generally i want my throwback thursdays to be more of a reminisce thursday, but i think i need to take a moment and throwback just one year, when i was gearing up to head out to california.
it doesn’t seem like it’s been almost a year since jane and i went to california. what a great time!
the first day we were there, we went to universal studios and HARRY POTTER WORLD.
i don’t know if i’ve been this happy since! what a great time. we had some butter beer, got wands, tried to go on a ride successfully (successfully in jane’s case and unsuccessfully in mine), ate at the three broomsticks, and immersed ourselves into potter culture. it was glorious.
(seriously, i was finishing up my above paragraph and my phone buzzed.)
the day after HP world, jane and i went to sequoia national park just north of LA. it was also election day, and the world seemed so bright and unsullied… but i digress. we headed to hertz and picked up our rental care – a convertible! and headed north. we spent the day driving, but that was ok. we got into the san joaquin valley, and it was almost otherworldly (think post-apocalyptic). sequoia was great. we saw some big trees, drove through the park and got some great pine-y smells, and saw general sherman, which is the largest tree by volume.
the sunset that evening was great as we came down the mountain, with some mist in the foothills. on the way home we tried out in-n-out, which decided was not better than 5 guys.
the third day was my favorite day! we took out convertible car and drove up and down the coast on hwy 1. there was so much win with this day. the ocean was great, the breeze was great, the salt smell, the bright sun, the beach. the RVs on the side of the road lined up for miles and surfers out in the waves trying their best to surf, the palm trees, the waves splashing up rock outcroppings, the mountains sloping up on the east side of the road, the grand houses we saw as we drove into the LA area, the santa monica pier in the evening with the sun sinking into the ocean, and the drive back up over a mountain with the whole of LA spread out in the valley with lights as far as the eye could see, and the drive back to the hotel on ventura boulevard with specialty storefronts for miles and miles, and jane’s one navigational mistake of the day as she missed the turn into our hotel parking lot.
on day four, we had no idea what we were going to do, but ended up doing a bus tour of LA, which was more fun than i thought it would be. we stopped at the chinese theater and checked out the sidewalk of stars. we sat on top of the bus and saw beverly hills, fancy cars, and out-of-place christmas decorations. saw the hollywood sign and had a general good time. i think the best part of the day was when we were the only ones on the bus, and our driver had to pull over to tell us to put our seatbelts on while we were on the freeway.
our last full day in california was kind of a rest day. highlights of the day included me biffing it on the pool deck in front of everyone, leaving the outdoor pool because i was chilly and finding out it was 80º, eating at an authentic mexican restaurant where jane had the best burrito of her life, and me trying to pack everything back up (she died like she lived: packing her suitcase).
return day was depressing. the shuttle there was quicker and less angry than the shuttle when we flew in. we had an excellent beer at the airport bar, got on the plane, and flew back home. we WERE pleasantly surprised by the spacious freeway lanes when we got home. so much room!
i want to go back! but to visit.
because i’ll tell you what: as much as i loved being in california and the weather in november and the ocean, it doesn’t hold a candle to paddling on lake sagatagan on a windless june evening among the pines and oaks and aspen, feet in the water, with loons calling to each other across the water.