Our month in California has taken us from the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite National Park to the streets of Oakland and cable cars of San Francisco, wading through the money/technology-drenched valley of Silicon, to sharing the streets with homeless people living in RV’s in Santa Cruz. Did I forget to mention Hollywood premier movies in Malibu, sloshing through the streets of West Hollywood in a torrential downpour, riding our bikes on the Weirdwalk in Venice Beach, sipping a drink in my cousin’s new brewery in Costa Mesa, enjoying the salt air of Balboa Island on Christmas Day, staying in a posh RV park in Newport Beach where someone cut our lock and stole Louis’ bike the day after Christmas:-(!
Coming into California we were ‘California dreaming’, but now after a diverse month criss-crossing the state from The Bay Area to Orange County we have woken up to a pleasant reality. We have been immersed in so many different worlds that it is impossible to capture it all in a short blog. We caught up with friends and relatives, some not seen for decades others newly-met. The Ventura Highway saw us camped out on the beach above Malibu and took us towards the small city of Santa Monica which brought fond memories of my time living in the same area back in the 80’s.
All this and we haven’t even made it north of The Golden Gate Bridge yet. Needless to say our trip continues and so do the adventures, one we could have done without was Louis’ bike getting stolen in Newport Beach. Fortunately we had insurance on the RV which helped us recover the cost of replacing it. Louis without a bike on our expedition would have been comparable to Janey-Rae without wheels, basically a non-starter.
So here we sit on the first day of 2017, the southern California sun keeping us warm as we contemplate our next move. January 1st marks our 6th month on the road, so now the countdown to July 1st has begun. We won’t look towards endings though but try to keep focusing on the moment we’re in. As the group America ask in their song ‘Ventura Highway’, “How long you gonna stay here, Joe?” Can’t answer that one, we are still playing it all by ear and letting weather and circumstance pave the path to the unfolding exploration of this vast continent. In a world where everything seems a bit uncertain, the next move we make reflects that same quality. But just like every turn we took on the small byways heading west had something unexpected awaiting, we’ll still try to expect nothing and always hope for the best.
Here is wishing you a Happy New Year, and let’s all face the upcoming year with a smile on our collective faces and try to turn even the most sour tasting experience we think we may be facing into something better than expected. When we woke up and saw Louis’ bike was gone we were all pretty bummed, Louis took it well and we got through the day and made the reports we had to do and called the people we had to call. Instead of having to make do with an inferior bike or even worse no bike at all, not even five days after the theft in the middle of a holiday week Louis was putting together an updated 2017 model of the bike that was stolen, we were all pleasantly surprised to turn that small disaster into a good thing. So keep the faith everyone, good things can and still do happen. We just have to know the way to face the days that seem grim with a smile and call on those certain someones or belief systems which can help us navigate it all correctly. Who or what you call on in those times is what will make the difference.
As we drove down the Ventura Highway I couldn’t get this song out of my head, so enjoy a trip down that same highway with the fellas below. See ya up the road!