Monday, August 13, 2012

Hambones Across America!

Go use the bathroom and grab a snack before digging in to this. I don't know how to edit myself.

Part One: California Über Alles

This trip started many moons ago when our good friends, the Hambones, announced they were going to be spending the summer in California. Jealousy immediately set in, followed by sadness - not only because they are friends, but because they are friends with a pool. Somehow we came up with the idea of flying out at the end of their trip to drive back across the ol' US of A with them.

We left our house at 4:40am, already hot and muggy outside. Arriving in San Francisco some hours later, but only 11am PST, we had an awesome reception:

The red and white from N.C. State. 

Yep, we had a sign waiting as we went down the escalator. The best part is that I hadn't told Kelly that I officially changed the way I wanted our last name plurazied earlier this year - she just thought it sounded better. We also had waters waiting for us in the back of Carlo's (Kelly's gentleman caller) 4Runner. Isn't it weird riding in someone else's car that's almost exactly like yours? The answer is yes, it is. Especially when his license plate says "FRESH" and he has dice on the mirror. Yeah I was jealous.

Our first meal? Strangely, not In-N-Out, but L&L Hawaiian Barbeque. Kelly had gotten me a gift card for my birthday to entice us to come out west - which I had conveniently left on the dresser at home.  Kelly and Carlo then took us around San Francisco for a bit. China Beach, where we watched an awkward wedding photography session, and of course our own impromptu photo session.

This is not nearly all of the pictures they posed for.

Next stop was for afternoon dessert at "Oops I Creped My Pants." They weren't the worst crepes I'd ever had. (They were the first crepes I'd ever had.)

"Because I'm wearing them, and I just did."

After some quality/half-ass napping at our hotel (which was courtesy of All West Virginian American Andy "Face" Facemire's points), we finally met up with the Hambones and their California tans. We had a failed food truck experience before going to the Pastrami Palace in San Something (there are too many to keep straight). We sat outside in longsleeves, jackets, and next to a heater. In July. It was awesome. Then we fell asleep during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

The next morning we had Breakfast at Tiffany's. No, really, we totally did. Not nearly as fancy as I thought it'd be, but nevertheless quite tasty. More impromptu photo shoots.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of two unathletic girls jumping?

The Hambones and I then headed towards SF while Sarah and Kelly went shopping in San Mateo. Pretty touristy stuff for us as Taco had never been to SF. This was interesting though:

I think this is better than actually posting the picture of the naked dudes.

Sarah finally met up with us, which meant one thing - cupcake time. The only place we hadn't been (according to the Cupcake Wars app) was Mission Minis. Only two flavors available - red velvet and cinnamon horchata - which had both apparently been sitting out a while as they were both pretty dry. I'd like to try the cinnamon one fresh though.

She's lunging.

Dinner at a 'za place in the Haight, I walked to Amoeba Records, we were exhausted. We're just now getting to Sunday? I told you it'd be wordy. Eastward!

It's pretty amazing how fast the California landscape changes. We went from the hills of San Francisco to almost deserty farmland pretty quickly. Sadly, our last stop at In-N-Out. A few hours later and we're in the beautiful mountains of...

We chose to skip the more famous/crowded sites that we'd never heard of anyway and headed over the Tuolumne Road, which is closed during winter. The only hike we wanted to make was down to a Giant Sequoia Grove. The rest of the trip through the park would be mostly from the road and, as Ethan calls them, vee-sta points.

This is how we hike. In ballet flats, Vans, and Instagram filters.
I don't think anything can really prepare you for a) the number of Europeans you'll meet on the trails, or b) how GIANT these trees really are. Amazing. Their pine cones - are they even called pine cones for Giant Sequoias? I'm not looking it up now. I digress... - which, according to numerous signs, you shouldn't pick up, were WAY bigger than my foot. (FYI I wear a 10.5 and am always looking to add to my Nike Air Max collection. Donations welcome.)

This is a photo collage.

There really were some amazing vee-stas in the park. If you're into nature, camping, backpacking Europeans, or California, I highly recommend a trip.

Have I mentioned that we don't own a real camera? I ran it over with my truck. If there are high quality pictures on here, someone else took them. Or I photoshopped them.
SENIORS '01!!!
We finally made it out of the park a little before the sun went down, and drove a few more hours to the capital city of the great state of Nevada - Carson City. We were happy to sleep and happier to leave it the next morning. If only we knew what the rest of Nevada would be like...

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