We named her Monica. She was small, but sturdy. A light blue that glimmered in the California light. Monica came from a long line of reliable relatives. At her peak she was able to travel 60 mph; anything beyond that resulted in immediate shaking. Over the next two weeks, she would be the one to guide us all around the southern portion of California.

I fell in love with California over 5 years ago. It was a love of the warm weather, the picturesque coastlines, the endless traffic jams, and the variety of terrain. I crushed hard. The first time I stepped foot on California soil I was with my high school best friends. Our only agenda was: fun and a surplus of it. We had carefully mapped out our “must sees”: Los Angeles, San Diego, Catalina Island, Disneyland, and Yosemite. It was a full two weeks filled with endless adventure. And Monica, a Hyundai, was our four-door rental. img_0891Within the first 20 minutes of being in Monica, we were nearly hit head on.This trip was before Uber- otherwise, I would have grab my phone, plugged in my location, and ordered an Uber to navigate us through LA.

The beaches on the Pacific coast are once in a life time views. Take time to experience Santa Monica, Venice Beach (famous for its boardwalk), and Malibu. Once you have had your fill of saltwater, drive inland towards Hollywood. Our drive to Hollywood was met with bumper-to-bumper traffic and the aroma of coffee. In my excitement, I had spilled my coffee onto both my Anthropologie pants and the entire passenger seat.

Let’s skip to one of my favorite parts of our trip…Yosemite. We stopped at Cabela’s, purchased three hammocks, and set out for Lions, Tigers, and Bears, OH MY!  If you ever find yourself in Yosemite, you must see Yosemite Falls, Varnel Fall, and Tuolumne Meadows. You will not be disappointed, promise!

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Varnel Falls

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Tuolumne Meadows

dscf8804dscf8814dscf8839You really cannot capture the pure beauty that is Yosemite. There is a unique type of tranquility that you feel when you are there. It’s soul rejuvenating- and for a small moment everything seems okay in the world. I should warn you, there is no cell service in the park. It may seem scary to spend a few days without direct access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat (which had not been invented during this trip), but in a strange way it is liberating not to have contact with those outside the park. You will be granted the unique opportunity of enjoying the company of those you are with; reunited with regular face-to-face conversation.

The last place I want to leave you with-on this Monday evening- The Sequoia’s. As you walk into the park, you are suddenly surrounded by thousands of Sequoia trees. Pine cones litter the pathway like rose petals laying on a wedding aisle. They seem to welcome you- to a place that feels like it might have been the location of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s calm and very quiet. You will be transported back to a time, where cars drove through the center of a tree. A time where logging and the Gold Rush was a normal way of life.

Hope you get the chance to visit one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

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