Saturday, January 12, 2008

on the road (volume 7)

We left Tucson a little after 1 p.m. It was really kind of hard to leave. I kept putting it off because I was learning and feeling so intensely much there. It was wonderful, actually. So upon leaving, we sort of went through this weird state of withdrawal. We made it into Yuma about 3 hours later, where we goofed off for a while, found a place to crash, ate some food, and passed out. During this time I managed to google Yuma and find out that it is "the sunniest place on earth. Of the possible 4,456 hours of daylight each year, the sun shines in Yuma for roughly 4,050 hours, or about 90% of the time" ( So, of course, we woke up in the morning to a very sunny day. We drove through Yuma (at this point, all I could think about was the movie 3:10 to Yuma) and into the sand dunes. This part was incredibly magical. Part of Star Wars was filmed here. It's the perfect stereotype for the word desert. Sand as far as you can see, in big golden dunes. We parked on the side of the road to play in it. The sand is so fine it's like silk through your fingers. It was breathtaking. I've now added to my list of things to do before I die: go four-wheeling in Yuma's dunes.

We headed on to San Diego from there. On entering California, we had to stop at an inspection station for the Border Patrol, and believe it or not, we saw a car pulled over with a Mexican guy curled up in the trunk. I'm totally serious. It's exactly what you would have expected to see at the U.S./ Mexico border. Crazy.

Anyway, the drive was very beautiful and the scenery changed a whole lot. We headed through San Diego straight to the end of I-8, and on to Ocean Beach. We ate a DELECTABLE Mexican meal for lunch, and browsed in the shops along Newport Ave. We walked down the pier at the end of the road (which was a cool pier, by the way) and it got so foggy while we were out there, we couldn't even see the shore from the end of the pier. It was incredible.

We left Newport to head even further west to Sunset Cliffs. The intention here was (obviously) to watch the sunset. We drove all alongside the ocean where the sides of the roads were packed with cars and the ocean was packed with surfers. I can't really put into words the feel of the places, but it was gorgeous. There were palm trees on one side of the road and rocky cliffs on the other with the ocean just beyond. We came to the end, parked, and walked out to the cliffs. We sat admiring the ocean for a while, walked around on the cliffs, and settled in to watch the sun set. It started getting really foggy again, and we thought we wouldn't get to actually see the sunset, but just as it started to sink, the fog receded, and we were privy to a (yet again) indescribable beauty.
Now it was getting dark, and we were staying at my friend's mom's house, which we needed to find. It was back the way we came, so we set forth. It got dark pretty quick, and we were sitting in freeway traffic. I can't see well driving at night, and I freak out trying to find my way in big cities with lots of traffic, so this was quite the intense experience. We got pretty lost thanks to google map and the lack of exit numbers in California. We spent a good hour and a half getting somewhere that was only like 20 miles away. By the time we got there, I had a headache and a ball of stress in my... everything. We wanted to go out and dance or at least go to a bar in San Diego, but I wasn't even close to being up for that. We pretty much went straight to sleep. In the morning, we planted ourselves at Starbucks to partake of some wi-fi, figured out our route, and set out. We hopped over to the Coastal Highway (which is really cool, by the way) and made for Long Beach. After driving around here for a while, we got some food and had a little picnic on the beach. It was so nice I couldn't believe it was January. I took off my shoes and socks and ran around in the sand and water. It was cold, but it felt SOOOOO good to be near the ocean. I could feed off that feeling.
From here, we made our way into L.A., specifically Hollywood. There was a ton of traffic, so it was kind of slow going.
We made it to the hotel with ease. We are staying on Vine which is less than a mile from the infamous Hollywood & Vine where the star walk is found. The Hollywood sign is visible just by looking up the road. I also got to see my great granddad's star:

Now, I'm about to go clubbing in Hollywood. The club is just down the street. I'm so excited. I feel like a rockstar. Who knows what tomorrow will bring...

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