The Final Word on the Vacation

So I know I’ve had a number of posts about my vacation and I’m sure you’re all a little weary of it by now, but I did so much, saw so much, that there’s a lot to share. Please remember vacation was from JUly 21 – 29 – so much was packed into that week’s time. This will be the final one though – honest!

First – after a short trip to Las Vegas several years ago (this was before I lived in Needles and it was my first “adult” trip to Sin City), for a friend’s bachelorette party, I was influenced to consider a travel journal. A friend of my friend’s decided to have one for the Vegas trip and just ask random people to sign it so as to help remember the trip. I really latched onto the idea. What a cool way to remember things you may not ordinarily remember!

So for starters, a list of new experiences I had on this trip:

•Saw a harbor seal at Bodega Bay – in all my visits hadn’t ever seen that type of critter there – it was exciting! Also saw a washed up squid -slimy!

•Visited the Castro District in San Francisco – this was a hilarious trip! One silly observation led to a bunch of puns about the place and embarrassed one aunt (but she was laughing too)

•Saw the schoolhouse from “The Birds” in Bodega Bay – creepy!

•Rode the cable car in San Francisco (see “Ding! Ding! Cable Car Coming Through!)

•Visited Golden Gate Park (see “A Walk Among the Dahlias”)

•Drove the Pacific Coast Highway south from Monterey to catch another highway – CA-46 – very long trip – slow but absolutely gorgeous! This is how I ended up seeing the elephant seals! – another new experience.

•Stayed with friends (not in a motel) – okay that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it kind of was – felt like another milestone reached – bumming with friends haha.

•Did the Walk of Fame/bus tour – certainly fun and interesting (see “Hollywood Adventure-The Last Leg of the Vacation”)

•Finally had the never to ask a few random folks to sign my travel journal! I’m naturally introverted so this is a bit of a big deal. I still didn’t do it as much as I needed to but it’s a start.

I’m going to try and use this entry to talk about the things I haven’t already. The gallery is of a few photos I haven’t already posted because I don’t want to repeat myself or bore  you with it. The way the vacation worked is like this: I took off at some ridiculous hour on July 21. It’s a long drive so I like to get up really early so I can try and have a good part of the day at my aunt’s or my grandpa’s by the time I arrive. In this case, I wanted to be up there early enough so I could be at the friend and family gathering my aunt had planned.

I got it done! I was a little later than I hoped due to unplanned stops, but I made it. It was a great time too! It was a lot of fun seeing some of my aunt’s friends, joking and laughing. There was a “stolen” fruit pie and a “sacrificed” water melon. The best part came at the end when my aunt Donna and a couple of her friends wanted to sing some of their Bulgarian songs they’ve learned. That led to a bunch of singing by my cousins and well into the night. I finally had to head to bed early but the way I see it, I was sung to sleep with Beatles songs coming from the living room. Great day!

I spent a couple more days in Sebastopol with my aunts, cousins, uncle and grandma. There was a San Francisco trip that included a ride through the Castro District, which for those who don’t know, is the gay friendly area if you will. I hope no one is offended by what I’m about to say – it was a really funny trip! One silly observation led to a bunch of puns about being out that way – something about how aunt Donna said she was going to go straight at the light and I observed it a little peculiar to go straight in this district. It went from there. Note: It was all in fun and no one in that car has any prejudices. 🙂 There was Golden Gate Park, etc. Those I will leave for you to read the other posts for though.

Okay this is getting long haha. I better hurry up. I spent about a little more than a day with my grandpa in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately my pit stop in San Francisco to ride the cable car proved costly in terms of time so I didn’t have as much time with him on that day. We did have a really nice day the next day though. He and I always go see a movie and in this case we went to “Monsters University,” which I loved! Super cute film. Probably one of my favorite parts there was being able to take him out to breakfast at a local surfer’s joint. Nothing compares to going to a local place to eat instead of all the touristy places.

From there, I kept going south and ended up spending part of an afternoon in Monterey. I wanted to go the aquarium and that was fabulous! Again, I’ve already linked that post with photos if you want to check it out. From there I took off south along the Pacific Coast Highway, which was so beautiful! I had no idea how long it was going to take for me to find the highway I needed and was constantly worried I went the wrong way but nope… I was fine. I’m so glad I did it too… it meant another new experience (see above). Yay elephant seals!

It was a long day that started at about 7 a.m. (before I was honestly ready to get up) and didn’t end until 4 a.m. the next day. Holy crap! I just realized how long it really was… wow. Anyway, by this time I reached my friend’s place and that too has it’s own entry… it needed one because dang… I clearly was tired. So, I hung out with John and Jen for a couple of days and I was able to visit Venice Beach and San Pedro. I wanted to go to another aquarium in San Pedro but that finally didn’t happen but I did get to see some of the murals in Venice like I wanted to… that was great! The parking experience sucked as usual out there but it worked out okay. During this whole time in Los Angeles, I was able to really work on my parallel parking skills. I’m no master but I’m way better now!

One of my favorite parts of hanging out with John and Jen was the ability to come and go (he gave me the code to get into the building and left a key for me to get in the apartment – which was really nice!). I did get plenty of time in with John too. I went with him to a local play to see a guy he really likes. It was fun! He and I also had a nice dinner my final night of vacation at an awesome sushi place….yum! I then headed home which also turned into an adventure. One missed turn or something led to three extra hours of driving… ugh. Another long day but that’s how the cookie crumbles on occasion.

So I really wanted to show some of my one sentence novels (another element of the travel journal) but um… yeah this is already too long and I promised I wouldn’t say anything else about vacation on this blog. I guess we’ll just have to live without those. Just trust me – one sentence novels are a great way to sum up a single experience! There’s a story for them also but alas… another time perhaps. Thanks for taking the time to read this monstrosity haha. 🙂

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