I left San Diego by late morning Tuesday and jumped on the pacific coast highway, CA-101, which is a highway that runs along the California coast line and goes through lots of cool towns. I stopped and spent most of the day in Long Beach, which is a very cool city on the beach. I spent most of the day driving around, finally stopped to eat at District Wine, which had a happy hour with $7 flat bread pizza and $5 glasses of wine. It was a really cool spot, with big arm chairs, perfect for sitting around and enjoying a cloudy afternoon. I didn’t have anywhere to stay in Long Beach so I did did some car camping there.
Wednesday morning I drove the rest of the way up to Los Angeles. It was a beautifully warm day so I hiked up as close as you can get to the Hollywood sign and met a couple of guys, one from LA and one from Mass, who told me some cool spots to hit while in Los Angeles.
I did most of the touristy things while I was there, saw the hollywood sign, went to Sunset Strip, and has an awesome hotdog wrapped in bacon and topped with onions and jalepenos… sooo good. I went and saw The Walk of Fame, walked down Hollywood Blvd, which is closed off to driving to prepare for the Oscars.
When I returned to my car, which was parked on the street, I got in, turned it on, put it into drive and it died. I repeated this about 10 times with the same results. Finally I realized if I gunned the gas as soon as I put it into drive, it would run until I stopped again. Well, getting out of a parallel parking spot and then trying to move through LA traffic in this fashion is easier said than done. Luckily, I only had to drive about half a mile before I pulled it into the nearest mechanic, who, after looking at it told me he would happily fix it the next morning, for only $1019, at which point I turned and vomitted. Ok, that last part didn’t really happen, but damn close.
My friend Mollie, who is from Cali originally spent most of the day texting me and telling me the places that I must visit while I am there. Then, she was nice enough to contact her aunt, who lived just outside LA, and found me a spot to crash for the night! So upon leaving my car at the mechanic I learned pretty quickly how to navigate Los Angeles’ metro and bus system, and after an hour ride arrived at Mollie’s aunt Trish’s apartment, and passed out. The next morning I jumped back on the bus, then the metro and arrived at my car, which was fixed. I must say the mechanic was very nice, and he explained to me what needed to be done and why and showed me what he changed, etc. By the time my car was fixed I had had my fill of LA and jumped of the freeway heading north, with no real plan except to head towards Yosemite.
I drove a couple of hours and ended up in Fresno, where I had happy hour at Elephant Room, which is a chain out here, but has an excellent happy hour and really good food, I spent the majority of the night in Barnes and Noble blogging, researching, listening to music, and reading. Being that I didn’t know anyone in Fresno, I was car camping again. When I woke up in the morning I made the rest of the drive into Yosemite.
It is very difficult to describe Yosemite National Park, I think John Muir said it best when he said, “it is by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature I was every permitted to enter.” The only other way I can think to describe it is magnificent and immense, if you ever get the chance to go there, do it. Its a huge park full of winding roads, and the fastest you can go on any of them is 35mph, so it takes a while to get around, and there is so much to see, but everywhere along the way you see amazing views, landscape, animals, etc. Its really just spectacular. I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.