Tulips, Nederland, and a snow storm

After some relaxing time at Dirt Coffee, I walk around the block to another favorite place. In Tea, a tea store in Littleton that sells about 180 different kinds of tea. As I walk in, the guy at the register looks at me and laughs, saying “I remember you!”, I laugh back at him and answer, “Yeah, it’s been almost a year.”

People, Travel

My favorite place in America

Last night my friend Ana, who lives in this area, texted me and told me that she’ll be working at the office in Ouray and I’m welcome to join her. Ouray is a small town on the other side of the mountains, about an hour away from Telluride. After a relaxed beginning of the day in the car, watching the sun rise over the mountains and having breakfast, I drive to Ouray. I’ve driven this road a few times before and know it quite well by now. They call this area the Swiss of America and it’s not hard to see why. Everywhere are beautiful mountains.

Nature, Travel

Arches and Telluride

After a bit restless night I wake up at 6am by my alarm clock. I see that it’s already getting a bit light outside, that’s earlier than at the west cost last week. I get dressed and drive to Arches national park, which is only about twenty minutes away from where I camped.


I wish I could stay for another day

In the morning I walk to the frontdesk of the hotel and ask if I can stay another night. I realize that driving and hiking every day in a row is a bit tiring and I wouldn’t mind staying at this nice place for another day. Unfortunately the lady at the register tells me that the hotel is fully booked today, so I take that as a sign that it’s time for me to continue traveling.

Nature, Travel

A nice day in snowy Bryce Canyon

I check the weather forecast in the morning and since it’s raining and storming at the Grand Canyon, I decide to skip that this time and drive east to Bryce Canyon. The Grand Canyon is always impressive, but I’m in the luxury position that I’ve seen it several times already and so I’m okay with not going there on this trip.

Nature, Travel

Hiking to Angels Landing at Zion

My client meeting in the morning goes well and after that I enjoy breakfast at the hotel. I like hotel breakfasts as they usually have quite some choice for what you want to eat. I start a bit healthy with yoghurt and granola and then finish it off with some waffels (that you can bake yourself), sausage and scrambled eggs. That’ll be enough fuel to go on the hike.


Driving from California to Utah

Matt and I start the day again at the coffee place just like yesterday. Doing a bit of work and I also do some road trip planning. I had the idea to go to Sedona, but I see on the weather forecast that there are thunderstorms and rain expected there for the coming days. So I keep looking and decide to go further North in the direction for Zion National Park.


A fun day and a waiting day

Monday morning I drive to Matt’s house where we meet with Nancy. After we have enjoyed a cup of Matt’s delicious home-made coldbrew coffee we drive to Disneyland which is only about 15 minutes from his house. Perhaps because it’s Monday or that it’s a cloudy day, it’s not so busy today. Walking around in Disneyland is a lot of fun, even before we get on the rides. Everything is so beautiful, it really makes you feel like you’re in a different world.


Riding the Pacific Surfliner train

On Sunday morning I have a fun event planned, riding the Pacific Surfliner train. I read somewhere that it’s one of the most beautiful train rides in the country. It happened that Britany has a meeting in a town a few hours north from here and came up with the idea that I could take the train and meet her up there in the afternoon. After being stuck in traffic for hours yesterday, I’m glad I can ride the train today.


Hiking in Hollywood

I had planned to show my friend Brittany my all-time favorite hike in Hollywood, but she’s not feeling so well today and tells me I can better go by myself. So, early in the morning I drive alone to Los Angeles. It’s about two hours driving to the start of the hike and despite it being only 5am, there is quite some traffic on the road. It seems to me that every moment of the day there are cars on the innerstate between San Diego and LA. The drive goes well and just before 7am I start the hike.
It’s a bit misty and nice and fresh outside. As soon as I start climbing the mountain I feel excited and full of joy to be here again. It’s much greener here now than in the Summer and I see many flowers along the trail. It’s not too busy yet and there are just a few people at the first stop at the Wisdom Tree. The flag is waving, but unlike other times there is no view of the city today, because of the mist. I like it though, because it’s not too hot outside and very comfortable to hike. After a short break I continue hiking and now it gets busier. When I arrive at the Hollywood Sign there are several people there. I still enjoy the view though, but I also cherish the time I hiked up here before sunrise and was here all by myself.
After having enjoyed the view for a while, I hike back via the other side of the mountain. That trail is a lot harder and therefore there are no other people. It also gives a great view of the Warner Brother Studios. It’s nice that no matter how many times I’ve been here, I still love it very much. When I hiked all the way back to the car I’m feeling a bit tired and need some new energy. I drive to Beachwood Cafe, a nice restaurant in Hollywood that’s always busy. Fortunately I find a place at the bar, just like last year and enjoy some coffee and a typical American meal: eggs, bacon and pancakes. That recharges me and soon I’m good to continue again.
When I saw the Warner Brothers studios from the mountain I got the idea to go on a studio tour, because it has been a few years since I did that the last time. I drive up to the studios, but find out at the register that a big part of the backlot is closed today because they’re filming there. The backlot are the buildings outside where they filmed the town of Starshollow from Gilmore Girls and other series. Since seeing the backlot would be my main reason for taking the tour I decide that I might better pass on it this. For a moment I’m not quite sure what to do now. Then I decide to find the most affordable gas station in the area. Gas is very expensive again in California, about $5 per gallon, which is getting close to European prices. Fortunately in other states like Colorado, where I hope to drive to again, it’s a lot cheaper. After I fill up my car, I go to a shopping mall, but it’s not that interesting so I decide to drive back to San Diego. It turns out that takes a lot longer than expected, because traffic is really stuck this afternoon. I’m thankful that I don’t have to drive here every day like many of the other people in the cars around me. After about three hours I’m back in San Diego where I pick up pizza at my favorite place in town, Mr. Moto’s pizza, and then head back home to have dinner together with Brittany and Adie. The plan is to stay here til Monday morning and then start with the roadtrip.