Sure you may not see the romanticism of sleeping on the ground, eating unusual fruits, animals and other undistinguishable items, or carrying all your worldly possessions on your back but we do.
Halfway through Death Valley, we parked to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful, reflecting off the snow covered ground. We had driven just far enough that we left one extreme weather condition and drove into another. Lucky for us, it was Winter time – so the heat was more along the lines of 60 degrees; even better, this years winter has been rather warm. As we sat there, dots were connecting in my mind… in California. Near Mexico. Need Passports to enter. Passports are in my wallet. Wallet was behind the TV in hotel. Hotel was in Las Vegas.
“I left my wallet in Las Vegas!”
That looked to Adrian like a random thing to blurt out at the moment. Well, our path was decided… We had to turn around to go back to Vegas. Ugh… Vegas. Even though the situation looked grim, we did miss the Salt Flats of Death Valley – so it gave us an opportunity to turn around and stop to see them.
After our turn around in Vegas to pick up my wallet, we made our way to Mt Baldy. We stop a lot at random places, so a lot of times we don’t quite make it to our destination at a reasonable time to see it. So we slept, and woke up on top of a mountain. It, as always, was a breathtaking view. The people at the Lodge/Diner were nice, and invited us to sit next to the fire the night we arrived. We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we weren’t sure how well the economy car would handle another mountain. Ha!
Hollywood, baby! I made it. Well, at least to the sign. To me, it was really cool. One of those dreams of mine to see. We walked down Hollywood BLVD and snapped some pictures of the stars. Sometimes when we put coins in the parking meter, we seem to not put in enough SO our time there was limited. Then we hightailed it out of the greater LA area.
Cardiff by the Sea was where we slept next. Cute little beach towns. You quickly learn California is FULL of cute little beach towns. Take your pick; each has it’s own quirky personality and comes equipped with an ocean view. We watched the sunset at Venice Beach and stopped by Huntington Beach (where I had bought Adrian’s surfboard over 3 years ago!). Baby’s Badass Burgers is a food truck that travels around the greater LA area, and is 100% worth the stop. Best burger we’ve ever had. Look on their website and you can see where their food truck is going to be that day. We also stopped at La Jolla Beach to see the sea lions and eat pizza. We’ve fallen in love with California.
We, of course, just HAD to have breakfast in Mexico. Truth is, we just wanted our passport stamped. So, we walk right across the border. No stamp. Catch a cab to downtown Tijuana. Get out of the cab. Turn around, get in another cab back to the border. Wait two hours to get back into America. The CBA asks us what we did in Mexico… we told him. He told us, “There is nothing good down there, man. Stay your asses North of the border.” Next time, we will be flying into the country and it will be a vacation spot 100% sure.
Do you know what is an interesting experience? Staying at a Hostel. Especially when you find out the hostel you chose to stay at is known for being the ‘party hostel’ where you can ‘get any drug your heart desires’. Well, at least we were only there overnight and left early the next day. We did make new friends from the Czech, who freestyle rap like Adrian! Overall, it was a fun and interesting experience. Unfortunately, our backpack didn’t survive the experience. As we left it there, never to be seen again! (Nothing of value, to our knowledge, was in the backpack.)
San Diego was next. Something we are trying to do is see the things the cities are known for to us, like the San Diego zoo… however, the other thing we try not to do is repeat things like zoos, aquariums, art museums… etc. Since we had already gone to the Chicago zoo AND it was free we figured we would skip the San Diego zoo this round… after all, how can you beat Adrian-hopping-the-fence-to-get-the-perfect-picture-of-the-leopard experience? We did get to visit with friends, which was awesome.
We are doing all of it because this pilgrimage has a scent about it that smells of destiny, and like blood hounds nearing on a kill, it is driving us crazy. We have to hunt it down, explore it, and tear it to pieces. Sure you may not see the romanticism of sleeping on the ground, eating unusual fruits, animals and other undistinguishable items, or carrying all your worldly possessions on your back but we do. Not only do we see it, but we love it. Of course, like all things in life, they can become redundant. Traveling, believe it or not, can become like your 9-5 job that you look forward to going home from. It has been so important for us to find the positive in every situation. The car accident had probably been the biggest example of that necessity; the glass half full life.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our time in SoCal! Keep on the look out for next Sunday’s post on Northern California.