The best worst day of my life… (FYI long story)
Have you ever had one of those occasions where you feel it was the best day of your life and all of a sudden it turns into the worst day of your life?
I like story telling so this is going to be a great story to share with you guys (yeah I can laugh at it now). I usually travel to LA once every year with sometimes traveling a second or third time if I need to do something else that’s not visiting Anime Expo, this was one of those times where I had to go but for business reasons and that’s where it all began.
My boyfriend and his team are making a video game, and they needed to go to LA to talk to several people in regards to the production, so since my boyfriend doesn’t drive he asked me if I could take them, so naturally I agreed, my usual routine before I do any road trips is take my car for a check up, see if it’s ok to take it on a long drive, print out directions, get addresses and plan ahead for what will happen. Since we had 2 cars, I’ve had experience with it before as in the past I have coordinated logistics for 3 cars for an anime expo trip (I actually took 12 people with me one time) so I told the other car to wait for us at the rest stop half way up in San Onofre where the nuclear power plant is located.
So the car was ok, got everything written down and was ready to hit the road on Saturday morning. We met everyone at one of the team member’s house and from there we headed out to the San Ysidro Int. border, on a side note, one of them forgot something and went back to the house running exactly like this and screaming exactly this …
It was extremely funny at that moment, but little did I know that I was going to be the one in that situation.
Well, we crossed the border, grabbed breakfast, filled the gas tanks and took off onto the I5… if I were to rate the other guys in the car for a logistics test, they would have failed. They did not comply with ANY of the indications we agreed on and that’s when it all started to go downhill. Like any other Saturday, I expected traffic from San Diego to LA, but this day was extremely exaggerated, bumper to bumper for at least 30 minutes before we got the rest stop half way in, we arrived and waited for the other car to catch us up there, well… we waited and waited and waited, 30 minutes passed and nothing, we decided to split because their first meeting was at 3pm in Long Beach and it was already 1:22pm… so we resumed our drive hopping that nothing bad had happen to them and that we would meet them at the place were had to for the appointment.
We sat on LA traffic for at least 1 more hour, it was already 2:55pm and we were still on the freeway, thanks to 2 accidents on I5 and one on the I405 (when you see the whole 6 lanes congested from the 405 that’s LA saying “Welcome!”) So finally I saw that the exit I needed to take was close, for some reason I got really nervous and took the wrong exit!! I took 1 exit before the one I was suppose to take! well… No GPS and just some addresses to go on, stopped several times, asked several people (apparently LA people don’t know how to get to major Highways) and after getting lost for 30 minutes I was extremely stressed and angry, if the other car had not left us waiting at the rest stop we would have made it in time plus the whole traffic factor, I was about to explode.
So finally we arrived at Just Cause Productions, yes the one and only company that filmed the Motion Capture for Devil May Cry 3 owned by the one and only Reuben Langdon. Yes, my boyfriend’s team was going to have a meeting with this company and talk to Mr. Langdon for the production of his game. When we arrived I asked the other person driving the other car when they arrived… when they told me “Oh we got here at 2:45 pm” I almost lost it, if you have ever had to coordinate a caravan of cars to get everyone to the same point you know that doing what ever you want and ignoring indications from the person leading is just fuck up and irresponsible. In my head I was doing this to the other people from that car…
Before I actually did that, I just turned around and followed my boyfriend to ask him something and right when I was about to talk to him, Reuben came up and oped the doors!!… all that stress, anger and fatigue just went away… I was meeting Reuben for a second time in my life and this time not at a con! As you all know, and maybe not, I’m a huge and I mean HUGE fan of Reuben! from his work on Devil May Cry voicing Dante, his work on Avatar and just him, I was dumbstruck, hypnotized and my mind went into FAN GIRL MODE !, I don’t know how it happened but I actually maintained my composure and kept calm in from of him when he stretch his hand to say “hi”, I was going to turn around and head back to the car because well… I was told that only the team could go in, but Reuben just said “come in!” … I totally lost it, my eyes went 360 on his office, all his posters from the work he’s done over the years and just couldn’t believe I was at the place when 3 years ago I said “I wish I could visit Reuben at Just Cause one day” … just Mind Blowing!, I went in with my boyfriend’s team to the meeting room and saw his Devil May Cry figure collection!!! I was so excited! he even had some figures I wanted and never got! LOL
Reuben went to his office while his contact stayed with them to negotiate for the production.
So, good news for my boyfriends team… Reuben will work with them! they signed the contract and the dates are set! his contact then took us on a tour of Just Cause Production!!! I was soooooo excited!! I got to see where all the magic is made! even their prop’s room!! It was SO awesome!!!! For someone like me that loved video productions and seeing their MoCap equipment I was like a kid in a candy store! xD They had some seats set up because they were going to have a screening later that night, they even invited us but we couldn’t stay because my boyfriend had another meeting with another person who was going to make the music for the game.
After they showed us the whole place we wen’t back to the meeting room and Reuben was there to say goodbye but not before taking some pics of the team with him
And the rumors were true, people said that Reuben always like to do cool poses and that’s exactly what he asked the Team to do, he said “Alright let’s do an epic pose!” I could not stop laughing when I took the picture xD
I also got my personal pic with my platonic hubby 😀 (my real hubby doesn’t mind by the way xD)
Well, the dates are set and Reuben will be working with us, I say “us” because I’m going to be filming a behind the scenes documentary for the team and that will include them revisiting Just Cause again for the production and I’m just so gitty! I’ll get to film Reuben doing his stuff!!. Now I can’t really say what game is it going to be for because they have yet to announce it on their side, but once they do, I’ll be the first to post it here on my site as well 😀
Seeing that pictures brings a smile to my face each time I see it, even after what happened to me next, I can still go back to that memory and feel that it was worth it!.
After we met with Just Cause, the team’s next stop was little Tokyo to meet up with the person that was going to do the music for the game since he lived in LA too, it was a good opportunity for them to hit 2 birds with 1 stone, we ate, I shopped a little and go something I wanted ever since it came out… yes I’m a victim of marketing so sue me! 😛
So they finished talking business and it was now time to go home, it was already 9pm and I was really tired and a little worried because I don’t like to drive tired on the freeway (And nobody should!) so I went to get more gas and a monster to keep awake, well after I got lost once again trying to get back to the freeway from the gas station, I got onto to I5 south, everything was ok, I was awake, my boyfriend and his friends were talking to me to keep sharp and all of a sudden I smell something burning! I saw the temperature gauge and sure enough the needle passed 3/4! I started to panic because I was in a part of the freeway where there was no shoulder for emergency!!! the needle still went up and up and I was hopping to get to the next exit!, I saw one and immediately took it, half way on the curve the steering wheel jammed and the car shut down! I was able to park the car with the renaming momentum left from the curve, sure enough, it overheated, we didn’t know why so we let it cool down, we actually ended up in a neighborhood in Norwalk, I saw a lady and her daughters arrive and decided to ask for help, I just came up to them and asked for water, they saw the car and the person was so nice to us, she agreed to give us more water and I told her that if we were still here for another 20 minutes if she could let me use her phone to call my insurance company to call for a tow truck, and she said that it was ok, so we added more water and waited like 30 minutes before trying to turn it on again but it would not turn on at all, I went back to the lady’s house and asked to use her phone and she let me use it.
So I called my insurance company and asked for help since they give you 2 two trucks a year in case your car brakes down, so talking back and forth with the guy on the phone for like 40 minutes, long story short, they could send tow truck but they would still charge us 350 dollars and they could not take my 2 other passenger and said that they could send us a taxi to take them to the border and it would still cost 150-200 dollars! money that my passengers didn’t have… so I was between a rock and a hard place, plan B was to stay at a hotel and take the car to a shop on Monday since nobody opened on a Sunday, I tried looking for a hotel but like any other place on a Saturday night there were no rooms available anywhere, so again, we were getting nowhere… we decided to go with a plan C, stay the night and wait to see if a family member that lived close could help me out. since we didn’t have a hotel, the 4 of us had no choice but to sleep in the car, it was already 12am and I was extremely stressed and tired. The lady and her family were so kind to us, I told them that we were going to stay in the car until morning and she helped us with lots of blankets and even pillows so that the cold night won’t affect us, she even let us use her bathroom. I really don’t know what would have happened if this family hadn’t open their doors to complete strangers like us when we asked for help, on top of that we were mexicans! not a lot of americans do that so I’m extremely grateful for everything they did for us.
Later in the morning like around 3am, someone yelled “It’s the cops! it’s the cops and they turned the lights on us!” she freaked out, I was a zombie but still remember thinking “Well, it’s not like I’m parked in a red zone or that we’re doing anything wrong?” then I looked and the every window was covered in condensed water! I though “mmmhhh this might look like there’s an indecent couple doing the nasty in the car” and I know that the police can take you to jail for public indecency if you get caught, sure enough the cop car stopped right next to me and right before I could react, they turned their side light straight on my face and blinded me! they obviously saw us in blankets and pillows so I guess they just saw that we were sleeping in the car and then moved on. That’s funny now that I think of it, reminded me a lot of this scene lol
So the morning came and we returned the blankets and pillows to the family and went to get some breakfast at a near by Denny’s, while talking about how we were going to get home, someone behind us started to asked us if we needed a tow truck because he could get us one for 300 dollars and a ride for my other 2 passengers included in the price, it was still a lot of money, but we decided to go with it because everybody was going to go home together and it was more viable like that instead of the 500 dollars solution that my insurance company came up with, so the tow truck arrived and we left back to San Diego.
Since the car was spilling water, we noticed that it could be just a hose and that that was the reason the car overheated because it didn’t have any water, anything we put into the water tank would get spilled, so we came up with the idea to cross back to Tijuana but on the other border crossing station on Otay which is more of a import-export crossing station than a tourist crossing site and thus there’s almost no traffic to go back to Tijuana, we grabbed 3 gallons of water, turn the car on filled the water tank and hopped to god that we don’t get sent to secondary inspection because of the chance of overheating again.
My boyfriend was more emotionally stable at that moment and he even said “I’m going to take this situation and imagine that we’re Doc Brown from Back to the future when trying to get the plutonium to the Delorean to get back home!” then he takes out his cellphone and he actually had the back to the future theme and started to play it! man it was the highlight of the situation, me driving as fast as I can back to the border with the Back to the future theme playing and everybody screaming “Damn! Damn! hurry up Marty!” it was the most funniest and nerve braking moment I’ve had in my life, but it was awesome!
We crossed the border in less than a minute and we were able to arrive at one of our friends house that lived just a few blocks away, we were home!
So we left the car there and went back home to eat and sleep…
And we lived happily ever after…. sort of ^_^;
We still need to take the car to the shop, but what an adventure! I never wanna go through that again!!! xD