The Journey Across California

We made it to Cal; nothing promotes bonding like cooking!

How is February almost over? Time is moving so quickly this quarter, and this weekend was no exception. I got to go on a mini-vacation with my best friends…how fortunate am I? The plan was hatched a while ago, and I’ve been waiting for so long to finally relax. And this trip came at the perfect time. I didn’t even check my test scores because I didn’t want anything to get in the way of my happiness. Alas, I am back at school and the holiday weekend is over. Fortunately, it’s a weekend I will never forget!

Friday morning: After I finished my one class, I booked it home and minutes after I opened the door, Amadeo was outside ready to go. We ended up waiting for the mail because the mailman was on my block and we had ordered something from American Apparel. My swim trunks came so I brought them along. They fit like a glove. You never know when you may need them (spoiler: I didn’t get to use them). Anyway, after we got that package, we drove to Kathy’s house, where the Hertz car was already there to pick up us. We paid for the car and decided to go to Target to pick up some sodas for the road.

Friday afternoon: We were on the road to UCLA to pick up Alan! It was smooth sailing until we didn’t know where Alan’s apartment was. Eventually we got him and headed straight for Cal Poly SLO to stay at Ryan’s place. Bacon fried rice, dirty soda bottles, contact, and music across the central Californian countryside. I napped for a while.

Friday evening: We arrived at SLO, parked, and got settled in. We ate- I opted for wheat pasta instead of hot dogs. After lounging and resting for a bit, we went out to play some basketball. It was cold and windy as a mother. Then we went to play some more rec games indoors, phew. I still suck at pool. After, we went back to lounge; this is where I tried to start my homework. I was researching for my public health presentation, but I don’t think I got that far. I couldn’t focus. I don’t know where the time went, but we then went to sleep to get up early the next morning.

Saturday morning: I slept semi-comfortably on the couch, though I woke up a lot in the middle of the night trying to shift to more comfortable positions. We got up relatively early, ate some breakfast and headed out to Montana del Oro, which is a nearby beach area. It was sunny, but cold and windy as a mother. We crossed the pebble-strewn beach, which dug into our frozen feet, and made it to a large rock on the coast. I was hesitant to climb it at first because I didn’t want to dirty my white shirt with dust (lol), but we all made it up to the top and sat on the edge, listening to the waves crash onto the rocks, looking to the horizon. The sight was breath-taking.

Saturday afternoon: When we peeled ourselves away from the view, we headed back down the windy road (the changing countryside environments were so beautiful) to clean up and then eat lunch. We ate at Firestone, known for their BBQ. So good! I ate Cajun sausage, which was a sausage patty in a French roll with some honey Dijon and caramelized onions. When we were satisfied, it was time to leave SLO. We headed straight from there on the road to NorCal. Somewhere soon, we took a pitstop because I started driving when we were over 100 miles away from San Francisco. As a note, Corollas suck. There were short bouts of traffic, but for the most part, it was a pretty simple drive.

Saturday evening: When we exited to the city, it was very noticeable. It was very crowded and gave me anxiety while driving around. We got to Eileen’s apartment, and took a good 10+ minutes to parallel park perfectly nearby. Finally, we got to settle down in her awesome living-room-turned-into-room. Eileen already graciously went grocery shopping for us so we started cooking Chipotle-style burritos. Carne asada, white rice with lime, cheese, guacamole, refried beans, and salsa…unhealthy deliciousness. So full, but not done! We went to Ici, which is a popular ice cream shop a few blocks down. I got cherry vanilla almond flavor, which had pieces of cherries in it. I tried other flavors and mine was clearly the most delicious. We went back for a little and then went to walk around. We went up a steep street to see the beautiful lights of San Francisco and also a deer.  Then we walked past some frat houses, protestors, dormitories, strange trees, and across the campus. After we got back, we hung out inside, planned the next day, had a homework party, and fell asleep to Taylor Swift (the song that defined our trip).

Sunday morning: We woke up late and ate breakfast and got ready to go.

Sunday afternoon: We shopped around a little on the way to the BART, and then I spent my first time using a subway system! How exciting and scary. It was very crowded and there was a lot of wobbling, but we made it to San Francisco in one piece. As I emerged from the underground, I saw the bustling streets and glorious skyscrapers everywhere. The weather was sunny and windy, but not in my favorite weather type of way. It was way cold! Luckily, I was wearing my new Levi’s that fit me, so I was warm enough. The streets were so steep, it was crazy. We shopped around a little bit before heading into China Town. We shopped and went to Golden Gate Bakery, where they are known for their egg custard. We waited a while in the cold, but it was worth it because the custard was piping hot and so glorious. From there, we went to Lombard Street, which is the crookedest road in America. The walk was intense, but we saw someone bike up the steep hill leading down to Lombard. At the top, the view was so amazing. We saw Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge; the area around it was really nice and had a very “city” (urban?) feel to it, but at the same time, very touristy.

Sunday evening: After resting at the top, we decided there was only time left in the day to head to Fisherman’s Wharf. So we walked there and decided to eat at Boudin’s, known for their sourdough. I got the classic clam chowder bread bowl. Warmed my soul. We then went to the Ghirardelli factory and ate some chocolate. And then I got super-tired around this point. The night was upon us and there was not much time left. We planned to walk back to the station, but it was farther than we thought, so we took a bus. We saw some crazy accident that happened where there was a car with a cracked (but without holes) windshield and someone with a blanket on and someone in the ambulance. Create your own theories, but Alan and I think someone hit a pedestrian! And both parties were treated for shock. Anyway, on our way to the station, we got stopped by NBC Bay Area and they interviewed me and Amadeo, asking for our opinion about a website that ships condoms anonymously to teenagers. I didn’t think it’d actually be aired, but…we were on TV! SO COOL. WE FAMOUS. CLICK HERE TO SEE ME ON THE NEWS! Then we got back to the station and took it back to Berkeley. On the way back to the apartment, we went to John’s Dollar Scoop where I got some good ol’ Strawberry Cheesecake and I felt reinvigorated for the long walk back. Back at Eileen’s, I just wanted to lay down and take off my clothes and relax. SO EXHAUSTED IN A GOOD WAY. I don’t remember what happened after. I think I wanted to study, but then I just listened to more Taylor Swift. Sigh. So beautiful.

Monday morning: We had to wake up early to leave, but I didn’t want to. Alas, we cleaned up and said our goodbyes to Eileen and headed back on the road again. We stopped to get a quick lunch and got to SLO to drop Ryan off.

Monday afternoon: We then headed back and stopped by the piers at Santa Barbara for a little to walk around. It was too cold.

Monday evening: We drove back to LA to eat at Olive Garden, but then it was closed, so we opted for Chipotle as the last meal of the trip. We dropped Alan off and drove back home.

I planned to save money, not eat too much, exercise, and do a lot of homework. But I did none of that because I was just too busy thinking about fun things! Such a great trip and a much-needed weekend getaway. After over 1000 amazing miles, I am just not ready to go back to school…

~ by Btab on 21 February 2012.

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