At the end of May Chelsea and I were fortunate enough to take a vacation and travel to California for a week. It was our first long-term vacation since we started working full-time after graduating college. I can’t speak for Chelsea, but I just about had it with New York and there was nothing more appealing than hopping on a plane and flying 2700 miles west.
California has always had a place in my heart. I had visited once and a young kid, and then again as a junior in college. I’ve always felt like I belong out west, but the opportunity to move out there hasn’t presented itself yet. Maybe sooner rather than later? I dunno, there’s something about a sunny sky and lack of snow that I really find appealing.
but I digress…
The first four days of the trip were spent with my good friends Ted Rysz and Emily Shearing in Los Angeles. I hadn’t seen them since December when they stopped by NYC. It was absolutely amazing to see them and explore a town that they weren’t too familiar with themselves. Ted and Emily, much like Chelsea and I, have spent almost all of their time working (read: surviving) and have barely explored the city in which they live. Oddly enough, I was absolutely thrilled to ride in a car again. I felt like a little kid zooming down the HOV lane in a all-electric Fiat packed to capacity.
I didn’t expect to like LA as much as I did. We sat in the sun in some fantastic parks, explored neighborhoods bursting with culture (and money), and brunched like pros. The daily grind of LA feels all too familiar, but instead of waiting on train platforms you’re waiting in traffic.
Ted has a fantastic set of images from our visit on his blog
After an amazing time in LA we took a quick flight north to San Francisco. Both Chelsea and I have been to SF before with Syracuse University’s Spring Break in Silicon Valley trip. We visited some tiny startups as well as the behemoths like Google and Twitter. We learned a lot about business in the valley, but weren’t able to get a good feel for the city, its people, and its culture.
This time, Chelsea and I decided that we would explore the town and see the sights; and we did exactly that. We woke up when we wanted, ate breakfast burritos when we wanted, and explored the city on our schedule. This was our first vacation without having to worry about anyone else, and it was liberating.
San Francisco was much more walkable than LA. We took the classic cable car up the impossibly steep hills and were crazy enough to walk them on the way home.
On our last day, we had the chance to escape downtown and explore The Mission District. This felt like the Brooklyn of the west. We sat in Mission Dolores park around 4PM, and it was filled with other people hanging out and admiring the skyline.
Later that night we decided to wrap up our trip as every tourist should: by seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. After a brief nap in the hotel room, we thought we had overslept and missed the daylight.
But as it turns out, we were right on time.
There’s really nothing like a good sunset… nothing.