Because we ended our internships a week earlier than planned to be there for Arianne’s wedding, Zach and I suddenly found ourselves with a whole week where we didn’t have work, school, and we couldn’t move into our new apartment yet. Being kidless and carefree like we are and feeling flush with our internship earnings, we decided to take off to California for another one of our epic adventures; thereby completing our goal to drive coast to coast in one year.
We packed up the cooler with all essential snacks and then armed with a Jeffrey Deaver mystery on CD we started the long drive through Nevada, which basically feels like driving on a treadmill with the same 45 minutes worth of scenery repeating over and over.
We made good time on that treadmill, so when we saw a sign for Lake Tahoe we decided to take a detour and I’m so glad we did. Most gorgeous, most bluest place ever. Family reunion location? Anyone?
|Zach: I agree with Clarissa. It was the most bluest.|
From Tahoe it was a short drive to Zach’s great-aunt Joy’s house, which has to be in the BEST location I can imagine. It’s right on the shore of Lake Folsom, a fact we exploited greatly as we swam around in the fool’s gold water and built the most impressive sand castle you’ve ever seen. Because we didn’t take pictures you’ll have to take my word on this one.
Aunt Joy and Laura were the greatest hostesses anyone could ask for. We went on towards San Francisco full of delicious food and family stories. I even got the dirt on Grandma Haight!
Before San Francisco, we planned a side trip to the Jelly Belly factory because who doesn’t love Jelly Bellies?
|Attack of the giant pouncing Jelly Belly chef.|
|Diaper wipes and centipedes. Who thinks of these things and |
how do I get their job?
|Moldy cheese and skunk spray. Charmed, I'm sure.|
|What a handsome hunk of a man.|
|Zach: this picture is worth an accidental 10 bucks to get back across the bridge, right?|
|We're suckers for tourist traps. Especially chocolate ones.|
There would be a picture of me here, but all the ones that Zach took of me on the wharf were of me attempting to keep my blustery hair from becoming part of my lunch. I somehow always manage to forget just how windy and cold San Francisco gets, even in August.
We had planned to visit China Town, but panicked while attempting to find parking with our manual transmission on the nearby vertical hills. Imitation fashion will have to wait for another, bolder, visit. It took all my courage just to survive the knuckle-clutching-the-steering-wheel-transmission-burning-I’m-so-glad-Zach-is-driving-not-me drive through town until we made it to the freeway and on to our next stop: the Redwoods.
We got to our campsite in a park just outside of San Jose in time to set up all that camping equipment we’d been longing to use all summer, and even started a fire (take THAT Colorado!).
|We love our little extra-long-for-you-weird-tall-people-tent with|
our double sleeping bag. MUCH more comfortable than two
The place was gorgeous. We found a 1200 year-old grove and spent hours hiking around the HUGE trees.
|You know you just went "awwww..."|
|This is my "You've taken 6 pictures of me in front of this same spot" smile. |
Zach was smitten with the forest. As he put it, it made understanding fairytales possible.
|This is the amazing banana slug. If you're ever bored, go here|
and be grateful that your man is not a banana slug.