December 15–San Francisco

In the AM we’re sent off with a care package, replete with music, beauty products—my skin is having some sort of armageddon–and music. Anya is a saint.

We get a flat tire somewhere north of San Diego. It’s actually been a slow leak we’ve been ignoring for two days, but it’s now low enough for the gas station attendant to tell us to pull over to the garage to have it checked out. Thirty minutes later, we’re back on the road.

We have to get all the way back to San Francisco, in order to revisit Yoshi and our other SF friends, Evan and Chris. We all go to Benihana where we tell the waitress it’s Nick’s birthday. That means three waitresses grudgingly come over and beat on a drum and clap and sing to us. They finish off with a Polaroid of the “birthday” crew. After that, we get get a room for karaoke and spend the next three hours doing a sing along with 15 people. One of the biggest hits is Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” (my selection!) Really, with all the swaying and closed-eyed belting, we could be at church camp. Except there’s a lot more whiskey.