This is the second post about our trip.
We drove there, did I mention that?
Amazingly, the four hour drive was pretty easy and we arrive in the tiny California wine country town just as it is getting dark.
Now you should know something about our trip. We picked the rental house we found through Enrout for two reasons. First, because it was secluded in nature and second, because it had a hot tub.
And it is secluded. We knew we picked the perfect place when we realize that the directions to our rental house didn’t even include street names. Just landmarks.
(Landmarks also included a goat farm and an abandoned school bus.)
There are no houses. No lights. Just windy country roads and trees. The leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. It is lovely. And spooky.
At every curve I expect to see Mr. Tumnus crossing the road.
I think for sure we are going to hit the cute little mouse. Poor thing.
But it is just a leaf.
Tis the season when fallen leaves skittering across the road make me worry that I’m constantly running over little animals.
Crappy Papa tells me to relax. That we’re on vacation. Why am I so high strung? Calm down. Relax!
Finally, we find the right mailbox number.
As we drive down the long driveway to our house, Crappy Boy sees a tiny metal storage shed and says, “Look! There’s our house!” He is thrilled.
Thankfully he is also wrong. Our actual house is a normal family house. Except sparkling clean and clutter-free.
Plus, it has a hot tub.
The hot tub is outside in the backyard. And completely secluded, surrounded by nothing but trees and stars. So after we get settled, I decide it is time to relax in the hot tub. Surely that will calm me down and get me in a vacation mindset.
I go outside but it is too dark to see much. I notice strings of lights mounted on the patio and follow them until I find the plug end. I plug it in.
And then I scream.
The lights revealed the largest spider I have ever seen in my life:
I’m not afraid of spiders. I just don’t like it when they throw me surprise parties.
It is a garden orb-weaver which are common here. But this is a garden orb-weaver on steroids. The body alone is bigger than a quarter. And if you include the legs it is the size of a kitten. Except I like kittens.
Crappy Papa and the kids come running to see what I found.
And the boys love it. The love it so much that they want it to be their pet.
They even name it:
A great name actually.
Crappy Papa runs back in the house to grab wine and glasses and then we all climb into the hot tub.
Now I’m relaxed. This is what traveling is all about.
I say to Crappy Papa:
As I’m saying this, I tuck my wet hair behind one ear. But I feel something.
Something that isn’t supposed to be there.
In. My. Hair.
I practically throw my wine glass at Crappy Papa because there isn’t a ledge where I can set it down.
And then I freak out:
I can’t get it untangled. And I’m too scared to do much.
It is Rocco. A spider the size of a kitten is about to eat my head.
Do you notice how nobody is helping me?
Finally, Crappy Papa puts both wine glasses in one hand and then reaches over to save me while I hyperventilate.
Crappy Boy asks if it is Rocco’s cousin. He sounds hopeful.
Just a leaf. Again.
It was the perfect start to our trip.
I did relax for the rest of the trip. Mostly.
Thanks again to my sponsor Enrout. Highly recommend them if you want to find a unique vacation house that is off the beaten path. Rocco not included. Uh, hopefully.