I had a wonderful visit in Blue Lake, CA with my boss and friend from my very first internship in Vermont-- Lauryn. We drank some awesome beer at the town's one watering hole (aside from the casino)-- Mad River Brewing Company and then ate late night burgers and shakes before bed... a perfect way to unwind from the 7 hours I had just spent driving down the coast (a gorgeous but LONG drive). The next morning, we hit the beach in a tiny town called Trinidad before I headed south to San Francisco.
San Fran was a mix of exploration and exhaustion. I spent night one in an awesome hostel in a national park in the Marin Headlands and night two in a less awesome hostel in the city, where my phone mysteriously disappeared and I spent the night lying awake imagining all of the diseases I was contracting from my bed. Between tracking down a new phone (FYI, California tax is RIDICULOUS-- $45 in tax for a $50 phone!) and walking all over town because I couldn't figure out the public transportation situation, I was beyond exhausted by the end of day 1, but day 2 redeemed the visit for me, as I headed down to Golden Gate Park to hear some world-class bluegrass at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and take in a fantastic Picasso exhibit at the de young Museum. I capped the day off with a sunset drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to my third hostel, which was in old lighthouse keeper's quarters right on the Coast. I unwound in their hot tub for a few minutes before bed-- the perfect end to a great day of exploring.
Yesterday, I decided to take the scenic route to Los Angeles and spent the day driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. It was a long drive... but I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on CD and stopped several times to take pictures and make friends with seals and other marine life. I'm staying the next few nights with another friend named Lauren (apparently I know a few in CA) and after a few days on the road alone, I can't tell you how nice it is to spend some time in one place with someone who knows me well. I rolled in about 5:30 last night and straight away she helped me unload the garbage bags (yes, that's plural) full of dirty laundry from my car and took me to buy beer and eat fish tacos for 1.75 a pop-- this girl gets me!
We're headed out to Santa Monica today to stroll the pier and check out the scene on the beach, so I need to get going here.. but I'll leave you with a few of my favorite photographic memories from the past few days...
Northern California Coastline=Gorgeous
Quick stop in the redwoods (I took better pictures on my phone, but alas.. they disappeared when it did)
Morning view of San Fran and the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin headlands
View of the city from Buena Vista Park
Mission Dolores again
Murals in balmy alley in the Mission district
My favorite one
Lombard Street: The Crookedest (and most touristy) street in the world
Ricky Skaggs at Hardly Strictly
The de young Museum
Apparently a lot of people biked to Hardly Strictly
One last city view
Pacific coast sunset
Fog clearing over big sur