motorcycles, miles & my father

The day–in no particular order:

  • I have made no secret of my desire to buy a motorcycle when I turn 30. It all started when I read “Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig last summer. I became thoroughly convinced that there is some great secret to life that is possessed in taking a road trip on a motorcycle. I fully intended to never get on one until the age of 30. Not because I was scared of it, but because I knew it was going to morph an obsession into an OBsession. With a capital O and B, no doubt. So, this day started with what I swore I wouldn’t do. And now that it’s happened, I know I was absolutely right. I HAVE to have a motorcycle. There is no doubt in my mind that there is some secret Zen quality to the riding a motorcycle.
  • Four miles. I did a slow run today. And before I knew what happened, I had run an easy four miles. I’ve come a long way with my running so that made me very happy.
  • And I think my father may have said to me the single greatest thing he’s ever said to me in my twenty-eight years of life. This actually surpasses, “I’m proud of you.” Far surpasses it. The conversation will be left for another time. But, the words I will never forget, ” That’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

It was a really good day.

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Pittsburg!

Yup, no “H.” And it’s in Kansas. Two and a half hours south of Kansas City. Why, you ask, would I go to Pittsburg?

I’d like to say purely for the experience of taking a city girl out of the beautiful city of Los Angeles and putting her into a small town just to see what would happen. But if you know me, you know there’s no way that’s true.

But I do like to make the best of every experience I have so I have compiled a (short) list of little-known facts about Pittsburg to save people the travel.

  • Pittsburg was featured on the Travel Channel’s food wars for fried chicken. As we drove down the road that is Pittsburg, I noticed the two conflicting signs for “Chicken Mary’s” and “Chicken Annie’s.” Little did I know that the feud between the two was featured on the Travel Channel.
  • Brian Williams of MSNBC fame started his career in Pittsburg.
  • Fireworks are legal. Firework Jack’s looks like a pretty promising establishment.
  • Pitsco is based here and appears to employ half of the people who live here.
  • There is a Pittsburg State University. So, technically it’s a college town.

I actually walked out onto the highway for this one.

Highway 69.

Chicken Mary's

Proof that I was there.

Touring the local Walmart

thoughts on travel

Just a few quick thoughts because I don’t like to disclose on the internet where I am when I travel. I will say, though, that I have traveled for a job so it is somewhat different that my usual “alone” trips. It’s also to a place I wouldn’t necessarily choose, but because I take everything as a learning experience…

Things I have learned in one day of (strange) travel:

  • I love traveling alone. Even more than that I appreciate being able to control my own itinerary.
  • Years ago my father told me that he admired my ability to just try things without fear. I realized today that I admire that in myself as well.
  • Contrary to my complaints when I call back home, I realized that I am a very patient and open-minded person.
  • I appreciate my own flexibility.
  • Mostly, I appreciate how much I have learned to truly experience rather than look for something.

And P.S. I truly love Los Angeles. And one of the best things about traveling is learning to re-appreciate something I love so much.

Bluff Cove

We’re finally right in the middle of summer, and it’s been absolutely wonderful. I’ve enjoyed soaking up every bit of sun that’s possible. As a result, I’ve turned a pretty nice shade of brown, and I’ve seen some pretty incredible things.

We headed down toward Palos Verdes last weekend to Bluff Cove for what was described as a 7-mile hike. It was more a trek across rocks and boulders, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. There’s something about jumping across rocks that’s just a whole lot of fun. And there was certainly a lot of that. We trudged across the beach for what seemed like bend after bend, taking in the ocean and the absolute peace. Once past the surfing area, we only saw a couple of other people and were able to enjoy most of the hike in relative silence.

On the way, we ran into a couple who asked if we had seen Shipwreck Cove. I had no idea what they were talking about so I answered that I didn’t think so but there were still miles to walk. When I returned home, I searched online, intrigued by the idea of a shipwreck and discovered that the metal scraps we had seen along the way were probably remnants of a 1962 shipwreck. Very cool!

It was a pretty wonderful way to spend a day. The sun, the calm, the ocean. It was all so very beautiful.

Incredible, incredible view of the ocean.

Incredible, incredible view of the ocean.

Part of the shipwreck, I'm guessing.

Part of the shipwreck, I'm guessing.

I had to stop and stare frequently.

I had to stop and stare frequently.

PV-30

We actually walked the entire length of that cove.

We actually walked the entire length of that cove.

Step Two: The Brothers

Well, some of them. When I was driving home yesterday, I thought to myself (again!) how lucky I am to have brothers who will hang out with me. Part of me thought that I should stop feeling lucky. But then I stopped myself, and I thought I should feel lucky. It’s such a nice feeling!

So, I took the younger two to San Diego to complete my two-day tour of the southern coast of California. We went down to the see the Dodgers play the Padres. It was a beautiful, beautiful day and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive and the wonderful conversation. It’s funny how even though I “forget” how old my little brothers are, I simultaneously take full advantage of it. Our conversations are pretty amazing, and I’ve come to genuinely treasure them.

Our shaded seats made for a freezing 9 innings, but we withstood it right up until the end when I insisted on moving to the sun. If it weren’t for our “Beat LA” towels, I probably would have given up in the 3rd inning.

About 5 miles out of San Diego, I veered off the 5 just for entertainment purposes. My brothers were pretty quiet for awhile before I got the exclamation “Where the heck are we?!” We made our way through Del Mar and Solana Beach, and basically stared in silence and the sun had begun to set over the ocean.

It was another gorgeous day spent with wonderful people.

From San Diego
From San Diego
From San Diego
From San Diego
From San Diego

Step One: The Train

In an effort to slow down, shut my brain off, legitimately take a break, Tanaya and I decided to take a train up to Santa Barbara for the day. Actually, day is kind of a stretch. It was more like a few hours. We spent about 5 hours on the train for both trips. The day had one rule alone: no talking about the business. Except for a few minor references (after all, we work so much it sometimes interweaves with regular life) we were true to our word and were able to sufficiently fill our time with mindless chatter, catching up on life and concocting new schemes.

We took the Amtrak Surfliner, hoping that it would actually line the surf. It didn’t but somewhere around Oxnard, I don’t think we noticed anything that was going on. We were overcome by a fit of giggles and discussions about conductors hats and hole punchers.

Santa Barbara was positively beautiful. The sun was gorgeous and the temperature was perfect. We took a short stroll before we ended up on a wharf and ate at Moby Dick’s. Whatever possessed us to eat 2 pounds of fried food, I don’t know, but I feel like my body is still mad at me.

I had to, of course, step into the Pacific Ocean and then we spent the remainder of our time lying in the grass….likely causing some sort of spectacle with our shrieks of laughter. But, oh well….

The train ride back was graced by the presence of a family of 9, whose kids weren’t as bad as their harried mother was screaming for the first half hour of our trip. That did not go too well with the sunburn-induced headaches I was suffering from. Fortunately, their exit was well before ours, and we were able to enjoy the end of the trip in relative peace.

From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara
From Santa Barbara