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.


Relaxed day in San Diego

A little after I landed, my friend Brittany picks me up from the airport. As usual I love seeing the skyline of San Diego when we drive from the airport to her house. We catch up for a while and she mentions how sometimes your body can travel really fast by airplane, but your mind is still where you came from. I find that an interesting idea and during the night I find out what she meant. When I dream I’m still in the Netherlands and thinking in Dutch, but when I wake up during the night I remember I’m in San Diego. I go back and forth a few times until I get up around 6am. I’m thankful I had a long night of sleep and feel well rested.


Taking off to a new adventure

I heard some time that airplanes use the most of their fuel during take off. It feels like for me that’s the same. When the days before the journey get closer, I usually get a bit nervous and it takes quite some effort to get ready. Fortunately years ago I’ve made a checklist for myself that I still use these days. It makes it a lot easier to pack everything needed.


Back in the Netherlands

It’s Friday morning and I’m almost back home for a week now. I’m hesitant to call it home, because I’m not sure where that exactly is. For now I’m living here, so I guess I can call it home for the time being. The other day I was thinking about how I miss the writing when I’m here. It’s just that here in Utrecht is my ‘normal’ life and that it feels less adventurous, not giving me as much creative input for writing as when I’m traveling. Nevertheless, I want to do an attempt to write about my first week back.


Hollywood once more

I wake up just before the sun comes over the mountains and enjoy the peaceful view. When I try to get dressed I notice how my camper car is slowly becoming quite messy and I’m getting a bit annoyed by that I can’t find my socks. After searching for a while, I give up and decide to drive to Walmart to get a few new pairs. Haha, I’m thankful that Walmart is everywhere here. The drive to the nearby city is very beautiful and goes through hills covered by trees.


Among the giants

This morning I’m taking it easy. The hike I want to do today is only half an hour driving away, so while the sun is coming up I pack my stuff and clean out the campsite. I drive to Sequoia national park, one of my favorites. It’s still early when I arrive and there are only a few cars in the parking place. I’m happy about that and enjoy my breakfast before I start the hike.