And the road trip ended in San Francisco, where we spent a day of endless walking (from the Embarcadero to Golden Gate Park). We ended up passing by two farmer's markets, a couple of sea lions, a countless number of runners, walkers, and bicyclers, swans, mansions, among other random things. I suppose that's not too impressive for a city like San Francisco, but it's certainly very different from life in suburbia. Restaurants around every corner, the streets full of people, and people of every sort. I wouldn't mind living there.
I think I realized by the end of the day that I had barely taken any pictures, and so walking through the botanical garden, I tried taking as many pictures as possible, just so that I wouldn't come home with inadequate photographic evidence. Yes, that is a legitimate fear I have while I am on vacation. I hope that these pictures of plants are enough to hold up as a memento of the time I once went to San Francisco on the 26th of June 2014.
We took a brief detour to South Lake Tahoe—brief considering the amount of time we spent there, although the drive there was far from short. The most distinctive thing I noticed about the lake was how blue it was. It's also interesting to see skiing towns during the summer and to picture what they look like in the winter when all of it is covered in snow. Nostalgic isn't quite the right word to describe the scene, but I can't think of a better one.
Basically, we parked at the Emerald Bay parking lot and walked down to the lake, where the water was ridiculously clear, then walked back up and commenced the drive to San Francisco.
These pictures are from an insanely long time ago, but I didn't have to tell you that.
When I was watching fireworks, I heard a kid ask, "Can they break the sky?"
And I get the feeling that there are a lot of things I need to do, but then I just watch the World Cup instead.
eating / too many barbecues, and also homemade lemonade. and at least three peaches a day. and these blondies.
reading / nothing at the moment, but occasionally browsing through a book of poetry by Sylvia Plath, and planning on reading Slaughterhouse Five and maybe some things by Cormac McCarthy.
listening / As I said before, Spotify is consuming my life. So are these songs: Parachute by Ingrid Michaelson, and Wings by Birdy (who is also English and sings with an occasional British accent).
watching / The World Cup, of course. It's crazy to think that the next time it comes around, I'll have graduated from college. I don't even know who I'm rooting for, but I think it will be Germany for the moment. I have no national loyalties, so I always put myself on the side of the team that has the greatest chance of winning.
doing / organizing my house and haphazardly throwing away anything that I might never need again. My brain is split between wanting to keep things forever and wanting to live in a beautiful, clean, minimalist space, so things will accumulate over the years, and then boom, in one day, it will all disappear. It's a good system.
Happy independence day! I'm trying to be patriotic, although I'm cheering for not-the-United-States in the World Cup, and I'm too consumed by Spotify (I've just rediscovered how wonderful it is) to really be paying attention to anything other than making playlists. I did attempt to dress in red, white, and blue, only the colors are more like rust, cream, and denim. So I suppose I'll just forget about independence and enjoy my day off.
A communal house for five families.
The oregon coast.
Dark chocolate ice cubes.
Mindy Kaling's Harvard Class Day speech.
Rifle paper co. temporary tattoos.
So I've started my summer off with a little vacation. It was perhaps more hectic than relaxing, considering that we traversed over a thousand miles (and at least twenty more on foot) in the span of five days, but on the bright side, I was never bored.
The first part of the road trip was Yosemite. We had little more than half a day there, which is hardly enough (though I have been there twice before and don't plan on this being the last time), but enough to remind me how much I love this place.
I've actually never been to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias before, and I really liked it. It showed a different side of Yosemite, a contrast to the towering rock faces of the valley.
Next was Glacier Point—I'm surprised I've never been there, as the views are amazing. Part of me wishes there wasn't a road, though, because the view is too good to be had so easily. I'll hike there someday, but for today, I have to acknowledge my place in that car-driving crowd. (Although it would spoil the fun to hike four miles just to get to a crowded place anyone could drive to..)
(I have a feeling I took a picture just like this the last time I came here. What can I say? They're so cute lined up like that on the cliff.)
And finally there was Lower Yosemite Falls, where I nearly died (but maybe I'm being a bit dramatic) climbing those slippery rock surfaces.
And the picture below is Tenaya Lake, taken from out the window of the car. Not bad for a half a day.
And.. part two (Lake Tahoe) will be posted after I gather the willpower to edit and upload the rest of the pictures.
And.. that's the end. The end of childhood, to put it in a dramatic way. It's a strange feeling, knowing in my mind that I've moved on and yet feeling in my heart that I haven't. It's a strange feeling, talking to someone and knowing I'll never see them again. And it's a strange feeling, being nostalgic about things that happened two days ago. Simple things, like discussing The Brothers Karamazov in class (it was Smerdy! it must have been him!), or walking through the 400 hallway, or the day I brought lemonade to school because it was a hot day and why not? Because life, for the most part, moves gradually from day to day, so that events have time to fade away before they become wistful—but once in a while, there are those milestones that divide our lives into befores and afters. As if I've fallen over the edge of a cliff, into a world unknown. Even though I know that in physical reality nothing extraordinary has happened. I have gone to school, and I have come home, as always. Only this time is the last time. Repeat those words in my head. And then you look back and wish you had said more final goodbyes, but it's already too late. They say that never is a powerful word, and it really is. It reaches into the depths of our insides; it's an idea that we can't truly fathom; it marks the death of something, the end of hope. But the end of one thing is the beginning of another, and perhaps never is actually the most hopeful thing we have. It is the beginning of things yet unknown, things that we could not even dream of today. The future is hazy—it is a scary thing, but in the end, those are the things we live for. And come to think of it, it's true: this is the moment I've been waiting for, for the past four years. Might as well celebrate.
I think I'll just skip the excuses and pretend I was never gone.
(Because I really have no excuses.)
But anyways. The Huntington Library was beautiful and I wish I was there right now.
I love the facial expressions on the statues.
I wish I had recorded the name of this rose. Others were called 'Charles Darwin', 'Pink Princess', 'Voodoo', 'Ronald Reagan', 'Red Talisman', and 'Rainbow Sorbet'.
I'm also amazed by the denseness of bamboo forests and wonder how a panda could possibly traverse through those trees.
Ducklings are always cute.
If grey wasn't my favorite color, then I think this vermilion would be it.
And as if a rose garden, a Chinese garden, a Japanese garden, an Australian garden, a desert garden, and three art galleries weren't enough, they also have a conservatory.
Unfortunately, the stinky plant was not in bloom.
Fortunately, we found upon walking out that it was cooler outside the conservatory than it was inside.
I don't know what it is about walking through (air conditioned) art galleries on a (hot) summer day, but it borders on sublime.