California has provided not one but two mini-vacations for us this fall, and they turned out to be perfectly timed, before and after this whole moving houses thing we keep doing. Eric had a lot of business in the Golden State this year, and I was able to meet up with him for weekend adventures, thanks to some great Southwest sales and the fact that its only a 2 hour flight from DEN to LAX!
In October, we spent the weekend in Joshua Tree National Park. We got our U2 on, and explored just about every inch of the park. Joshua Tree has a cool variety of plant life, and is much more colorful of a desert when you get out of your car and hike it. We hiked to old mining areas, found cars from the 30's being reclaimed by the land, trekked up a mountain, and were the only people for as far as the eye could see for hours. I think we got something like 20 miles in on the weekend, and I might be a little in love with Joshua trees. Eric, for his part, fell for cholla cactuses, so we each left a little piece of our hearts in the desert.
|Along the route from Lost Horse Mine|
We went back to California in November, heading down to La Jolla. We originally intended to go to San Diego, but other than flying out of the city, we didn't really end up spending time there. La Jolla is awesome, and Eric was a champ in letting me drive a lot of our weekend activities. I did a lot of running, we took a drive into the inland hills to visit several southern California wineries (I had no idea southern California HAD wineries), and convinced Eric (who is not a huge water fan) to go sea kayaking along the sea caves that frame the La Jolla coast. I like sea kayaking, and fortunately, we had calm seas so we both did pretty well.
One highlight of La Jolla is the wonderful sea mammals! Turns out there are just a whole bunch of sea lions that climb the rocky shores (turns out they have really well developed pectoral muscles and can propel themselves up tall rocks) of the area. They did an excellent job serenading me while I ran in the morning. The last day we were there, we also realized that a the Children's beach, a sandy protected harbor, a whole colony of seals choose to sleep there more evenings than not. My former crush on Joshua trees may have been replaced by an enduring fascination with seals.
|Top of Ryan Mountain|
|Oh my goodness the seal is sticking his|
|Sunset beyond La Jolla|