We, 35 and 34, finished potty-training Anna Claire, 3, just in time for a spring break trip to southern California. After five straight days of airplane toilets, public restrooms, and port-o-johns, I'm strongly considering having all of us switch back to diapers.
Heading up the 101 during rush hour Monday night, Anna Claire made it clear she needed to use the facilities. Being new to this routine, she remains under the impression that sanitary lavatorial options are always at hand.
(Helpful travel tip: references to freeways in SoCal generally include both a noun marker, e.g. the 101 or the PCH, and copious profanity, "Go, @#$%&*! This isn't a @#$%&* parking lot, it's the @#$%&* 405!")
So we pulled off the next exit, which just so happened to be Sunset Boulevard where everyone who's anyone in Hollywood has gone pee pee or, in the case of Hugh Grant, worse. There are roughly 10 million people in L.A., 10 million of which are likely to be found on Sunset Boulevard at any given moment, many of them behaving rather roughly. Turns out Anna Claire is not the first person to find herself in urgent need of a public potty. Which explains why the McDonald's/Starbucks/coin-op laundromat where we alighted had only a single uni-john. It had a lock that required a quarter to open and a sign that read,
"THIS RESTROOM IS OWNED BY ALL OF THE COMPANIES IN THIS BUILDING."
After an initial peek and whiff, I felt compelled to scribble the postscript,
"...AND CLEANED BY NONE OF THEM."
That was a week ago, and none of us has contracted anything that a coupla rounds of antibiotics won't cure. But beware. The next time you need to do #2 on the 101, you might want to avoid Sunset and wait for a less noxious exit. Like Portland.