California Adventures (Part I)- To read Part II, go here.
Driving up the 101 Sunday night, jetlagged and feeling like it was most definitely time for bed despite the fact that it was only 9pm I couldn’t help but feel that California is a bizarre place. As someone who grew up here, it shouldn’t seem so alien to me but after 16 years on the east coast, it is.
Looking at a map, the state of California is clearly large, as it covers most of the west coast however it’s hard to really grasp how truly gargantuan it is until you realize that you can theoretically drive north to south for 12 hours and still not make it through.
There’s a strange contrast once you leave the packed city of Los Angeles and end up in an area of such open, hills and valleys of land. The next morning I saw many travelers on the 101 as my dad and I traveled around. There’s something romantic about seeing so many motorcyclists packed to the brim with bags strapped down on the front and backs clearly on a journey and trying to get out before the sun and heat get too intense.
Cars would be speeding along the coast with their tops down; ocean on one side and bound up rows of grape vines on the other. Once we ended up further inland, the vineyards alternated with what looked like completely barren land- dry grass stalks and trees that looked similar to those in the wasteland of The Lion King, with massive alien-looking cacti clearly sporting their prehistoric origins scattered about in the huge fields of dirt.
Monday we traveled up to Hearst Castle for the day and did a tour of the cottages and kitchen. This stunningly large and ornate castle was one of the residences of William Randolph Hearst that started creation in 1919 and took almost 28 years to complete, however was never fully finished. While he had other residences that he traveled to and lived in, he used this one to often entertain guests in the entertainment business and to host parties. It’s truly astounding to think that such an ornate and massive project was backed by one man.
Tuesday we traveled up to Morro Bay where my parents often rode to when they went on motorcycle trips. We spent time wandering up and down main street wandering into the little shops, generally wishing I had brought a cardigan (yes, I’m the girl that didn’t bring a jacket because I naively assumed that all of Cali was hot…at all times).
Oh, and we also saw adorable elephant seals!