(March 25, 2017 | Spring Break Road Trip: Day 1)
So. Where is J now? No one ever knows, hahaha.
14+ hours later and I’ve finally made it to Humboldt. Despite the long hours in the car, the drive was nice. Normally, when I go up to NorCal, I don’t take the scenic route strictly for the purpose of saving time. Oh boy, was I missing out. I drove up from San Diego after work the night before and headed to Orange County to make the trip a little bit easier on myself. From there, I started my little adventure early the next morning. Humboldt, being a world away, would naturally take the entire day to get through. California’s vertical length is basically 2-3 states in itself. Even though there was a semi-immediate pressure to make good time to get there as soon as possible, I still wanted to take advantage of opportunities to make quick stops to see new things! I didn’t have too much extra time, but I tried to squeeze in whatever I could.
I haven’t been to Germany (yet), but I would imagine it would look something like the quaint, little town of Solvang. But I guess that’s a given since I’m pretty sure that’s what the city was supposed to emulate, the German spirit. Me thinks? I remember my parents always mentioning stopping by there on a NorCal road trip when I was little. Wait. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not even sure if I was even born yet or if I was living in the Philippines at that time, ahhah. Regardless, I haven’t consciously been there. If I wasn’t old enough to have a substantial recollection of something, then it didn’t happen. Rule of thumb, heh. It was cute though! The place was a hub of bakeries, sweet shops, ice cream parlors, and quirky shops. The dream of a carb-loving sweet tooth. There were so many free samples at each place that I stopped that I basically made up for not eating a substantial breakfast.
Upon the recommendations of my friends, we stopped by The Fudge Factory, home to – shocker – slabs of various types of fudge. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Pecans, Walnuts. We decided on the chocolate one with walnuts. My thoughts: It was okay. I have a “low quality” taste bud in which I usually either like something or don’t. My in between thoughts are not very detailed. I either know if something suits my fancy and I would eat it again or if it’s not my jam. I definitely would eat this again because chocolate, duh. But I wouldn’t say it was life changing or the best piece of fudge I’ve ever tried in my life. It was good though. One “slab” of fudge is more than enough for one person. For a little over the $5 mark, I think that it was worth it. It’s a good sweet to share with a bunch of your friends. Having the whole thing to yourself would be sickening, to be honest. Even for a chocoholic like myself. If fudge isn’t your thing, there are so many other things to try that you’re sure to find something that interests you.
To add onto Solvang’s personal appeal, I found a “Christmas All Year ‘Round” shop and another shop strictly dedicated to wine, bread, and cheese. For anyone who knows me…all of the things that I’ve described so far, you know that these are all things that make my heart beat a little bit faster. LIKE. IS THIS PLACE EVEN REAL? Yes, it is. Hahah. So if you’re ever passing the Santa Barbara area, make sure to pass by. It’s pretty cool. And the views behind the shops are amazing! The hills looks like they were alive without even having the sound of music. Anyone? Sound of Music reference? Nah? Okay.
From Solvang, there weren’t many significant stops besides to eat and get gas, so the next big destination to note would probably have to be San Francisco. If you know me or have seen one of my previous blog posts, then you know that I was in the Bay Area literally a week ago. And even then, I still freaked out once we made it back to the city. Something about San Francisco makes me so giddy. I love the personality of that city. There was no time to get out of the car or to explore. We were already on a time crunch, plus there was quite a bit of traffic when we were trying to get through, but I was still able to get my friends to take a few photos while I was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t even mind driving through the traffic that much. I was just enjoying looking at my surroundings and soaking everything in.
After passing through the Bay, it was pretty much a straight shot up to Humboldt. The farthest I’ve ever been up California is the Bay, so the rest of the drive was a new world to me. An incredible new world, if that. The winding road immediately plunged into the depths of rolling green hills and mountains, embellished in trees and brush of all kinds. It was kinda really freaking beautiful. The common theme throughout this road trip. Everything is so beautiful. Nature is so beautiful. The world is so beautiful. This is an obvious statement, clearly, but as someone who’s resided in Southern California her entire, I don’t get the privilege to see this “type” of nature besides when I go on family vacations to the mountains and seeing the mountains and trees never ceases to amaze me. I’m in awe every single time. All I could say the entire time was “OMG, THAT’S SO UNREAL!” or “OMG, THAT IS SO PRETTY WHAT THE HECK.” (Refer back to the featured photo of this post. Point proven). It’s nice to see other views.
Even though I’ve never been very keen on going on a road trip because I’m prone to motion sickness (car sick, train sick, plane sick, sea sick…you name it, I get it…), I’m glad that I decided to plan this. It’s been one day and I’ve grown to really appreciate the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer. Truly breathe taking. She’s a gem of gems. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how lovely the scenery going up was too. Even in SoCal. Because of all the rain we’ve gotten this season, it’s made everything so green and there were flowers in bloom everywhere — even on the sides of the roads! Thank God for the rain. You can really see how much of a difference it’s made. From dreary scenes of the drought to the lush new growth that the rain’s brought. It’s crazy.
And, to end a beautiful day full of beautiful things is getting to see one of my beautiful best friends, my Nana. Ana was gracious enough to house us for the night (and another night on our way back) and I got to meet two of your sorority sisters and her boy toy, finally. We hadn’t seen each other since summer, I believe? It’s been a hot minute to say the least, but every time we see each other, it’s like nothing’s changed. Doesn’t even feel like we’re living on opposite sides of California’s border. Ugh, my heart so happy. Getting to visit and see my best friends in their “new” homes is a blessing. Hayley and Christine last week, Ana this week, and Margarita in a few days. I’m grateful. Can’t wait to see Oregon and Washington! YAY.
Until the next part of this adventure.
Love always, J.