Welcome to The Golden State

Welcome back, folks.  On the morning of July 2nd We woke up early in Las Vegas and hit the road again.  We left the House of Pretty and headed West!  We were goin’ back to Cali 🙂 jejejeje
Our first stop of this fun filled day was the Mojave National Preserve.
Hi Kelsey!!

The only cool thing I noticed was that it is in Kelso, California.  That’s fun (for me) because it reminded me of a friend I have that is sometimes called “Kelso” 🙂  There wasn’t much to it…its basically a 1.6 million acre preserve with some old cinder cones and lava flow and lots of wildflowers.  Soooo I got my stamp and We moved along.

I didn’t know until I started researching them just prior to Our trip, but Joshua “trees” are not trees at all! (click there to read more about them) They are closer to cacti, but aren’t those either.
I don't know you like that!!
They are actually members of the lily family (wth?).  So yeah, We went to the visitor center and got my stamp and drove through the park.  There are tons of Joshua Trees
Tree? Cactus? No, and no.
and other beautiful types of actual cactus.
These guys were pretty cool looking

We saw some awesome rock formations as well.  Something else I didn’t know is that Joshua Tree Park attracts thousands of rock climbers from around the world…I can see why.

I would love to scramble up that!!

we left JTNP and began driving through vineyards and other neatly squared and rowed patches of land with deliciousness growing on it.

yum!!

We drove by the Salton Sea, which was awesome.  It was the first large body of water I had seen since entering CA…it made me anxious to see the beach 🙂
Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California.  It is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, but not as salty as the Great Salt Lake.  Clicking on the link above will tell you more fun facts about it, but it won’t express how beautiful it is to see.  I have never seen the Pacific Ocean in real life before and I was definitely ready.  After that, Our next stop would be in San Diego to have thai food with a new friend!

We met Amy in San Diego at Rama, a very nice thai restaurant in the gas lamp district.  The atmosphere was awesome…dimly lit, not hot or cold, sheer curtains separating Our table from the restaurant-VERY nice.  She had made reservations ahead of time and was already seated at their “best booth” 🙂  It was close to a waterfall that was coming down the wall and in the far back corner of the restaurant, so I will agree with them.  We ordered and chitchatted about each other.  We had never met her before in real life, only online.  We belong to an online community of like minded individuals and converse often in message boards with them.  Some, more than others, We get along with particularly well and have quite intelligent conversation with.  Our adventure has given Us the opportunity to begin meeting the ones who live so far away…including this lovely woman.  After eating the delicious meal and having a grand conversation, We left in search of a bar or pub.  Rama, while a great restaurant, recently had their liquor license suspended and was not serving anything but water, tea and soda…not even wine!  We walked up the block and find a fine establishment called “The Strip Club, a steak joint“.  Funny name, serious place.  They had a small open table near the patio and .10c wine.
.10 cent wine!!

The name, the strip club, is due to the steaks they serve 🙂 Well, I say serve loosely…you grill your own steak there!!  We sat and enjoyed a lengthy and animated talk with Our new friend and drank some wine.

the 3 of Us at the "Strip Club"
In San Diego...aren't We cute?!?!

It was getting late, so We had to be on Our way.  It was kinda sad to only have a small amount of time to meet and get to know such an awesome person.  We still had to drive to Los Angeles that night and that was 3 hours away.  The drive to LA was in the dark and We got to Anomaly, which is in Pasadena, around 1030pm.

Anomaly is a piercing and hair studio in a great location that is owned by a friend of Ours names Annie. (Clicking the link above will go to their website bio and you can check out their portfolios) She showed Us around and welcomed Us to California properly and We hung out with her and Brett (who also runs shit) for a bit before heading to her apartment in North Hollywood.  At that point, We called it a night.  Don’t worry, friends, there will be more Annie and Anomaly in the near future!!
My first impression of California is that I love it.  I love the square plots being farmed all over with fruit and vegetables growing in them.  I love how green it is.  I love how fresh it smells.  It is not quite as warm as I thought it would be, it isn’t as sunny as I thought it would be, but I love it anyway.  I don’t feel out of place or like an outsider.  Not everyone is pretty, I have yet to see a movie being filmed or anyone who has been in one that I recognized :/  There’s a lot more California to go…
Stay tuned.
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