Have you ever Googled “Songs about California?”
I did, before I left for our trip. There are hundreds of them!
Suffice to say this state on the West Coast of the U S of A has inspired thousands of artists and musicians to write, draw, sing, strum or speak of the magic that is
C A L I F O R N I A…
So, grab yourself your liquid of choice, put on some California inspired music (try Joni Mitchell’s California, The Mamas & the Papas’ California Dreamin’ or Lana Del Ray’s West Coast) and settle in to immerse yourself in my memories and snaps of time in the Golden State.
Six weeks break from full time work have come to an end and so it is that I type this for you all from our living room couch, ugg boots on feet where Winter Greys cloud my windows and Sunday Blues, Monday Sadness, Wednesday Hump Day and Friday Yay mentality infiltrate my psyche once more – despite my best efforts to maintain the freedom of thought that blessed my mind in the absence of the “9-5.”
Weeks after returning home from California, the beauty and joy of the trip have begun to sink in to my spirit at a deeper level.
I’ve found myself yearning for those forests already; so soon!
I sit, conjuring up memories of those towering Redwood trees, the ocean drives, the hot-dusty desert, the “Morning Ma’am” greetings, the painted weatherboards flanked by pot plants and wind-chimes, the joyfully coloured street art splashed all over city walls, the Mammoth Mountains…Oh the Mountains, the majesty and wonder that is Yosemite Valley, snow-capped heights trekked in summer sleeves, meadows sprinkled with wildflowers, cartoon-cute squirrels scurrying near my feet, fears of rattle snakes never seen, a lone Coyote greeting me from across the parking lot, muted hues that merge into one never-ending landscape painting, a family of deer camouflaged amongst mountain grasses, hats and sunnies on- convertible top down, wahoos from the sky into the valley below, rushing rivers, babbling brooks and wondrous waterfalls, organic this-sustainable that, the panting breaths of high altitude hikes, the freedom felt when exploring a world that is new.
Our 17 night journey saw us embark on a road trip that began at LAX airport and continued up the wondrous West Coast of California.
LAX – Santa Barbara – Big Sur – Davenport – Burlingame – San Francisco – Yosemite Valley- Mammoth Lakes – Joshua Tree Desert – Santa Monica – LAX
California is the antithesis of all that I had conjured America up to be in my mind. It is earthy, wide-opened, expansive, organic, beautiful, friendly, warm, magical and full of spirit.
We drove, slept, dreamed, ate, gazed, wondered, walked, hiked and breathed in that spirit; letting it seep into our souls and replenish our Self.
May this little guide inspire you to do the same…
S A N T A – B A R B A R A
Slept – Castillo Inn
- The Pier
- State Street
B I G S U R (HIGHLY recommend at least 2 nights!)
Slept – Ripplewood Resort http://www.ripplewoodresort.com/
Ate – River Inn http://bigsurriverinn.com/
- Elephant Seals Big Sur http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/elephant-seals.html
- Andrew Molera State Park Headlands Trail
D A V E N P O R T (a drive through break would be sufficient)
Slept – Davenport Roadhouse Inn
Ate – At the inn, Whalecity Bakery
- Slowcoast Airstream (next to the inn)
- On route from Davenport to Silicon Valley: Big Basin Redwoods State Park
- On route to stay with friends: Google, Stanford University
I’m leaving you all here to ponder the awesomeness of the Redwoods…
Tune into Part 2 of California Dreamin’ for San Fran – Yosemite – Mammoth Lakes – Joshua Tree – Santa Monica!
Love & Blessings,