Friday, January 03, 2014

A New Year Adventure, Part 2: The Motorcycle Diaries

Hauling a motorcycle on the back of a VW Touareg is not exactly Summer's idea of fun, but she'd agreed to do it, and it gave us an excuse for an adventure.

That said, it caused some stress for Summer as a driver, because it shifted the weight of her car quite a bit, was slightly heavier on one side, and added a couple feet of length to the Touareg overall (which made parking fun).

On Monday, we set off from Bakersfield at about 9:00, getting back on "The 5" (oh, SoCal...) to face the long drive through LA County, Orange County and San Diego County. I started off taking a lot of pictures with my phone, but later in the day, switched over to my camera.

Some slightly dramatic landscape, at 65 mph.

Interstate 5's infamous "Grapevine" through the mountains.

Pyramid Lake

Hello from...oh, hell, who even knows? P.S. Summer
was in the driver's seat. The selfie feature on the iPhone
reverses everything.

Downtown Los Angeles

A remnant of the holiday season.

There were many sign pics taken on this trip.

I'll be back in April for some Disney action.

My first Canon pic--we pulled off at a Vista Point quickly so I could get
my first ocean pics of the trip.

Too bad I can't blog the smell of the ocean air.

We stopped in Carlsbad for lunch, and to briefly visit The Wish List (to be blogged about in greater detail later), a store owned by Summer's sister-in-law. Parking the motorcycle-laden Touareg in a tiny parking garage was fun for both driver and spotter. Heh.
Fabulous old tree.

We had lunch at one of Summer's favorite Mexican restaurants. Cali Swimmy
loved that we were seated next to the fountain.

The weather, as you can see, was terrible.

A historic house in downtown Carlsbad.

I'd seen this place on Facebook many times, so to see it in person was
a lot of fun.

We couldn't stay in Carlsbad too long--Summer was anxious to get that motorcycle OFF the car, and we wanted to be to San Diego (specifically, La Jolla, where our hotel was) before nightfall.
On the road again...

We finally arrived at Summer's brother-in-law's place. Michael was extremely excited to get the motorcycle. We unloaded it from the car, as well as some other stuff Ben had sent along, and put the hitch in the car for the rest of the trip. After a bit of chatting, Summer said, "Hey, check on your phone where the San Diego mission is, let's see if we want to go there today." Turns out it was a whopping 3.6 miles from Michael's place, so it was decided: a mission visit before hotel.

It's nice that I have two friends (Summer and Meghan) who are so happy to see the California Missions with me. I'm not dragging them along in my quest to see all 21...they're honestly happy to see them, too. We made our way to Mission San Diego de Alcalá and arrived about half an hour before it was due to close.  

San Diego was the first California mission, and it is the southernmost of all of them. We got there just as the sun was starting to go down, and the way the light hit everything was marvelous.

From the parking lot, and isn't it lovely?

The lighting is gorgeous.

An artsy shot I'm quite proud of. The door faced west, so the sunset
was right there.

Cali made a wish and threw his penny in.

It had to be done. And it was Summer's idea. And it just HAD to be done.

My old friend, Fr. Junipero Serra. I finally learned how to
properly accent his name on this trip.
It's "hoo-NEE-per-oh SER-ra."

The thing about SoCal is that even at the end of December, there's all kinds
of stuff growing and blooming and making the various views of the same
bell tower gorgeous.

We joked about pretending to climb over the chain
but in the end, we didn't want to terrorize the people
who look after this mission.

After visiting the mission, we were ready to check in to our hotel and get some dinner and rest. We stayed at the Marriott in La Jolla, just north of San Diego. We had dinner at a mall across the street, then absolutely crashed in exhaustion at about 8:30.

Next up: I really get to see San Diego.

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