Monday, August 15, 2011

16,000 Miles to Home: Part Deux (Going back to Cali)


    After departing New Zealand and anticipating the arrival back into my home country, once the plane landed the next few days of my life would change. Here I am in a suit, pulling 2 very large suitcases, I have a backpack filled to the brim and another satchel draped over me while trying to figure out the easiest way to get into the city to finally rest in my hotel room. After paying for my BART transit ticket, I was nearly to my hotel, I could feel the soft bed just in thought, since I had not slept very much on the plane. Onto the tram, "wow" I thought, there are a few more people on this thing than our light rail back home. This is just the beginning!!!!!!!!!!!!
     As I am standing up on the BART, basically occupying 3 spaces, people begin to file in at each stop. I am sweating through my suit now, people are all around, this is insane, I need to click my heels and get to Kansas. Well I evaluate the situation and realize a lot of people have rainbow shirts and even face paint with similar colors. The final piece to the puzzle was a teenage whom entered the tram with his friends in some strange outfit with "Gay" written all over his face. Holy Ish, it's the one weekend out of the year I randomly book a flight to California for a surprise early return home and its Gay Pride Weekend.


View from Hotel Metropolis

   It was an insane experience for me wondering the streets and seeing naked people just walking around. San Fran is slightly different than the conservative south I am used to. The culture is so open especially on that weekend, I do not have any bad feelings towards lifestyle selections at all, but it was just a culture shock to me, it blew my mind! I took a couple pictures from my hotel room (which was on the parade route) before I closed the curtains and passed out for 2 hrs. After my Friend Glenn arrived later in the night to the city we went out to grab a bite to eat. While waiting around I walked the streets a bit to just get a better knowledge of my surroundings and found a hole in the wall Mexican joint. It was amazing to say the least but we had an interesting experience waiting in line because the ghetto girls in front of us were the rudest people I had ever came across my life!

Fisherman's Wharf
    After checking out the sights and sounds of the city for a few days, Mr. Carroll and I set off for the Muir woods and Yosemite National forest in our Ford Focus rental car. We slammed the car with all of our luggage from our stays in Australia and New Zealand. Exploring the Muir Woods was pretty impressive especially for being just 15 min outside of the city. The trees were huge, the surrounding bush was bright green and the sun was peaking through the tree towers. Since Glenn has plans to establish himself as a professional photographer, we took a lot of time to take pictures.

   Since we had the rental car, I decided to make it my own Indy car through the rolling turns and tires screeched every 15 seconds, it was exciting, to me anyways haha. After taking some great pictures we hit the road for a long night drive into the Yosemite national forest. Once we arrived into the park around midnight, we stopped shortly after to sleep on the side of the road in our trusty focus. This car was beyond jam packed with 2 grown men,  several extra large suitcases and sports bags. This trip was sure to have a stench by the end of it! This was the worst night of sleep ever, I had to hope out of the car 4 times to pee and I at no point was comfortable to sleep. At 6am I woke Glenn up eagerly to move into a different area with the possibility of finding a spot to take a nap.

   After venturing into the Yosemite National Forest living quarters, we realized how many people came through the same week as July 4th. Car upon car filed through but thankfully we were able to get most of our sights and pictures taken before it was shoulder to shoulder with people on the trails.

    In a short summary of the Yosemite forest trip I found out that Glenn. who keep in mind is an Eagle Scout, thought that Yosemite was pronounced "yo-se-mite" as in rhymes with "gross might", on my 3rd night without showering as I was washing my feet off in the frigid cold river I felt like Jesus, and I realized that in certain circumstances I do not need a large soft bed to sleep in after all. One of the adventures from our explorations was the small crack in our windshield that literally grew across the entire window by the end of our trip. We also had a very interesting last night in San Fran as I took the BART to the airport because our rental car was blocked in by another car and Glenn decided to take it in the AM before his flight left. While I was attempting to sleep at the airport under a bench, I realized that I in fact had the keys to the rental car and all of the trains were stopped until 2 hrs after my flight left.  After all the stress I found an Asian gentleman whom barely spoke any English to promise to take the keys to the hotel for $10 and if he didn't do so I would track him down and kill him.

    The trip across the world was quite the success was worth every minute and topping it off with my trip to California made it even more memorable. There is so much that I could elaborate on but you will just have to ask me in person if you run into me. To top everything off I ended my Independence Day in the luggage section of my childhood friends SUV covered in a tarp while he spoke to me mom. She opened the hatch and I popped up much to her surprise, tears were shed by my sister and my mom, it as great to be home and to completely surprise my family on such a big day. It was great to see so many people once again whom I had missed while away. Seeing my Granny and pappy also made me happy after all that they have done for me while I was away. One thing is for sure, I have a lot of special people in my life!!!

Enjoy some other random pictures from My time in Cali!


Aquarium in Fisherman's Wharf

San Fran from the Bay

G$ and the Focus after our 1st Night in Yosemite
View into the Valley from the highest overpass in Cali