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California Vacation Days 1 thru 3

So, in an effort to make shorter yet more detailed posts, I’m splitting the California vacation across multiple parts. I want to be able to include stories from the specific events, instead of just hitting the highlights of every day like I did with the Ireland post. Stories and pictures are the best parts anyway! But I also don’t want these posts to be thesis length, so I’ll make several of them 🙂

Day 1 was just a travel day for me. I rearranged my work schedule to have Friday off without actually burning a vacation day, which was nice since I don’t have a whole lot of them to begin with. I got a friend of mine to take me to the airport (stupidly early… Yay 7am flights) and was in California around 3ish Pacific Time. The flights themselves were kind of cool. I connected through DFW, and between Dallas and San Francisco we flew over the Grand Canyon! I had a window seat, but it wasn’t a great one so no pictures 🙁

It was a long day, and I was glad to be off the plane by the time we landed. Corey picked me up at the airport (which was an adventure in and of itself… the San Francisco airport is slightly large), we grabbed lunch, and then we headed back to his apartment to relax a little bit. He was puppy sitting for a friend of his, so I got to meet Charlie too! Dinner that night was at this cute little crepe place in downtown Mountain View, and other than that Friday was a pretty quiet day.

 

Charlie at Shoreline Dog Park
Charlie at Shoreline Dog Park

Saturday wasn’t much more adventurous. We took Charlie to a local dog park and let him run around for a bit in the morning, and then we took him home after picking his dad up from the airport. That afternoon we went and saw The Magnificent Seven and grabbed ice cream. Almost like a normal date! Kind of nice since we don’t get to do that very often.

Sunday was much more adventurous. We spent most of the day with some friends of Corey’s out hiking! We all met up at this… odd?… little diner type place for food and headed out to Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos from there. The views were absolutely amazing, and we were in good company 🙂

Couples pic from later in the hike
Couples pic from later in the hike
The hiking group!
The hiking group!

Funny story about our hike. We got to the trail head and attempted to map out our route for the day. The park had 4 or 5 different trails you could take, and the sign had them color coded. The purple trail was about a mile and a half, so it was going to be an easy little hike with some cool views. So that’s what we settled on.

However.

We get out on the trail and realize that the markers went by the names of the trails, not the color on the map. Oops…

I think we ended up on the orange trail, which was about 5 miles or so. The purple trail we were aiming for was one where you hiked a ways and turned around to come back the way you came. We missed that turnaround at some point, so we took a pretty big loop!

I discovered that Corey is part mountain goat on this little adventure. He would hop up on boulders on the edge of the trail to get a better view through the trees, which made me incredibly nervous. Maybe I’m just a worry-wart, but maybe I’m just safety conscious!

"I wasn't that high..."
“I wasn’t that high…” -Corey
Corey on a rock
Like I said, part mountain goat.

Sometimes it was a little bit of a challenge to get the pictures I wanted. The trail was mostly covered on both sides in places, so when we came across a good break in the trees, it was time for pictures. In one particular instance, I had Corey’s good camera and I hopped up on a boulder on the side of the path. Well, I promptly slid off. The face of the rock was steep enough that I couldn’t really get the traction I needed to stay on. So like the team player he is, Corey helped me out by propping me up!

Aiden Taking Pics - Corey Propping
Sometimes we make a good duo.

The views were worth it though.

Pano at Castle Rock
Pano at Castle Rock

There were moments I had to put down the camera and just admire the scenery I was experiencing. It was breathtaking, and pretty humbling. I’m one of those people where if I have a camera in hand, I’ll take a million pictures just trying to capture everything. I’m sure Corey will have more commentary on that topic in a later post, but I digress. I was so stunned by these views that I had to put the camera down. That seems so counter-intuitive, but I’m really glad I did. Now, not only do I have the pictures to remember this trip, but I have the emotions tied to it too. The feeling of being in a place like that, and the experience itself. I’ll look back on the pictures and remember what the wind rustling my frizzy hair felt like and how it sounded whistling through the trees. That’s a much better memory than just a picture, I think.

Aiden admiring the view at Castle Rock
Aiden admiring the view at Castle Rock

More vacation stories to come in future posts!

Till then,

Aiden

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