We figured out that between Friday night and Sunday night, we had spent about 18 hours in the car.
Four of those hours were spent driving south through the barren, deserty part of California to Lost Hills, where we stopped for Friday night. It was hot as hell. When we left Oakland it was about 65 degrees - typical - but in Lost Hills it was about 85 at 11 p.m. When we left at 9 the next morning it was already in the 80s, heading toward 100. Definitely not my scene.
We drove south for about through hours, over the Santa Monica Mountains, where the car almost overheated, and into L.A. We went straight into the valley to Thousand Oaks, where we were staying at the lovely Motel 6. From there it was back into the fog, in Ventura, and south along the coastal highway to Malibu, where it was gorgeous. We chilled at Zuma Beach for about two hours before going back to the valley. But at the beach I just had to call a couple of friends trapped in land-locked states. I’m really sweet like that.
Ben was exhausted, but we got back in the car a short while later to meet up with Charles, who was nice enough to show us around Santa Monica and surrounding areas. We walked along the packed promenade, watching little wonderkids playing guitar and singing. My eyes were focused on potential celebrity spottings, though. Unfortunately, there was none of that. We grabbed dinner at an Italian place and headed a town away to Venice for a party. The party was at a really cute beach house, so I was completely focused on heading over to the water. We were told that Venice isn't the safest beach at night, but it was very cool there.
After some L.A. wandering, we went back to Thousand Oaks and completely crashed - thank God - because the next day was exhausting. We were in the car for 80 percent of it, but it was a killer.
We decided to take 101 and 1 up the coast on our way back to the Bay Area. The fog thing is so weird in CA. I'm not used to anything like that invading the East Coast, but this heavy fog will descend and totally take over for miles and miles. Then, there will be bright blue skies for just as long before the fog returns. Weird.
Well, there was absolutely spectacular weather in Santa Barbara, where we hung around the beach and wharf for a while before lunching on State St. It was just a perfect coastal California city. We also had this kick-ass ice cream at a creamery (Cold Stone?), where the employees mushed the toppings into the icea cream using scoopers instead of blenders. I had my ice cream in a chocolate-covered waffle bowl that was beyond description.
The rest of the drive was insane, we decided to take 1 from San Luis Obispo to Monterrey. Things looked good for a while, we were on a 55-mph road offering gorgeous coastal views, but then we went into some mountains and we ended up spending hours on windy, slow roads. Once we hit Big Sur, things started to speed up and, finally, at Carmel, we were on normal streets. But we just had to stop for a bit in Carmel because the sun was setting. We found this awesome white-sand beach and hung out there for a bit before heading back to 101 to trudge past SIlicon Valley and into East Bay.
Oy. Just writing about it exhausts me.
Anyway, there should be photos soon. Hint hint.