, who met us for sushi. By that point, I knew I had to let go and go where the river took me. Which, with DC, meant Amoeba Music in Hollywood, one of the biggest music stores on the West Coast. We didn’t make it back to the Central Coast until 11 at night, but the adventure was well worth it.

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