I’ve begun a love affair with California. Somehow, despite having grown up in Los Angeles, attending university for four years in Davis (northern California, near Sacramento), and having excellent taste in literature, I managed to go about 20 years before really exploring this state or reading much of Steinbeck or Joan Didion, two of its most famous writers.
My travel plans for this year have changed several times (more on that later), but for right now, I think it’s set enough in stone for me to officially announce that a majority of my travels this year will be spent exploring my home state. Most of this stems from my recent reading list (as do many of my decisions), of which the most recent addition is 36 hours, USA & Canada, West Coast, which highlights destinations along the west coast and ideas about how to make the most of a weekend spent in each.
So I’ve been sitting around with this book looking for weekends to mark off in my planner, and a couple Friday afternoons ago I was sitting in my backyard with my planner and it was a beautiful day out and I was thinking about how much I loved California, and I thought, “You know what? It’s go time.”
So the next morning I left for Santa Barbara, a place that, despite only being about a 1.5 hour drive from LA, a place that every person in my family has somehow visited without my knowledge (or permission), I have never been.
I woke up about three hours earlier than I normally do on a Saturday and prepared for a dramatic entrance into the living room, where I imagined my family would be eating breakfast and reading the paper, having already been awake for half the day. They would be shocked to see me conscious at such an hour. There would be applause, maybe some croissants. I would leave my house for Santa Barbara in a blaze of glory.
Alas, no one was home, and I was left going, “Ta-dah!” to an empty house and an unimpressed cat. Not so easily deterred, I got myself dressed and drove myself to Santa Barbara, certain that my glory-blazing was only just around the corner rather than out of sight completely.
Santa Barbara did not disappoint. There was no applause but there were tacos — delicious, delicious tacos at La Super-Rica — there was strolling along State Street, there was driving amongst the mansions overlooking the ocean, there was Best Coast blasting at an obnoxious volume with my sun roof open, there were pictures precariously taken from behind the wheel (no there weren’t, Mom and Dad), there was slight stalking of a bridal party taking photos at the mission, there was iced coffee from a guy who told me I looked like Anne Hathaway (nope!), there was contemplation by the ocean, there was also a lot of traffic by the ocean, there were old bookstores and manuscript museums visited, and there were many semi-ok pictures taken with the camera I am still trying to learn how to work.
So much glory blazing. I will allow applause.
BLAZED, BITCH. As for my next adventure: if all has gone well on the road and if the WordPress scheduling tool worked correctly, I am currently out in the California wilderness as you are reading this. I’m on a night photography camping trip with work, and I have no idea how to work many of the functions on the camera they’ve lent me nor most of the camping utensils that I will need to use in order to survive. I doubt that anything is going wrong at this moment.