In Travel

Living My California Dream

Pacific Coast highway had been something I had dreamt of driving through since I was a kid. And yes, I will admit that it was heightened by my love of the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, but as my television tastes matured and moved on, my road trip dream remained.

So this July, my three friends (2 being fellow MISSADVENTURES ladies) and I headed south with a car rental receipt and not a single plan on where to start.  We began our journey in Los Angeles, and headed straight to pick up our rental car. Now it is important to note, that I have a slight obsession with movies. Especially the teen rom-com. So I was adamant that my California car being fitting

with what I stereotypical thought everyone drove. I.E a Jeep Wrangler, made famous in movies like She’s all that and Clueless. A couple hours later, we set off in our white Wrangler, feeling just as cool as I imagined, with a surprise feeling of uber cramped. Cher and Zack both neglected to mention how little space these cars actually have.

Two nights in Los Angeles we did the staple touristy things. Grauman Chinese theatre, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood sign, The Grove, running into Colin Ferrell at a gas station. You know the usual. I had been before, but having a car this time around made a significant difference. Everything is so far apart that the first time I was spending majority of the time on public transportation and very little at the actual sites.

Standout moment: Bored Paparazzi treating us like celebrities while snapping our pictures manically outside the Chateau Marmont.

Now the drive began. We left Los Angeles early in the morning and headed south towards Chula Vista (right outside San Diego).  It was everything I imagined and more. The drive along the coast is absolutely gorgeous. Each part just gets better and better, and you have to stop yourself from pulling over every couple minutes to take in the view. On the way we checked out Torrance High School (set of She’s all that and Buffy the Vampire slayer to name a few) and Laguna Beach. Last stop was San Diego, where we thought we had reached the furthest south we would go.

Standout Moment: Irresponsibly deciding to cross the border into Mexico, just to get an authentic burrito.

We had gone the furthest south we possibly could, including entering a whole other country, now it was time to set our sights north. We got back into the car and drove without a plan, just needing to make it to San Francisco eventually. Back up along the coast, none of us had gotten use to the beauty yet. Every corner that exposed another breathtaking pacific view was met with a unanimous “oooh” and occasional “ahhhh”.  You hear it from every person that has driven along this highway how amazing it is, but I was still surprised and excited at every moment. We drove right through Malibu, Santa Barbara, and straight to the next stop on this fictional High School tour. Ojai, California. Home of the set of “Easy A”. One of my favorite movies, we took a detour inland, so that I could take epic pictures pretending to be Olive Penderghast.  This may sound crazy to some of you, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Standout Moment: Relying on finding accommodation at Big Sur, we sadly found none and were forced to sleep in the car on top of a cliff.

Creeping up to northern California, the weather got colder but the views remained amazing. Having slept in the car the night before, my friends were all sleeping so I surprised them by waking them up on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was our last stop, and San Francisco made sure we would remember it. We strolled along Pier 39, The Castro, and took the obligatory pictures in front of the Painted ladies. (Totally pretended I was having the picnic in Full House). We had amazing clam chowder, and drank some of the best Sangria I have ever had. We shopped in Union Square, walked around the famous China Town, and spent a lovely morning in Golden Gate Park. The weather was beautiful, and luck was on our side and it was so clear our pictures came out perfectly.

Standout Moment: Meeting a hilarious bartender our first night out, befriending him, and letting him take us on a tour of the city from a locals perspective.

I think anyone can gather that this trip was all I expected and more. The sights were magnificent, the people amazing, but do you know what I loved the most about this trip? NOT HAVING A PLAN. The feeling of just getting into a dream car, and having nowhere to be, no expectations, and no time constraints. Sometimes all you need is a map and some friends, and it can turn into one of the greatest trips you will ever take.

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