By now third day road trip brain had set in; this means crazy hair don’t care and second day floral sweatpants fashion, topped off with large sunglasses. We got up around 5 am, which sets the Guiness Book of records for highest consecutive amount of days Erin has ever got up early. We packed the car and were off, adios Grand Canyon!
We rolled into California through Hinkley and Barstow, with Flume floating from the speakers, courtesy of J. This area was desert; while J was power napping we crossed an area of road where sand surged across like waves on the bay. A tumbleweed rolled by in front of the car, and a few minutes after that a white wooden sign with peeling paint came into view. It read, “PG&E did it, and we knew about it since 1952. Supporting the people of Hinkley.” After watching Erin Brockovich about a million times, it felt so surreal to actually see this town, as well as the factory I can only guess was or is PG&E. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly reccomend it!
We went through beautiful Bakersfield, full of green rolling hills, through a literal wind farm close to Palm Springs. California is so varied, sort of like Texas; you never get bored, especially after having to stop at the state border for a citrus fruit check!
We made it into San Fran around 8pm, and carried everything in J’s life into the second floor bedroom of the bubble house air b&b, spoke with the owner perhaps too long, and collapsed into bed with absolutely NO alarm set for the next morning – definitely deserved.
I must state the obvious, San Francisco is AMAZING. No small paragraph can do this 14 square foot city justice. We ran all around the city, beginning with a late brunch at the Cliff House. They have these popovers that are hollow inside and doughy and steamy when you break them open; add in a pat of butter and strawberry preserves and we were in heaven! We saw the Sutro Baths, Twin Peaks’ windy beauty, the Japanese Tea Garden, Fisherman’s wharf, and had bubble tea in Chinatown.
For dinner on the first day, we met up with C for Peruvian food. The lowdown on C; C and I were best friends since we were 4. She moved to California right before I turned 6, and we wrote letters to each other ever since. That is very rare, and I value it so highly. We had such a blast at dinner, oh that paella and civeche and bubbly was perfect – a perfect ending with wonderful friends!
Flying home was very sad. Saying goodbye to my best friend I know isn’t final, but my heart was so heavy none the less. I think in a day and a half I had already felt so at home. I don’t feel like that often; I have lived in Texas almost my whole life and have always felt so out of place. Who knows, maybe one day the stars will align.
Returning early to race the Lone Star nationals in Austin a day later. Talk to you soon J & C!! Miss you guys already!