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CALIFORNIA: WELCOME BACK BITCH!

CALIFORNIA: WELCOME BACK BITCH!

“When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I used to think, ‘How can I die without seeing every inch of this world?'”
-Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio - born in California

WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA: THE GOLDEN STATE

My friend Terry helped me with the drive from Portland, Oregon to Oakland, California. It was a long one. 10 freaking hours! 13 including rest stops for breakfast, bathroom breaks, lunch and maybe dinner.

Google Maps: Portland, OR to Oakland, California
Google Maps: Portland, OR to Oakland, California.

Terry was great. She’s from Long Beach, CA and just got a job driving tour buses in Hollywood so I knew I was in good hands. Plus, it turns out that she had never really done a road trip like this one and was like a kid in a candy store when the scenery turned magnificent. It was great catching up with her because she gets very busy. We laughed our asses off as usual driving down the 5 freeway. At times, the scenery was boring as fuck but sometimes, it was just beautiful. Northern California is sneaky with her mountainous vistas. It’s pretty neat. Mount Shasta is a perfectly example of that. Apparently, it’s a POTENTIALLY active volcano, which I did not know until I did some research for this blog today. Uhh, what the fuck?!

Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta in Northern California.

But seriously, Mount Shasta was a beauty and maybe one day she will just get tired of sitting there and explode? Too soon? Hee hee.


HUGE SHOUT OUT TO TERRY. SHE’S AWESOME!


I also managed to catch up with a wonderful friend of mine while I was in Oakland: Alah. Alah and I have been friends for a few years but only get to see each other every so often. She picked me up from my Holiday Inn hotel and we went to this spot called “Eureka” in Berkeley, CA.

My goodness, that place was super cool! Alah and I ordered food and drinks and laughed the night away while losing track of any kind of time. She had a beautiful family to get home to, so … oops. It was a nice way to punctuate what has been an amazing journey across the beautiful landscape of America.

Thank you Lah. And uhh, I still don’t think that stripper in New Orleans deserved any cab fare from me! Hahahahahaha.


After Oakland, I jetted to the Golden Gate Bridge and had a little fun. Check it out.


Then to put an exclamation point on the entire experience, I treated myself to a round at one of my favorite golf courses in the world: Pebble Beach Golf Links. What an amazing place. I stayed here a few years ago during an (expensive) golf vacation and it’s still in the top 3 best vacations I have ever had next to Paris, France and Ibiza, Spain.

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THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED AND FOLLOWED ME THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE JOURNEY.

I’M TIRED!

Barack Obama

 

Oregon: Grandiose Scenic Views

Oregon: Grandiose Scenic Views

“In simplicity there is truth.”
-River Phoenix

River Phoenix - born in Oregon

WELCOME TO OREGON: THE BEAVER STATE

What can I say about Oregon? Over the years, I have heard so much about the golf, the craft beer festivals, the scenic drives up and down the coast and the comedy scene. And yet, I never managed to visit. I’ve flown over her a few times to visit Seattle and Vancouver but never took the opportunity to see what everyone was raving about.

Earlier this year, I was signed up to attend a 4-day, 3-night golf tournament in Portland and my original plan was to enjoy what Portland had to offer but my golf “vacation” fell through.

And now, here I was, driving through the Southeastern part of Washington, heading west to Oregon and enjoying one of the most beautiful drives I have ever seen in my life. From the moment you get on the 84 freeway heading west, starting around Bowman, OR, there’s water on your right and beautiful, cascading mountains and trees on your left for about 100 miles. Although it was really windy (~21mph), I paid special attention to keep my car steady. At times, it felt like I was in a video game because of all the beauty that was framed around me.


 
Traveloregon.com offers some more history on the area:

About 14,000 years ago, cataclysmic floods scoured out the Columbia River Gorge. Early visionaries engineered an inspired drive along its towering walls. As America’s first scenic highway and a National Historic Landmark, this 70-mile/113-kilometer route is indeed the “King of Roads.”

One of North America’s grandest rivers, the Columbia is at its finest as it rolls through the Columbia River Gorge, framed by sheer walls of basalt, cloaked in firs and ferns and rare endemic plants, accented with waterfall after crashing waterfall.

The only edit I would make from the quote above is: “… the King and Queen of Roads.” It’s THAT beautiful.

The King of Roads in "Oregon"
Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway in Oregon.

After a 5 and a half hour drive, I arrived in Portland and called it a night. I needed to prepare for a 12-hour drive to Oakland, California the next morning.

Sunset in Oregon
Snapshot of a sunset near Portland, Oregon.

So even though I soaked up the beauty and ambiance of The Columbia, I still didn’t have enough time to enjoy the city of Portland. It’s ok. I’m sure I will see her again. And when I do, there will be golf, comedy and beers on top.

CHEERS!

Beer - Portland, Oregon