Monday, September 30, 2013

California Road Trip '13 (Part 3)

That night, after visiting the park, we had great Mexican and caught some lively karaoke at Pancho's in Manhattan Beach.
Trevor MCs a couple nights each week there, and he does a pretty mean Eminem while he's at it.
The next day, Trev, Yume, and I shopped Universal City.

Previously, Yume and I had spotted a Marilyn Monroe actor in the park…
…but I think this was a little more jaw-dropping when we saw it. (Check the price at the bottom! That's some expensive sugar.)
She was in "Marilyn heaven."
Then, Trevor and I found our own little corner of geek heaven…
Cue the theme.
Trevor even nominated us for an Oscar!
Before leaving L.A., Trevor took us up to the heights so we could gaze down upon the urban sprawl.

A view of the Hollywood Sign.
Before long, we were on the road to Santa Barbara!
Once we arrived, we hit the beach.

But we weren't alone! College friends, the Okunos—Mark, Emma, and now little Ash—hosted us on our stay.
Mark led me down memory lane across the UCSB campus.
And while a good portion of it had changed…
…much of it remained just as I had left it.
Back at the Okuno place, we were treated to excellent Japanese nabe (hot pot soup) and even better company.
The Okuno cats were comfortably unperturbed by our stay.
Thanks for all the new happy memories, Okuno-sama!
Five more hours on the road and we were back in Rio Vista, road trip completed!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A day among giants and golden bridges.

Yume and I drove to Muir Woods National Monument on Sunday, a first for both of us.

Here, Yume indicates her birth year as recorded by tree-ring dating. (To be entirely accurate, her finger would have been a full inch-and-a-half off the outermost bark.)
The forest floor. Can you spot the apparent bigfoot in this shot?

The park features wide boardwalk paths for you to navigate by, allowing you to go "off-road" down a variety of branching trails that leave the main path.

Trees be tall.
It says: "Here in this grove of enduring redwoods, preserved for posterity, members of the United Nations on International Organization met on May 19, 1945 to honor the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, thirty-first President of the United States, chief architect of the United Nations, and apostle of lasting peace for all mankind." (Interesting note: FDR was actually the 32nd president, so this placard is in error.)
"Look! It's bigfoot's den!"
Nope. Just a banana slug.
"Tree kidnapper."

"Any nice homes in the forest?"
"How much you want for it?"
"How about this one?"
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, babe."

[off-frame] "Watch out for snakes!"
"Hey, don't go yet…!"
We've got one more bridge to visit!
Nice view.
Better view!

Later San Fran!

Later ya'll!