California

photo taken by  Zechariah Lee  at El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA

photo taken by Zechariah Lee at El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA

**the adventures continue**

If you have yet to read my nyc blog post, I must inform you about a couple of things. Before this trip, I had little traveling experience, hadn't been away from home for more than five days, and had never seen the ocean or mountains. Hence why this trip full of firsts was an uber special one.

 Carry on :)

A couple months after meeting Zech in NYC, I booked a flight to spend nine days with him in the Golden State in July. Zech was born and raised in Los Angeles so I volunteered him as my tour guide, and boy was he great. He made sure I saw EVERYTHING. We spent the first day at a beautifully quaint, remote beach in Laguna. I swam in the OCEAN, it was so SALTY, the waves had a RHYTHM, and I was a happily bobbing head in the midst of it. There were rocks to climb and bask upon, palm trees, crabs to play with– I felt like a mermaid and a child all at once. I didn't want the magic to end, but the tide was rolling in and that was our signal to head out.

photo taken by  Mickey Mars  at El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA

photo taken by Mickey Mars at El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA

I can’t remember the exact timeline of the next couple of days, but it went something like this: The next day we embarked on a five-hour drive to Oakland where a couple of Zech’s friends live. We got in late, woke up early, and hit the road again for yet another five-hour drive to Yosemite. There were a lot of forest fires happening at that time, so visibility was low due to the ominous blanket of smoke covering the park.

Zech and I at Taft Point in Yosemite, photo by  Bill Kim

Zech and I at Taft Point in Yosemite, photo by Bill Kim

Nonetheless, the view was breathtaking. The setting sun and potent smoke worked in harmony as they created a glowing sky in hues of pink and orange. My friends and I sat in admiration for the grandeur of the landscape, and took a moment to appreciate our journey together. We made the mile long trek back to the car in the dark and set off on yet ANOTHER five-hour drive back to Oakland.

(from left to right)  Bryce Daniel , myself,  Zechariah Lee , and  Bill Kim  at Lower Yosemite Fall

(from left to right) Bryce Daniel, myself, Zechariah Lee, and Bill Kim at Lower Yosemite Fall

The next day, Zech, Bill and I spent some time in Oakland’s neighbor city: San Francisco. Our time here was limited, so we only did a couple of things. First, we snagged breakfast at a cool cafe and enjoyed the BEST AVOCADO TOAST we’ve (I think I can speak for all of us) EVER had! We then headed to SF’s signature site: The Golden Gate Bridge– which, quite literally, blew us away. The wind was so strong that a bird flying against the wind appeared stagnant. Bill even asked if it was a drone. That question became a hilarious, looming joke (we love you, Bill). We also experienced the notoriously steep streets of SF. This may not seem like a huge deal, but I come from mid-Michigan where the only steep hills are man-made for sledding; so for me, SF was a wild ride.

photo by  Bill Kim , taken on a rock that I wasn't supposed to be sitting on at the Golden Gate Bridge

photo by Bill Kim, taken on a rock that I wasn't supposed to be sitting on at the Golden Gate Bridge

The three of us grabbed a bite to eat and embarked on our final five-hour drive back to Los Angeles. We started calling Bill our son; we’re a happy family. We spent the next few days bopping around the overpriced thrift stores of LA, seeking the best views, and going to the beach. Zech even taught me how to surf like a true Southern Californian. Our fun came to an end when we parted ways at LAX and that was the end of my extraordinary summer travel… so I thought.

A few things to know about Zech: he goes to school in New York, doesn’t mind spending hours in a car (you might have already noticed), is eager to experience new things, and had recently purchased a new car that he was hoping to use during his senior year of college. Keeping these things in mind, I was not surprised when he invited me on a road trip from LA to New York. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but to get to New York from LA you must drive ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Of course, I said yes.

And, of course, there will be another blog post about that grand voyage.

Until then, stay well my friends.