California Adventures

I took off for San Francisco to pick up Kathryn, writing down what time her plane lands and nothing else. It didn’t hit me until I actually got to the San Fran international airport that the place is massive, and just knowing what time one plane gets in isn’t going to be very helpful. I at least remembered that she was coming in on a delta flight so I went to the right terminal. After about 20 minutes of wandering and feeling a bit stupid, I finally found her waiting for her bag. Unlike me when I first returned to the States, she was pretty energetic and willing to check out San Francisco for a couple of hours, so we hopped in the car and headed for the warf. We spent two half-days in San Fran before heading down the 101 towards Monterey.

Kathryn and I started the day in San Fran and ended on the coast at Cannery Row. After buying some Ghirardelli chocolate and grabbing our beers, we chilled out on the beach and later tried to sleep on the beach but got kicked out. We decided to sleep at one of the lookout points in our car, so we threw back the seats, snuggled into our sleeping bags and drifted off to sleep. A couple hours later I awoke to a knock on the side of my car followed by, “Moneterey Police Department.” Great. Turns out we aren’t allowed to take a little power nap on the beach in the middle of the night. When we asked him where we could sleep, he re-directed us to the cemetary parking lot down the road where we ‘wouldnt be bothered’ (yeah, maybe not by living people). Since we had no other options, we drove to the cemetary. There was no cell reception. Lovely.

No ghosts bothered us that night and we continued on down the coast and spent a few hours on Pfeiffer Beach, where I developed some weird obsession with pets and took photos of stranger’s dogs as they played in the water. I’ll be the first to admit it was a little creepy. From the beach we drove down to Santa Barbara to catch up with Missy and ended up spending the night there. I’ve made it a goal to introduce Kathryn to America’s finest selection of fast food, and she had the pleasure of experiencing Taco Bell for dinner on the way to SB (she loved it!). LA was next on the list to visit my puddle jumping best friend Stephen (who I also met while working at Furneaux) in Hollywood.

Batman and Bumblebee greeted us as we stepped out of the parking garage and onto Hollywood Blvd. I was unimpressed until we saw Captain Jack Sparrow (it looked just like him) and then I was almost willing to fork out some money for a photo with him..but I was too shy. I might actually die if I ever met Johnny Depp face to face. We explored the stars and met Stephen for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. 12 wings later I rolled myself out of my chair and Kathryn and I drove up as close to the Hollywood sign as we could, the whole time debating hiking up to it. Just as we had talked ourselves out of it, we met two crazy Canadians who told us they were also thinking of hiking up to the sign. We quickly changed our minds and joined forces with Ram and Darcy. As we walked up the street to find a good place to cut in, we passed multiple signs warning us against hiking up to the Hollywood sign with threats such as fines and possible arrest, but we were on a mission. Night was just beginning to fall as we began to hike up the hill. In retrospect, we probably should have waited until it was a little bit darker. The four of us made it about 200 meters from the sign when I noticed one of the spotlights moving. As we tried to remember whether or not it had always been moving, the spotlight zones in right on us. We all drop to the ground despit the fact that there is only one tiny bush as cover. “Do you think they saw us?” Ram whispered as we crouched on the exposed hillside. As if on cue, a second spotlight swung into motion and immediately found us. We decided it was probably time to go, and as we booked it down the hill and stepped onto the road a heliopter showed up. I dont know if it was related to us or not, but we all agreed that it was probably a good idea we abandoned our pipe dream of sitting in the Hollywood “O”s. But it wasn’t easy…we were so close! LA was our final California destination, and from there we planned to shoot inland towards the national parks. We bade farewell to our new friends and drove as far to the Grand Canyon as we could, stopping when we grew weary to sleep on the side of the road.

California, it was fun!


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