long california roads

Oh road trips. There's something so terribly cliché and wonderful about the long journey to get somewhere. Add in the bumps, pitstops, never-ending stretches, mountains, and epic views and it's basically the story of our lifetimes. 

This time last month, Ryan and I left Boise in the rearview and headed for The City of Angels. He in a huge lux truck for work, and I in our severely luggage-loaded and AC-free wagon. 

Spending hours alone in the car was new to me. I haven't ever taken a lengthy trip by myself. I listened to a lot of old music, groaned audibly at long Nevada stretches, laughed at mountain goats on cliffsides, prayed, and thought way too much. I was surprised at how uncomfortable it felt to be crazy excited and have no one in the passenger seat to share it with.

It brought to my attention that one of the biggest joys in life is to share experiences with people. So simple and so obvious, I know-- but expressing glee and sadness felt less fulfilling without company. But it also reminded me of the importance of being truly alone sometimes... without reception and internet, only room for thoughts and road. 

Eighteen hours later, we pulled into Venice Beach-- emerging from our respective vehicles stiff-legged, shoulder-hunched, and giddy about solid ground and sleep.

We were a short walk to the boardwalk. The first morning was stormy and gray, but that didn't stop me from heading straight to the sea. I fell in love with Venice while the waves were big and the wind sweeping. That's how I knew it was a good place, because I loved it anyway. So imagine my affection when the sun came out. 
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My time in the LA area was a lot of things for me. It was the chance to reconnect with a few friends who have had enormous impacts on my life. It was the mark of a new season-- one with more risk, creativity, and trust. It was being in awe again- as I drove Highway 1 for the first time, watched dolphins from a cliff, and skaters flip. 

It was me getting to know myself again, and getting to process with friends by whom I'm deeply known. It was gawking at giant cacti ALL THE TIME and eating varied cultural dishes. 

Mar, who brings Idaho pride and plaid to SoCal like a boss.

Mar, who brings Idaho pride and plaid to SoCal like a boss.

It was bright vignettes and good design and the best moscow mule of my life. 

This babe and I ate at thee dreamiest restaurant I've ever been in-- The Butcher's Daughter.

This babe and I ate at thee dreamiest restaurant I've ever been in-- The Butcher's Daughter.

It was finding the beauty in being alone, and also of being in community. Of friendships based on things bigger than us, but that have tiny details and and long laughs woven in. It reminded me the world is small and big all at once. We are alone and together and the same and different. We are quirky and normal and secret and known. But mostly we are just really super loved, and I think that's all the togetherness and sameness we all need.

It took me a long time to write about this trip, because so much happened and didn't happen. I could have written about places I went or things I bought or food I ate. But the most important parts were the 'who I was with' and internal processing. That leaves us with this jumble. 
I loved the area. You should go, alone or with the best of your friends, and watch dolphins and sunsets. I bet you'll feel alone and together and small and big all at once, too. 
See you soon <3