Alright folks, this is the last post for this particular trip. Are you sad? We are too. More bittersweet because we love the thrill of exploring new places and seeing our friends and family we don't often get to see, but boy were we excited to see our cat again and be in our own space! We are home now, but you still have to hear about our last stop on the great adventure - Pasadena. Technically, we got off the train at the Los Angeles station, but my cousin Kristen lives about 20 minutes North of LA in a really cool town called Pasadena. She actually manages the Pasadena Playhouse there and it's pretty cool. If you're ever in LA, go see a show there, you'll be impressed. Anyways, our trip to LA will be included in this post too, so, below is a picture of part of our journey through the Western part of California. I thought it was all mountains or beaches and I definitely did not plan to see a giant field of pumpjacks (I had to google this) sucking oil up out of the ground. I got a video, but this is not a video blog. I wish I could share the video because it is pretty mesmerizing — Youtube it.
So the next few pictures are going to be of our journey along the coast. It is widely known that many parts of California are hazy with smog and we definitely experienced much of that. However, I wasn't prepared for the weird cloud-fog that sneaks up on you. We were on the train and it was pretty sunny most of the way, but then suddenly it got darker and we found ourselves in a thick patch of fog...but it was around 3pm. Where I am from, fog-cloud kind of weather really only happens in the morning and if it happens any other time then you should leave because it's haunted there. About 5 minutes after our entrance into the fog-cloud, we were suddenly out of it. We looked back and we saw what looked like what happens in movies where there is some great storm of evil coming. It happened twice to us. See for yourself.
Weird looking right? Maybe this happens all the time where you live, but Gene and I thought it was an odd kind of weather. Then we saw some of it coming for us over the mountains. In this picture there are very few clouds in the sky, yet this fog-cloud is coming after us over the mountains. We don't even have mountains in Charleston, so we thought it looked cool and strange.
Anyways, enough about the weather. These next pictures are what you really came to see. This particular train route is called the Coast Starlight because it does indeed go down the coast of California. And when we finally got to the coast part it was marvelous. Lots of people were on the beaches below either hanging out, camping, preparing for a bonfire, etc. Classic California style. I don't really have many words for the awesomeness, so just look at it.
Then we arrived in LA! Gene's sister, Abby, landed a sweet internship with Disney this summer, so she and Mr. Hynson were very kind and retrieved us from the train station so we didn't have to Uber! Even at 10:30pm, there was traffic, but we were rewarded with the biggest, most delicious pancakes at Du-Par's restaurant and bakery. The next day, we slept in nice and late, had some pancake leftovers (the waitress said almost no one ever finishes even a short stack — they were some seriously huge pancakes), and strolled through the flea market at the local college in Pasadena. It was also HUGE and there were some exquisite items for sale. If we didn't live on the other side of the country from it, my wallet would be in real trouble, but our apartment would look so good. In addition to vintage scores, we (finally) found some cacti! Not sure this counts because it wasn't in the actual desert, but I was excited, so we took a picture.
It started to get pretty toasty outside, so we went out to lunch at a delicious Spanish restaurant and then back to Kristen's apartment to play some card games and just spend some quality time together. Obviously Kristen lives in California, so we don't see each other very often and I was glad to have some time just to hang out with her. We don't get to see Abby or either of our families too often either, so we were also happy to have some time to catch up with Abby! Later that night we got to see the Pasadena Playhouse where Kristen works and it was really cool and historic! We got the grand tour and I was very impressed about how beautiful the playhouse is and how much of it's history was documented and displayed on the walls. It seems like a really cool place to work and Kristen is pretty lucky!
The next day, we made our way through LA to the airport with an Uber. I felt kind of bad for the driver because it took us over an hour to get to the airport through some gross traffic. It wasn't fun in the backseat, so I can't imagine how little fun the driver was having, but we made it to LAX with plenty of time. Air travel seems so lame now that we have been on the train for so long. The seats are pretty tiny and close together (not to mention have to sit next to an additional person in the three seat per row seating) and sure, you can get up and walk around, but where are you going to go? The bathroom? Not exactly scenic in there. But, traveling by air certainly is faster and we got home before 11pm safe and sound with all of our bags this time (if you want to hear about our honeymoon fiasco with American Airplanes, just ask). Overall, it was an incredible trip and we both went places we had never been and saw things we had never seen! We can't wait to keep traveling and discovering more of this lovely planet. Perhaps next year we can go international...stay tuned.