https://youtu.be/vS73OmCDepsOnTheRoad1015 was my second big road trip and the first time I did daily vlogging. It has taken me nearly a year to edit 10 days of footage, but I did it – the final vlog has been edited. The final folder of photos watermarked and color-corrected. Our first trip together 4 years ago was to Monterey and this 6-hour retreat from Los Angeles holds an incredibly special place in our hearts. On top of that Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the United States and Monterey is home to cute cuddly seals and otters. Did you see Finding Dory? Oh, the adorable otters could start a traffic jam.
I’m sorry if my storytelling is off, honestly, I’m just currently in awe of the completion of this project. I haven’t even completed writing about #ontheroad1014. It’s a strange feeling, completion. I’ve gone on these adventures, collected the stories from the road, filed it away in my memory bank and revisit it when I write these blog or edit the videos. But now this chapter is complete, like putting down a really good book. I don’t want to move on, but know I should. It feels good and sad at the same time. So at that, I transition into the cute adorable pictures of seals and stunning Big Sur scenery. Watch the vlog for our full recap of the day.
When Dan and I travel we have no shame about trying to make it to a destination right before closing. We parked and ran to the Molly Brown museum in Denver, Colorado and we parked and booked it into the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Now that I’ve edited all the footage from October 23, 2015, I’m really damn impressed with the amount of fun we squeezed into that day. But since the internet can be deceiving I also want to confess, that by the time we were racing to Tillamook my anxiety was sky high. That when we went to the Goonies rock, I was definitely on edge and had to apologize for momentarily turning into a mega bitch, because I’m not perfect. I also had tunnel vision and wasn’t the best listener, as you’ll see in the video. These anecdotes are my truth, but my memory is that Dan and I flipping killed it that day and from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon we saw everything on our travel list. We laughed and ate a sandwich from a Seattle deli around the Oregon / Washington border. We created more dorky memories for us to treasure. Since I’m not super proud of my 2015 vlogging skills, here are pictures from inside the Goonies Museum and Tillamook Cheese adventure. I highly recommend these road trip stops for any big kid!
Based on my 90’s pop-culture obsession, I assume that it would be obvious that my pop-culture obsession dips into the 80’s as well. So, yes I was raised on Goonies and I recommend looking at the following photos with the Cindy Lauper classic “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” playing at the same time.
The employees were really nice and snapped this picture for us. I was trying to take a quick selfie since the factory was closed, but one of the workers said, “No let’s do this right and get in the bus.”
He took my camera and this photo is now in existence.
October 17, 2015 | Pt. 2 of Day 3 of #ontheroad1015 ( previous post )
When we left San Francisco for the Redwoods it was noon and gloomy. Our goal that day was to get to the Redwoods, to a specific camping spot Bowerbird had picked out, and spend the night in our tent. Unfortunately, time and weather were not on our side. By the end of the day, as the sun was setting, we were still 45 minutes away from the campsite. Slightly defeated, we decided to stop in Arcata and book a hotel. Fun fact, Arcata has a pretty decent Pho restaurant. We filled our bellies with warm bowls of Pho and were asleep in our hotel room by 10:00 pm. Although Arcata is a sweet little city, its lights were still consumed by the night. Once we realized how dark it can be up north, we were incredibly happy to have booked a hotel room instead of committing to camping. Growing up in the city it’s easy to forget what true darkness looks like; the kind of darkness where a flashlight only illuminates your feet.
Although October 17th was mostly a driving day, we ended up having a lot of fun in the car. We stopped in a little town called Hopland to get lunch, but nothing looked appetizing, so we just enjoyed it’s old creepy architecture and were on our way. During a portion of the drive, we picked up a Mary Jane radio station that played folk songs singing about good ole’ bud and green thumbs. We also drove through a tree! The best part of the day was all the rainbows we saw, because of the sprinkling weather it seemed around every bend was a brilliant rainbow. We counted eleven rainbows in all and since I’m a numerology nerd, eleven is the doubled meaning of one that symbolizes new beginnings and purity. As we only got engaged a few days before the rainbow phenomena; I’m totally reading into the meaning of eleven.
The best rainbow photo I took that day was when we pulled over for gas. This rainbow had a complete arch over the mountain tops across from us.
This is one of the few times my vlog covers more of the day than my photos or story telling could. A day in the car with me is a mixture of karaoke, dancing, dream casting, and spiritual discussion on the meaning of life. In this vlog you’ll mostly witness dancing.
After an amazing night out with Bowerbird’s pal drinking and eating at Cavalier, I had to wake up early the next morning to do some work. While Bowerbird slept, I got ready for the day and followed up on emails and scheduled content for my clients. After Bowerbird woke up he decided to be a sweetheart and walk over to Blue Bottle coffee down the street and pick us up some good black brew, he left and I continued to work. Twenty minutes later, he returned to the hotel room frustrated as he couldn’t find the coffee shop. We both hate google maps and how it decides to change directions on a whim or decide to say you’ve arrived when you’re still 500 feet away from your destination. So I understood his frustration and pulled out my phone in order to get a better sense of where the coffee shop was on the map. Staring out our hotel window, together we finally figured out where Blue Bottle was located. So he went down for round two of mission “Blue Bottle Coffee”. I continued to work.
Twenty minutes later, Bowerbird returns even more aggravated and stressed. He had waited in the long line at Blue Bottle, only to discover his wallet was missing at the crash register. When he got back to the hotel room, the wallet was fortunately left on the bed and obviously our blue bottle experience was not going well. Bowerbird ate a Luna bar as we both sipped on crappy hotel room coffee, waiting for me to finish working and we could grab a bite at Cowgirl Creamery. One of the most delicious cheese makers EVER!
Spam spotted on our walk to Blue Bottle Coffee
Our friend had told us that the Blue Bottle location next to our hotel was the absolute best, so hoping third times the charm, after I was done working we walked to Blue Bottle together. The line was ridiculously long and as time was running out, we decided to give up and just walk to Cowgirl Creamery inside the Ferry Building. It’s important for me to note that there is no parking in San Francisco. It’s not a very street parking friendly city, so we decided to walk everywhere in order to save money. We had decided to leave our car parked at the hotel and just be charged for hotel overnight parking. And since I didn’t want to pay for any additional hours outside of our hotel stay, it was really important we left the parking structure by check-out time (noon).
The Ferry Building was a 25 to 30-minute walk from our hotel. I love the architecture in San Francisco. I feel like the city was built for me! The entire city was interesting and captivating, the wires and cranes. I could wander around that city for days. The Ferry Building was AWESOME!! I have yet to visit Grand Central Market in Downtown LA, but I have a feeling it might be like the Ferry Building. Vendors were pushing large carts filled with fresh produce. I snapped a blurry photo of a man holding two ginormous heads of lettuce up to his ears as he moved through the crowd. There was an entire section devoted to mushrooms. I was completely awe-struck and falling in mad foodie love.
We found Cowgirl Creamery and order a grilled cheese and cheese platter. While I waited for the food, Bowerbird hopped on over to Blue Bottle to stand in line for coffee. At this point, there was no way we were leaving San Francisco, let alone go on in our day, with our proper *caffeination from flipping Blue Bottle. I found him in line and we devoured our warm grilled cheese. I honestly don’t remember what it tasted like, but I’ll assume good. Then I abandoned Bowerbird to explore the Ferry Building more and drop off my fun postcards. I fell in love with this adorable cake and sweets shop called Miette, where I picked up my nieces and nephew gummy brains and pumpkins for Halloween. By the way, I’m terrible at buying souvenirs and feel I’m failing as an aunt, but more on that later.
After Bowerbird had our coffees we headed outside to scarf down the rest of our cheese platter, because as I looked at the clock we only had 30 minutes before check out. Oh and our hotel is a 30 minute walk away!! I feel like Bowerbird and I are pro-sightseers, we try to absorb as much of our atmosphere as possible, like dry thirsty sponges that found a puddle in the desert. So we walked back through the Ferry Building making mental notes of our surrounding and snapped a few photos of it from across the street, then we walked as fast as our legs could carry us. We only stopped if the intersection was red, throwing caution to the wind if only the hand was red. Checking my phone periodically to see what our estimated time of arrival was, just as we gained time we lost it because we stopped to take pictures of the architecture. We managed to get to our hotel, out of breath, ten minutes before check out. Running up to our hotel room, I grabbed my client’s products to shoot in the lobby and Bowerbird took our bags down to the car. We were back on the road by 12:15pm.
Please check out the vlog I made of our adventure to the Ferry Building. I still dream of that hall of wonders.
*caffienation – is not a real word, but it is today!
In Monterey, I woke up early to finish work for a client and write a blog post from the road recapping our engagement story. When Bowerbird woke up we headed down for the complimentary breakfast that was delicious and can be seen in my vlog of the day. We tried to head up to San Francisco as quickly as possible so we’d get a decent amount of exploring time in, but swiftness was not on our side. My over documenting / trying to take pictures of a product for one of my clients was slowing us down.
Once we were on the road, stress levels dropped and we just listened to the radio. San Francisco is only a couple hours from Monterey, so we arrived around 1:00ish. I had never been to SF and had no idea what to expect but I instantly feel in love with the architecture and signs. I took a lot of picture of signs. We had Spoke Art, a gallery that is friends with Thinkspace Gallery, in our GPS and made them our first destination. When I drive into a city I like to just have a destination in mind to make my center point, everything else is relative to “this place”. Usually, that place is our hotel or Airbnb but if I haven’t booked it yet – it could just be any location.
When we arrived to Spoke Art I was completely turned around, the rolling streets and tall buildings had me totally disoriented. The gallery was showing new work by Stella Im Hultberg, who I adore! It’s always nice when a good show is going on while you’re in town. Spoke’s gallery assistant gave us a lot of great tips on other shows around the area, but we really wanted to make sure to see city hall. Since we parked in an expensive and awkward garage, we decided to make our next ‘center point’ the hotel and back into the vehicle we went.
We stayed at the historic Pickwick hotel, the room booked through hotel.com aka my favorite app of all time. Coincidentally, the hotel was RIGHT NEXT to the restaurant Bowerbird’s friend had booked dinner reservations, so I knew it was meant to be. SF parking is a little intense, not as bad as Seattle, but we knew this was a city made for walking. Once throwing down are things, we had 3 hours to explore before meeting up for drinks and that meant shoving as much site seeing in as possible.
First stop was Vacation an awesome store with reasonably priced vintage and a super cool vibe. We chatted with the Shop Girl and her friend (I think one of them was the owner / co-owner) about crazy musicians and for directions to our next destination, City Hall. The interesting thing I noticed about San Francisco or at least the part we were exploring, was this insane dichotomy of social classes. One street would feel totally safe, while the next one over Bowerbird and I would make a note to not walk down again. We were right in the heart of San Francisco and in retrospect I guess it wasn’t much different than walking around Downtown LA and stumbling onto skid row.
City Hall was stunning! I wouldn’t have thought to go there except a friend of mine showed me the beautiful architecture inside. We walked around the hall and observed newlyweds getting their pictures taken. If I were to get a court house wedding, San Francisco City Hall is the one to get hitched in.
By the time we had shopped and visited City Hall we were a thirty-minute walk away from the bar we were to meet up with Bowerbird’s friend. Walking as fast as our legs could carry us, I spotted a Hearst H outside a very opulent looking building and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Another Hearst Building! We went inside very quickly and found out there was a bar underneath it called Local Edition. I was in love. Meeting up with Bowerbird’s pal Mr. M and being introduced to his girlfriend was such a warm way to spend our San Francisco evening. Mr. M was super excited about our engagement and “put it on my tab” was his new tagline. I feel blessed by the generosity of our friends. Anyways, he had told us initially he wanted to take us to Local Edition, but the line there for a drink is ridiculous. That didn’t stop my desire to see this place, so I politely insisted we go.
Once down inside the bar and below the Hearst Building, I was in awe. Old newspapers were used as décor and vintage typewriters were affixed along the wall. I let Bowerbird and Mr. M stand in line for cocktails as I ogled typewriters and squeezed behind groups of people to get a closer look at the headlines on the wall. I had perma-smile taking it all in and wondering around the bar like a total tourist. By the time they finally got our cocktails we had to suck them down in 15 mins and walk on over to our dinner reservations at The Cavalier. Dinner was amazing and all my pictures from inside the restaurant suck due to the lighting. We ate and drank till we could go on no more.
It’s funny how all my photos of SF from this day are of signs or building. I was on a total typography high.
Please check out my vlog of the day up on YouTube.
Like I shared before, I have no idea how I’m going to organize all my tales from the road. So let’s just throw chronological order out the window and go with ‘what Bekka feels like writing about today’ order.
October 25, 2015 | Day 10
On our way up to San Francisco, we passed by a road side sign that said ‘french fried artichokes’. Being a connoisseur of french fries and a lover of artichokes, we put the farm on our list of things to hit up on our way back down. While on the road, because of time constraints, there tends to be a lot of “leave it for the drive home” decisions – this was one of them. We wrote down the name Pezzini Farms and on our last day of the road trip looked up the farm.
I wasn’t expecting much but was still blown away by the adorable farmer general store they had set up. Jars of jams, jellies, and local honey lined one of the walls; adjacent was a wall filled with fresh chopped garlic, sundried tomatoes and sauces for pasta or dipping artichokes. I squealed at the rustic signs for brussel sprouts and artichokes, I couldn’t get over how country chic and pinterest-y it all was!
We ordered our french fried artichokes, which actually look nothing like french fries, but are battered and fried artichoke hearts. They gave us a delicious garlic aioli for dipping, and I even came up with a technique for enjoying them. At first I popped a whole one in my mouth and wasn’t that impressed. I couldn’t taste any of the artichoke. But the second time, I decided to savor the bite more and actually took bites of the heart. I don’t know if it’s because the artichoke became exposed to oxygen or something, but suddenly I could taste more of the artichoke and I really enjoyed it.
After our roadside snack, I enthusiastically decided we should pick up some pumpkins. They had a very tiny display, but Bowerbird and I have never carved pumpkins together. Given that it’s the week of Halloween and we would be arriving home that night, why not squish some squash in our trunk. (oh the puns!)
We picked out our perfect pumpkins, mine is oval and smooth, his has a lot of character; tonight we are carving them up! Hence, me wanting to post about how we acquired our pumpkins. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to follow a roadside sign and see where you end up. I had no idea what these french fried artichokes would be, but it lead us to the most delightful market. We also purchased a large jar of yummy raw honey and three artichokes that I steamed last night. It was my first time steaming artichokes, the idea of it and instructions are much more difficult than the actual execution.
Well, I’m off to carve a pumpkin, eat pizza, and watch Lincoln. I love how our first pumpkin carving experience now has a romantic story attached to it – we picked them out on the side of the road amongst fields of artichokes on our engagement road trip. I can see Keanu Reeves being cast as Bowerbird and the movie poster looking something similar to A Walk in the Clouds.
We are in the “turn around” portion of the trip, when we have more days behind us then left in front of us, but this road trip is far from over yet. From my experience during out last grand epic road trip I knew updating my blog would be hard. I didn’t realize it would be near impossible given every time I have WiFi I’m hoping on my laptop to check work emails and do a little freelance from the road. I’m not complaining, I knew that was a part of this trips M.O. – I need money when I return. But that is why this trip has less posting in the present and a lot will be recapped later.
Road trips are a fun adventure, but I wouldn’t say it’s a relaxing vacation. We’re usually never in a place long enough that warrants sleeping in. Although when we camped a few nights ago in Bend, OR and let the sun be our alarm clock, phones turned off, that was totally blissful. My little slice of heaven, together cozied up in a tent with just the right amount of blankets for perfect warmth but not overheating.
Right now I’m sitting in a La Quinta bed about to edit some photos for a client and schedule out some content. My right leg is cramping up and in pain from an insane hike we did yesterday. One of my oldest friends lives in Washington and is a semi-expert hiker/climber. I asked her to pick a hike for us and we’d meet her there, apparently her favorite hike is also one of the most intense. She and her boyfriend drove across the country for 6 months, hiking and exploring National Parks. At this point, she is really an old pro at hiking and was very gracious at waiting for this huffing and puffing writer. We hiked a steep 5.5-mile climb up Mt. Ellinor that took all day. It was amazing and exhausting. All we did last night was eat and sleep; in bed by 10:30pm.
When I assumed her road trip adventure must have been less stressful than our 30-day cross-country road trip because they had more time, I was wrong. As her boyfriend said it perfectly, “traveling is more stressful than a job.” On road trips I don’t think you ever ‘unwind’, I won’t be coming back with glowing skin and rested eyes. I’ve been riding a wave of stress since the day we left, before it was because of work and now it’s to go to the next place. There is a constant anxious desire to make sure you get a great sampling of your destination and allowing yourself to stop along the way. Enjoying the moment while not lingering too long and missing the next. I’d love to sit in this bed all day and vedge out, but today we explore Seattle and get to go to Pike Place. I’m excited! Get a cup of coffee in me and I’ll be right as rain.
So that’s the quick and present update from the road. The days have been blurring in my mind, but I’ll sort out the memories later. Right now I’m going to grab a free breakfast and finish up working, then we take on the day!
If you see a girl with curly hair limping around Seattle, say hi!
On top of San Siemon rests the most gorgeous home in the world, Hearst Castle. As art and words inspire my life, Hearst Castle is like two passions coming together in an architectural dream. I’ve been in love with this castle in the sky since I was a child and visited it with my mom and sister. I took Bowerbird to it for the first time 2 and half years ago. We had been dating for 9 months and wanted a romantic Monterey getaway, so Hearst was on the way. Now we are on our third road trip, this time dedicated to the Pacific North West, and stopped at Hearst yesterday. If I’m going on the 1, you know I’m stopping at my favorite place, it’s better than Disneyland!! Now this dream place is deeply intertwined into my own dreamy romance, as Bowerbird proposed to me on top of a high balcony peak overlooking the ocean.
When we first were dropped off at the top of the hill it started to rain, Bowerbird was majorly bummed out as the little drops of water came sprinkling down a top of our head. We went on our tour of the upstairs suites where Hearst has a library that would make Bell blush. Yes, I’m referencing that amazing scene in Beauty and the Beast where the Beast give bell the most beautiful library in animated history. But once the tour was over, the sky was bright blue and sun shining! It wasn’t very busy yesterday and I was able to take dozens of pictures with no other tourist in site. We explored the side of one of the guest cottages and I could feel Bowerbird’s energy shift. He was getting anxious and looking around us trying to find the perfect spot. Every time he tried to get extra romantic it seemed another tourist popped up, like they were all swarming to this side of the property at once.We kept climbing stairs to another empty spot and then another group of tourist came up. This is what led us to the very highest point on the side of one of the Hearst cottages. It was an area that one would have to make an extra effort to find and Bowerbird was making a very private romantic effort.
He pulled me in tight and remarked how this had been the best three years of his life. Then as he placed his hand in his pocket and pulled out my *Bachan’s ring, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “of course,” because I’ve known Bowerbird is the man I would marry after only three months of dating. After our first date, I thought he could be the one. Our love story has always been about timing and his timing couldn’t be more perfect.
I then overheard a tour guide explaining how couples get engaged. As we were on the balcony of the cottage, a tour group was inside exploring one of the rooms and as they passed by on the other side of a screen door – they clapped and said congratulations.
Now we’re off to San Fransico today and I begin my first full day as an engaged woman! I couldn’t be happier as we go on to our next adventure in our life together.
Stairway to heaven!
Bowerbird and I are on a road trip across the Pacific North West, follow our adventure on instagram or twitter! #ontheroad1015