Check out was at 10 am. So I had breakfast at 9. $1 for an omelette and pancakes. What a deal. I ordered two lots.
When I arrived at the car rental place there was a line three rows deep. I joined the back and took my backpack off. It wasn't heavy but I couldn't be bothered carrying it, the line was moving slow.
Someone would get seen and then I'd kick my bag along the ground. I was checking out the new iPhone online while I waited. A new gold colour. Sweet.
Then it was my turn.
'Did you want to upgrade for $25?'
Of course, I wanted to upgrade. I'd already paid $150 for the Mustang but the Camaro SS was the fastest car they had. Easy money.
'I'll take all the insurance you have please.'
I bought the biggest package. Everything was covered. My friends will tell you how good of a driver I am.
The car was incredible. Black and yellow. Someone had thought about every line. It oozed muscle and sex appeal at the same time. You couldn't pinpoint what it was but it was.
It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to put the roof down. There was some cover in the boot which needed to be put in place. The only flaw.
I connected my phone to the stereo and started blasting Eminem’s new album with the top down. I paused the music and the lady took my pass and pointed me out of the carpark. Freedom.
The highway was next. 455hp versus pavement. Ohh yeah.
When I put my foot to the floor there was a slight pause, like the car was asking 'are you really sure you want to do this?' I was sure. My whole body sunk back into the chair. I could feel all 455 horses galloping at once.
We hit the coastline, me and the car. I nicknamed it Bumblebee because it was the same colour as my favourite Transformer.
Us and the open road. Plenty of time to think. Plenty of time staring at the lines of paint coming towards me one after the other.
It was quiet. The engine noise sunk into the wind and I started to relax. Yawns were creeping up on me so I stopped at Starbucks and got coffee. Then I was back.
I keyed in Big Sur on the GPS and followed it along. All you could see to the right was water and to the left, mountains.
Having the top down and some clouds cooled things down. My party shirt and t-shirt combination weren't suffice. I pulled in the reigns and put the top back up.
The GPS said we were 13-minutes away. A couple hours down but it felt like just down the road.
30-minutes past. I passed a couple of signs which said, Big Sur. They were towards a big park. But I wasn't stopping. I was on the journey.
Then the sun started to go down. I was gearing up for an epic sunset over the Pacific Ocean. My phone had no signal. Good. But I still had no place to stay.
I watched the ocean for a bit then decided to head back. Big Sur was nowhere to be seen. Actually, I didn't really know what I was looking for.
The sunset was amazing. But I missed it. I timed it perfectly to take the one section of inroad whilst the orange dot was hitting the horizon.
'We're all booked out.'
'Are you sure?' I asked.
'I am,' he said, 'but there's a place down the road you might want to check out.'
I went to the other place and stopped out the front. I didn't like the look of it so I keyed San Francisco back into the GPS. 90-minutes away.
I put on the soundtrack from Drive and cruised back to the car rental place.
'Are you sure you haven't left anything in the car?'
I left my headphones in there. Oh well.
It was midnight but I booked back into the hostel I checked out of. Then caught a Lyft there.
My driver was from Afghanistan. We talked about his favourite cricketer. A real young guy and had some great stats. I could see why he liked him.
I was half expecting the same guy to be on the front door of the hostel, then I remembered it was 14-hours later.
'You'll be in room 102, bed 1.'
'Ha, the same one as before.'
'Oh, don't worry.'
I went back up to the room and made my bed again. It was on the top bunk so moving the blankets around was a battle between them and my knees.
I took my pants off and hung them on the end of the bunk. That would be the last time I saw them.
It was bedtime. I peeled back the shower curtain and turned on the water. My toothbrush was sitting on the shelf in the tub. I left it there.
The whole journey had been to come back and find my toothbrush.
Sitting in bed I Googled 'Big Sur.' Turns out Big Sur isn't one single place rather a stretch of places. I drove right through them all.
Sometimes you don't find what you're looking for. Because it was right there in the first place.
I went to sleep knowing pancakes and eggs would be on the cards in the morning. A man always sleeps better knowing such things.