Sunday, July 31, 2016


I've been spoiled.  I vacationed with my mom and dad in California for about a week—just me and my parents!  To be sure, I wasn't entirely burdensome.  I offered to pay for our meals on several occasions, only to be turned down.  I played the role of navigator when my dad found that even his trusty 2015 atlas couldn't guide him through California's labyrinth.  I provided the music playlists, which featured an equal number of Dad's favorites and Mom's favorites.  We heard quite a bit of James Taylor and Pat Benatar.

But anyway, here's the lowdown on our trip.  The pictures speak for themselves, of course.


Where we ate:

Pier Market, Pier 39 in San Francisco: I consider myself a soup-in-a-bread-bowl aficionado.  Thus, I was pleased to find that Pier Market's famous clam chowder in a sourdough was fresh, flavorful, and hearty.  I even ate some of my mom's calamari, which I normally find disgusting. 

Dim Sum, Chinatown in San Francisco: I actually can't remember what the place was called, but the food was delicious.  Some of the dishes tasted just like they did when I was a little kid, and some tasted better.  A man at the table next to us ordered chicken feet—they still looked horrible. 
My absolute favorite dish is the white bun. 

During the drive:

Much of our drive was quite a bit depressing.  The landscape was dry, brown, and dusty.  We passed a lot of towns that were abandoned or nearly so.  We even passed a town's sign that read: ClOSED—BEAT IT. (Okay, that was funny.)

We passed this sign.  Gobbi is my unfortunate childhood nickname.  I feel sorry for the street. 

A shoe tree that seems too absurd to be real.  

Where we visited:

Mammoth Lake, California.  We found a secluded spot with a perfect view of the lake and the mountains.  The colors of the sky and the water were beautiful.

Yosemite, California.  This was my first time going to Yosemite.  Although the national park was insanely crowded, and half of China seemed to be there, the sites were undeniably some of the most breathtaking I've ever seen.

San Francisco, California.  Apparently, I visited San Francisco when I was a kid, but I don't remember anything.  This trip was really fun, and like Yosemite, it was crowded.  It's a good thing my dad was driving in the city because I would have crashed and died.  California drivers seem much more... aggressive.  We visited Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, Ghirardelli Square, and Chinatown.  I think I was most excited for but shocked by Chinatown.  I didn't expect it to be so crowded and smelly and dirty and strange.  But their food is good. 

Gorgeous view from Lombard Street.  I can't imagine why the city thought this curvy street of death was a good idea.

Love this picture of the bridge peaking through the fog. 

 Golden Gate National Cemetery, California.  This is the largest cemetery I've seen in my life.  The worker said that there were well over 100,000 people buried here, all who fought in a war at one point.  My dad learned that his grandfather was buried here, so we paid a visit.

 Redwood National Forest, CA.  This was my favorite place.  When I walked into areas of the forest where the tree trunks were wider than my car, and branches towered above my head, it felt almost sacred and sublime.  The forest was peaceful, quiet, and I wish I could build a wigwam and live there.

Massive massive tree trunk!

 Lassen Volcanic National Park, California.  This park was breathtaking, too.  We learned about the history of the land, volcanic eruptions, and we saw several huge rocks that were flung during eruptions.

<3 <3 <3 

One of my favorite pictures at Lake Helen. 

It's hard to tell in the picture, but this was a hot, boiling mud pot/spring.  It reeked of sulphur, and it was creepy.  Monsters go swimming in there. 
Virginia City, Nevada. I was excited to visit this town because I used to watch Bonanza, but this place was crude, forgettable, ugly, and gross.  But we were there, so...there.

What we watched:

I can also say that I provided some evening entertainment for my family.  After a long day of walking in cities and national parks, we watched Downton Abbey at our hotel before we went to bed.  


Again, the pictures speak better of the trip than I can.  I suppose there's nothing left to say but THANK YOU Mom and Dad for letting me crash yet another one of your vacations! You can expect it again ;) 

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