A California Wedding and a Toothache

There's a sense of completion when you hit the coast, it's the end of a thought, the start of the next one. Marilyn and I reached that thought only a day before my brother's Southern Californian wedding, having been watching the Atlantic splash onto Maine shorres only weeks prior.

We'd made most of our miles based on our smiles and thumbs, ride after ride, a mile here, a thousand miles there, visiting friends and making new ones as we carved our uncertain path towards a definitive destination.

My brother, while one of three, has the distinction of being the one of full blood and only older sibling, undeniably the person I've shared the most ancient memories with. Sure, he threw toy trucks at my baby head that resulted in stitches, slammed a door on my finger that required similar medical attention and other such big brother beatings, but I'm way more bad ass... even if he is a US Marine (please don't hurt me).

Anyways, these days the only thing brewing between us is five gallon batches of beer, and during this particular California summer, our definitive destination, he was getting married. It wasn't meant to be a big shindig, hell I don't think my brother ever thought he cared to get married, but all the same he'd found his girl and the immediate family and friends were turning up for the wedding in the park.

That last section of the country was from Phoenix, instead of the usual thumb and a person with a brake pedal we caught this ride from a couple friends heading to LA for a conference, an easy landing. Marilyn and I then made our way to Hollywood where we eventually met up with my mom at my sister's apartment for the night, she'd just flown in from Connecticut.

The next day we drove on down shy of San Diego to the park for the wedding. My dad and step mom, little brother and a handful of my brother and bride-to-be's friends trickled in and the ceremony went through, married, linked and done, then on to the celebration. Not to be unmentioned, besides the brilliant food, was the cooler full of homebrewed beer we still had kicking around. Chocolate IPA and cigars, now that's a marriage I can get on board with.

After more running around, to the house, dinner by the water with fireworks (happened to be the 4th of July) I wound up with Marilyn piled into a hotel room with some family close to base. The next day brought some time at the beach and eventually a big steak dinner.

This day also brought a new high for teeth pain, a relatively new revelation in my well being, a pain so unreal that had me pacing up and down the beach attempting to focus my attention on anything other than this new found agony. This was becoming un-ignorable.

The day after the pain continued, worsened, difficult to eat suddenly, I bared though it while watching my brother and his friend sky diving. That night it somehow felt better, just in time for another big dinner luckily.

The day after I headed out with my dad and Marilyn to Mother Earth, a brewery that also offered a homebrew shop. We happily drank a couple tasty pints while also loading up on ingredients for a brew of our own. Once back on base at my brother's place we got to brewing, another family dinner and the rest of it.

The next day the family was set to fly out. At this point Marilyn had grown concerned enough, partially from being a nurse I'm sure, to book me a dental appointment to get to the bottom of my teeth. My dad gave us a morning ride to the dentist spot, we hopped out and said our goodbyes until the next crossing.

The dentist explored my teeth and eventually had phrases like "root canal" to work with. She also had impossible price tags and threats of death causing swelling she felt were inevitable. There was some credit option, I humored the dentist, but it certainly came up negative once they checked my records.

I was ready to leave, ready to endure the pain and hope the "it'll swell until it cuts off your ability to breathe" comment would pass.

Marilyn wasn't having it though, "It's just money", she said, worried, her pocket book open and her tone insistent. The dentist made a call to some specialist a few miles away and I was all booked up to get dealt with over there, a girl from the office offered us a lift over there. A root canal later and we got a ride back to original dental spot, then some sort of "temporary crown" installed there, a drug prescription given, back to the road.

The only time I needed significant medical attention on the road, the only time I'd been traveling with a generous nurse lady lover girl happy to make it happen when I couldn't have. Gratification and residual physical pain, soon thought to be quelled after slamming some pharmacy fulfilled pills found some blocks later.

Mexico, that was the thing now, the next desired step, we were backpacked and street wandering pondering the immediate direct move. A thought of spending an intermediate night with my brother was put into question with his questionable plans. Hitch a short north to him, hitch a south and east direction towards the desert, something had to happen.

We thumbed without conviction in a southbound direction. Soon Marilyn, having just firehosed compassionate dental money, thought nothing of a hotel fee, she got on her phone and did her digital jujitsu to find a comparatively meager hotel fee in Carlsbad. No sooner did she book a room did a ride come, no sooner did the ride come did the message from my brother that he could indeed put us up for the night. A non-refundable hotel fee and a direct ride dictated our course, we were off to get a night to nurse the pain... and go to Pizza Port for delicious beer... beer is good for the soul, certainly teeth can get on board with that.

Mexico, Mexico, yes. The cross hairs overlap you, the mission was on, we were in position.

July 3, 2013 to July 8, 2013