flying solo in 2011

This is probably my most image-heavy post ever in my history of blogging. I can’t remember if I have ever posted anything else with as many pictures as this… though by standards of the online community, this isn’t much. But by my standards it is a record. I would rather write than post pictures simply because it takes less effort to write than to crop my pictures, choose which ones to post and then upload them here. It is a little tedious and I am very lazy, even if I know everyone prefers visuals. But tonight I don’t feel like ‘talking’ as much.

Twelve months in a year, fourteen cities including home, which I am sure you can spot from the pictures. It is that obvious.

Je suis fatigué.

carmel by the sea

On one of the days, we rented a Dodge caravan that Jade drove and took us all on a road trip to Carmel by the sea, more commonly known as Carmel, which is about 120km south of San Francisco. We planned to start out early in the day but eventually we only really started the drive in the late morning, after stopping and grabbing a coffee at Four Barrel (I love that cafe a lot and their coffee, pity I didn’t have a chance to just sit there and bask in the atmosphere of the cafe) and subsequently making a pitstop at Safeway along the way.

While on the drive, we made regular stops to admire the scenery and take pictures. And as luck would have it, I forgot to charge the camera, thinking that the battery seemed to be still going strong. I was wrong, at the start of the road trip the battery already decided to go flat, so I had to rely on the phone instead, and also used Jade’s digicam for taking pictures. So these are what I got on the phone, a selected few, since most of them are pretty repetitive but just still doesn’t capture the awesomeness that was the scenery along the Pacific Coast.

A pumpkin patch along the way, since it was almost Halloween! This really reminded of 2009 when it was around Halloween when I visited Japan and everywhere we went, theme parks especially, we saw so much orange. It was a great trip and I really missed it, the place, the season, the us. It was carefree and I felt so free too. 2 years on, maybe we have changed, but we are always wanting to hold on the best memories of our lives, in hopes that maybe we may recreate these memories or relive these memories some day.

We arrived at the 17-mile drive, which is actually 9.6 mile long road through Pebble Beach, where non-residents had to pay a toll to drive on it. It was a very scenic route with the wonderful Pacific coastline on our right as we drove, and golf courses and large mansions on the left inland. It was definitely an affluent estate, but also because the views that we saw along the way were just breath-taking. Perhaps this is what cruising along the Great Ocean Road would feel like. One of these days, I would like to visit that too, if only I could drive. Or if someone is willing to drive me! But sorry I’m not going to be paying for your airfare, haha. We go Dutch.

The lone cypress along the 17-mile drive, standing in front of a whole bunch of other cypresses on a protruding rock structure, looking extremely lonesome bathed in the lights of the setting sun.

And after passing through Pebble Beach, we drove on along California One to Bixby Creek Bridge. Now even though I mentioned before that I don’t experience the phobia of heights, or in this case, depths, as much when looking downwards compared with looking up, this was pretty scary in its own right, because where we parked and walked about there wasn’t any railings or the sorts to prevent you from falling into the valley below if you were to miss your footing. It’s thinking about the what-could-be that was horrifying and not so much about feeling the fear upfront from just seeing how deep the bridge reached beneath, which at its deepest span is about 100m. Somehow, when I was looking at this bridge, it reminded me of a scene in Harry Potter where the train was passing along a section of elevated tracks not unlike this, in the dark of course, bringing the young wizards back to Hogwarts, and with the Dementors hovering around the chugging train. It’s weird I know, because this was in bright (setting though) daylight when I was at Bixby but I just got that mental image surfacing in my mind at that moment.

At this point, we decided not to cross the bridge, since it will just take us further southwards along California One, and so we turned back and drove back to San Francisco, which I think took us slightly longer than when we came, because we got a little lost even with the GPS, which we bought and subsequently returned to Radio Shack. Haha, I love the return policy in the US! But I don’t think it’d ever work here, given how most of us are like, we would definitely abuse such a policy to our own detriment.

It has been more than a month since I went to the states for holiday and I really missed being on holiday. Almost everyone loves travelling and going on holidays, but I think it’s a different story altogether how each of us deal with the reality of not being able to be on holiday as often as we would have liked, and getting over the withdrawal symptoms of returning from an amazing vacation, visiting places we have always wanted to go to. I don’t think I have ever been able to deal with these feelings, because wanderlust hits me so often that I am holidaying more than most people I know, whether it is paying ridiculously amounts of money just to go somewhere for a trip, or making use of whatever little time I have on hand while on business trips to explore a bitsy of the cities that I go to… seriously, I probably need some professional help out of such a conundrum. But maybe, just maybe, I’m a willing victim.