California through a windshield (1)

As usual, I’m going to divide my account of the roadtrip into two or more posts as I find it easier for me, and hopefully to you guys! Its taken me so long to get something up on the blog! Rice University seems to be working its evil academic magic on me somehow.

Why would someone not want to head out on an unplanned vacation? You don’t need to plan anything out. In fact, I feel its more fun when you don’t. In this post I’m going to write down a few things that I did in California. Definitely not a list of pointers or advice, just what I did! It worked well enough for us (most of the time).

Imagine you just landed at an airport, and successfully procured your rental car. Okay. Well done. But wait.. Now what? Ummm.. Lets follow primal instinct. Hunger. Pick up your smartphone, search for a nice local place nearby, drive down, and enjoy a great meal! Okay, that’s done. Now what? Shelter. Pick up your smartphone, search for a nice cheap place close to downtown/nightlife area, book online, drive down, and settle in. Okay. Now what? Night out? Walk to the nearest place and get a lovely local beer. It turned out a satisfying day didn’t it? That was my first day in San Diego. First thing we learnt, we’d be handicapped without Google Maps, Yelp, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and basically internet access! I’m not going to lie, our lives depended on the damn phones. However, when you can charge the phone in your car, you’re good to go!

The first night wasn’t much of a problem, since we were four guys and we booked a room with two queen size beds. The next day, our eclectic group was finally together after two girls flew in. That evening we actually had a discussion about what rooms to book (how many, what size etc). The most economical and obvious solution was, same as before! Except sleep three people on one bed and divide the room cost by 6. For the rest of the trip, we sneaked an extra two people in everywhere. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to live, but then neither was driving in an SUV with 6 people and a ton of junk scattered around inside. Somehow, being in the room and car all packed up made it more cozy and family like, and made us a more cohesive group. We needed that, since most of us barely knew each other (I will never be able to explain how we ended up going to California together).

In 8-9 days, we drive from San Diego to LA to San Francisco to Napa to Davis to Marina to Santa Barbara and back to San Diego. If you’re wondering how we managed to do that, the next post should be fairly enlightening. California is beautiful, and the photos that I will put up soon should speak for themselves. Oh also, favourite city: San Francisco. In my head, there was no challenger.

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