"Are you one of those Trekkies?" asks the rather large-breasted woman behind the check-in counter.
At first I don't know what to say. I stand there frozen. How does she know? My Mr. Spock uniform and pointed ears are back home, safe and sound. Yet this beautiful, statuesque blonde has somehow seen right through me. Seen down to my soul. Maybe I have my Spock ears on and don't know it. Maybe I'm wearing my "Star Trek Rules" T-shirt. Maybe I just look like the kind of total geek who likes "Star Trek." The answers are no, no and maybe.
I'm still standing there, frozen.
"Hello, hello? Sir, are you one of the Trekkies or not?"
How does she know? My communicator and my phaser, which I always set on stun, are packed away in my luggage, clearly out of sight, and I haven't shown anyone my travel "Star Trek" Trivial Pursuit game yet, although I plan on busting it out later when the party starts. How does she know?
She must be psychic.
"Sir. Are you with the Trek to Sonoma or aren't you?"
OK, so I'm an idiot. But give me a break; it's 7 a.m. and I haven't had a drop of coffee yet.
All checked out and back on the road, I realize how special the Trek to Sonoma has been. It's Monday morning. The Trek ended last night, after the final round of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact drag race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and I had a great time. It had been far too long since I road-tripped, and the Trek was a great excuse to bail on the family for a few days and hit the road in a great car. Mazda kindly lent me a brand-new RX-8 for the trip, and it proved itself to be a fantastic ride mile after mile. It's a real honey at 110-plus mph, and it drew a crowd at every stop, which included the Jim Hall Karting School in Ventura, Calif., and Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, where we took in the American Le Mans Series as well as the SCCA World Challenge.
Looking back, I realize the past four days were just terrific. Four full days of great people, great cars and great roads. We even slipped in a few special meals and a libation or two. It was the vacation of a lifetime.
And engineering editor Dave Coleman missed it all. Don't worry, he had fun anyway. Stomach flu, too.