Can you believe I've never been to California since I was a baby? My godmother lives down in northern Cali and I figured it was high time to visit her. I took the last week of August off from work and drove down to Arcata. I camped on the way, found the cutest one-eyed kitten, and picked up a pair of hitchhikers on the second day. It was cool to do this without much thought or planning. The campground office lady was surprised I was solo, and I'll admit camping is less fun alone, but I fashioned a ghetto headlamp out of the free key-chain flashlight and a couple hairpins so I could read some Mishimi and drink beer in my tent.
The long drive was exhausting but beautiful and it was wonderful to see my lovely godmother Karol when I arrived. My parents and her lost touch when I was young and I didn't really know her growing up. But a few years back she found me on facebook and we've been keeping in touch through the magic of the internet. I wondered if it would feel strange to visit her but as soon as I arrived I felt like I'd known her forever. And in a way, I really had. Karol was there when I was born and I am so thankful to have had the chance to get to know her in person.
We ate a lot of delicious food, but of particular note was Kyoto Sushi in Eureka where we had the MOST amazing Golden Dragon roll (not pictured but it involved salmon, avocado, salmon roe, and thinly sliced lemon and was SO GOOD). We also went to several cute vintage shops and used bookstores. Daisy Drygoods was particularly good and will get its own post soon as I go through the many, many pictures I took there. Missing Link Records in Arcata was also a highlight. The kind gentleman there hooked me up with some great tapes for the drive home. Definitely worth a visit if you're ever in town.
One thing I was most excited about was seeing the Redwoods. Driving through the forests on my way down there was incredible. I wanted to stop a million times but didn't, so Karol and I went on a little walk/mini hike at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and I was in awe. Honestly, I feel like this was something I had been waiting my whole life for, without even knowing it.
And then, coolness of cool, we saw a GIANT herd of elk in the middle of a campground. Just milling around the trailers and campers and a bunch of people snapping pictures. We didn't get out of the car because those beasts are dangerous but we pulled into the lot and took some pictures leaning out of the car. I was so stoked on seeing all these crazy animals.
My last night before heading back Karol and I picked a bunch of blackberries from her yard and made a delicious cobbler, watched movies, and drank gin and tonics. It was a lovely evening and I did not want to leave. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know Karol, she's really an amazing woman and I get why she was important to both of my parents. I drove almost all the way back in one day, listening to my new tapes to keep me up. Finally, I had to stop at a rest stop and nap in my car for a few hours otherwise I think I wouldn't have made it home.