Things to Come + A Love Letter to Sleep

If you thought for one second that I was gone for good…you thought wrong. πŸ™‚ I’m back, friends, and IC is about to get better than ever.

What, you might ask, prompted me to return to writing? Well, my mind, the great organic typewriter, has a constant, real-time stream of thoughts that just won’t quit. Like ever. It got to be too much, to the point where my head started hurting from all the words that were jammed up in there. My only solution was to come back to my blog. Only then, I knew, would my ailment be cured…be free…and be able to LIVE AGAIN!

Anyway, I’ll spare you the boredom that will come through my revelation of ALL my thoughts. Plus, I’m ever-so mysterious (people who know me and are reading this – stop giggling! I’m an enigma, dang it!). Nonetheless, I AM obliged to inform you of the many things coming from your friendly neighborhood travel- and caffeineholic, including:

– A swashbuckling solo mission to Oregon in search of foamy tides and brisk mountain air;

– the annual “Vegas Vignette” detailing theΒ real way to do America’s perpetual party;

– a truly tropicalectric Christmas adventure in Barbados;

– a wild western romp in the heart of Texas (toast included); aaaaaand

– an epic journey to the misty green isles of northern Scotland and the quaint rolling hills/festive pubs of Ireland with one of my most infamous partners in crime, the world-famous June!

Holy buckets of squant, right?!? In any event, my number one aim is to entertain. Rhyme totally intentional. Whilst I’ve barely given anything away, I seek to entice you and encourage you all to stay tuned for words, pictures, and reviews, oh my!

To end the evening, let us now pray to the gods of REM:

I have ideas and things to do

But sleep I need – so where are you?

Whoever thought to work at 9

Should honestly be charged a crime (Editor’s note: I work at 8, but that doesn’t make it any more okay.)

– H

Coastal Cruising & ROTW Preview

Well HELLO! My, has it been a while. It seems I’ve already had trouble sticking to my once-a-week rule…I hope all is forgiven!

The past few weeks have been a bit crazy, admittedly. Thankfully, time has healed some of my melancholic, bittersweet longing for Italy. While I still dream about it, I’ve at least stopped fantasizing about jumping into other travelers’ suitcases, which is a start – right? In effect, only the positive effects of my travel remain. I just have to go back soon. πŸ™‚

Anyway, the “corner” of the world I was just in, the California Coast, may not seem like something all that out of the ordinary for me. As a California native, most people assume you know about everything that the Golden State has to offer. The truth is, I don’t even think that’s possible! It turns out my state is HUGE and nearly as diverse as the country itself.

When my mom nudged me awake last Monday morning and asked if I wanted to join my stepdad and niece on a trip up north to San Francisco for a few days I naturally said yes. Road trip? With my amazing family? C’mon, I’m all about that! My “yes” was about as enthusiastic as you can get, with a vigorous spring from my bed to match. I packed my bag, went to my Bar Method class, and set out for the open road with them around 10:00 am.

My trusty iPhone 4 can probably regale the tales of NorCal better than I ever could, so I’ll just sum it up briefly and leave the rest to pictures. Our first three nights were spent in the Sunset district, near where my older brother lives. I hadn’t seen him or his family in over two years, so this was amazing! We visited Golden Gate park, the zoo, and the nearby beach. The water looked pretty tempestuous, however, so it was definitely a “viewing visit”.

On Thursday, we drove from San Francisco to Monterey and went to the aquarium! This was probably my favorite thing on the whole trip. We saw people coming from all over the world and for good reason: this truly is the best aquarium ever. We had dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf later that night and stayed in the amazing Monterey Plaza Hotel on Cannery Row. The restaurant we ate at, Fisherman’s Grotto, was a fantastic destination spot and would definitely be my first choice for a restaurant there. While CR is a bit touristy for those seeking an authentic Monterey experience, it is certainly worth a see. Before the aquarium we ate at the Fish Hopper, which is probably one of the better restaurants right on the Row.

The drive down the coast from Monterey to home (Laguna Beach) on Friday is worth its own paragraph: talk about INCREDIBLE! It started with the 17-mile drive, passing by Pebble Beach and other award-winning golf courses; artsy Carmel followed shortly thereafter. Then we head into Big Sur, the land of giant redwoods and cascading beach cliffs. We then passed by the rolling hills and Hearst Castle (which we have to go back and see); later, Morro Bay. We even had a surprise before Morro Bay in San Simeon, when we were treated to the sight of hundreds of elephant seals!

In short, this was truly the drive of a lifetime; never had I seen so much beauty in one day. If I can offer one thing with this entry, it is my resounding suggestion to take this drive if you ever get the opportunity. Especially if you’re living in California at the moment! Without further ado, see my mini-photo stream here.

Coming up tomorrow: a recipe for Paleo Honey Almond Cookies! I know, I know – not everyone does honey on paleo. But hey, we like to push the boundaries here at IC, πŸ™‚ Stay tuned…

Thought of the Day: If something’s bothering you, talk about it – you should always have at least one person you can talk to.

-H