I’ll take the long way, please.

Once again, I’ve been neglecting my blog, this time for an entire year. I sort of forgot about writing in here until I remembered that it was nearing a year since my last (uninspiring) entry. Anyways, just take what you can get and everything will be just fine.

It may be old news by now, but sometime last December I went on a little road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I had just finished my first taste of grad school finals, was burnt out and wanted nothing to do with science. So I did what any normal person would have done: instead of taking the normal and boring 6-hour route up the 5, I decided to make my way up the coast on Highway 1, a twisting, turning, 12-hour jaunt.

Call me crazy, stupid, or Bob if you want, but I pulled a Robert Frost and took the road less travelled. I got up at dawn and made my way up the coast, stopping first at my old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara for breakfast. The California coast is home to some amazing sights, and sounds if you stop in San Luis Obispo County to check out the elephant seals, whose apathetic noises kind of sound like the irritated groaning you’d make if someone woke you up 30 minutes before your alarm was set to go off.

If only I could have this kind of life...

I don’t really have any idea why they need to talk anyways. All they do is lie there on the beach in their own filth. It’s like

“hey…whatcha doin on that side of the beach?”
“chillin, how bout you?”
“chillin.”
“chill brah.”

Once I passed the stinky elephant seals I encountered windy roads and fog so thick it was like driving through a marshmallow.

You try driving through that.

Thanks to the mostly deserted road, I got out of the fog in one piece and made my way to the whole reason I went coastal to begin with: Big Sur.

At this point of the day, it was a race between me and the sunset to get to Big Sur. Could I get there before sunset? Did I spend too much time in Santa Barbara and the Santa Maria Wal-Mart on my way to Big Sur that I’ll miss the views? TELL ME JASON I can’t take it the suspense is killing me! Well…I arrived just in time to a) pass all the dark, windy roads before nightfall, and b) to take these fantastic photos that you can now enjoy completely unedited.

One of the most impressive natural landscapes in the Continental US, Big Sur was originally named El pais grande del sur, because it was south of the capital of Alta California at what is now Monterey. I presume people got tired of saying the whole name and shortened it to like el grande sur, then Americans came and bastardized it to Big Sur. Just think about that the next time you order a Beefy Cheesy Burrito Baja style from Taco Bell. Anyways, there are points along Big Sur where you’re standing at a precipitous thousand foot cliff directly into the ocean, the same place where Jack Kerouac stood and mused about life in his eponymous book, Big Sur. These photos are sitting in a frame above my toilet. Anticlimactic, maybe. Picturesque views every time I pee? Damn skippy.

I milled about for half an hour taking pictures and chatting up the owners of the local restaurant you see in one of those photos, when it became dark. Nothing really to see any more so I beelined it to San Francisco, where I met a lovely old friend for dinner and catching up at Dosa, a great little South Indian restaurant in the Mission District.

Which leads me to the end of this post but the beginning of another on the delightful food of San Francisco. More on that to come.

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