Saturday, March 08, 2008

The First Drive Home: Day 1 and 2

There were two drives home for me. My friend was sweet enough to drive down from Seattle to L.A. and load up as much of my stuff as he could in his Explorer. The point was for me to load up his car and mine and we would rent a trailer to tow my car behind him. Thanks to Firestone, Uhall won't rent any trailer they carry to a Ford Explorer. Stupid exploding tires...

Since I really wanted to take the 101 up through California and Oregon, I figured the only way to do so was for me to ride in the Explorer and leave my car down in L.A. for a second trip up. Luckily my old boss was nice enough to fly me down the next week to train my replacement. I was put up in the Westin Pasadena and was rented a car. It was heaven :)

We left Los Angeles on February 15th and drove to Camarillo to spend the evening and next morning with my family. It was really hard to leave them the next day. However we were given their blessings and with a promise to me that we would be able to visit them again soon we took off on the 101 towards San Francisco.

Of course the drive up was beautiful. We stopped at my favorite hotel, The Madonna Inn. When I was younger my great-grandma Mamo used to take me here specifically for the Men's restroom.
It's actually just a waterfall for a urinal, that unfortunately wasn't even working when we visited. However the main dining room is entirely decorated in pink and all the rooms have theme's. I highly recommend checking out the link. You have to see it to believe it.

We made it into South S.F. around 7ish. Since I wanted to meet up with my friends Amy and Andrew, we figured we'd grab a cheap hotel down there and then drive into the city. We were so exhausted by the time we made it into downtown, this was the only night picture I was able to take. It's a building in North Beach that I'm sure has been captured a million times better by other photographers, but I thought it was pretty so....yeah. We had dinner at this cute little Italian place and unfortunately we were so tired that we just weren't great guests to my friends. Retreating back to our hotel in a carbohydrate haze from all the pasta, we passed out until morning.

The next day was a lovely trip. We started out early, driving up to Twin Peaks to catch the view of the city. It was really amazing to watch the changing weather from that height. You can actually see the fog rolling in and out. It's interesting for a photographer, I would assume, since every second that passes can make the shot can look totally different.

I've always found this spot inspiring, even though I know it's a complete tourist trap. Honestly though, there is something cathartic about stepping back from the world and taking it all in instead of being stuck in the middle of it all the time. You never really get to appreciate how expansive and beautiful a place, or a situation, is until you get away from it and look back.

We then headed to the Palace of Fine Arts, which was getting a makeover, but still looked beautiful. I had actually never been there in all the time I had spent in SF. It's almost like an old palace that has been deserted and over run by the pond, vines, and time. I can only imagine a concert there would be an overwhelming experience.

I also liked the duckies :)

Then off to the Golden Gate we went. It's actually not my favorite bridge in SF (the Bay Bridge at night takes that distinction) but it's iconic and I knew my friend would want to take some shots. It was cold and packed full of tourists, but we did manage to take a couple pics here.

Oh so silly....

We drove and drove and took pictures (most of which with my friends' cam so they won't be on this post) and drove. We finally stopped in Eureka and ate at an Applebee's, drank a bottle of rum and then passed out again from a long day of driving.
Two days in and we still hadn't left the state of California.
Next up, the Oregon Coast.

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