City Girl Gone Wandering

Parks Galore!

When I wrote earlier about the next month being lived in an oasis of firsts, I had no idea just how right I really was.

A handful of the firsts that I have experienced since Wednesday:

  • First ride on a motorcycle (sorry Mom!)
  • First trip to Joshua Tree
  • First time seeing a cactus in its natural habitat
  • First time playing the bass
  • First time on the drums in over ten years
  • First time climbing enormous piles of rock
  • First time hula-hooping in the desert
  • First time hula-hooping on an enormous pile of rocks

There are countless others, and many more still to come. I am currently living in a perpetual state of novelty. This is what I have always loved about travel—the continuous newness of experience. For example, as I write this post I sit in a living room in San Diego. My friend’s friend is playing acoustic guitar across from me. The sun is shining and I am barefoot. It is a beautiful moment. This time last week, I was recovering from my going away party, packing my life into boxes, and feeling heartbroken about leaving. It all seems so silly now. I would never have had these amazing experiences if I had been too scared to leave.

Quick breakdown of what I’ve been up to:

On Friday, I spent the day wandering Balboa Park. I started at the top and made my way down, accidentally stumbling upon downtown in the process. Then I looped my way back up and found an abundance of gardens and museums. I happened upon the Old Globe Theatre and imagined how different it must be to work for a theatre company that houses such beautiful green spaces (our offices at Roundabout were grey and dark). It also solidified that I have no interest in working in theatre right now. I spent the entirety of my life in the theatre, and wanting nothing to do with it is very foreign. But, alas… change. For now, no more bright lights. Just coffee farms and greenery—a return to simplicity.

On Saturday, we headed toward Joshua Tree. It was amazing how drastically and frequently the landscape changed as we made our way toward the Mojave Desert. There is such a variance in vegetation in California—so many beautiful things to look at.

Joshua Tree was… well, I don’t even really know how to describe it. I fell asleep on the ride up, and when I awoke it really felt as though we had entered another planet. The place was unlike anything I had ever seen, and possibly unlike anything that I will ever see again. Everywhere you turned was something magnificent and unearthly.

We made a campfire and tried to keep warm, but the temperature dropped so dramatically that all we could do was climb into our thermal sleeping bags and go to bed. When I awoke, the water bottle next to my head had turned to ice—it was probably around twenty degrees that night. Good thing I have a history of chilly camping (thank you Wormtown Music Festival). Vibe Tribe did that crazy stuff with no coats or campfire or thermal sleeping bags. Because of those experiences, Joshua Tree in the freezing cold… not a problem!

The next day we took a couple of mini hikes and headed back down to San Diego. In the evening, the guys played music in the garage studio and I caught up on some writing. There was an attempt made to teach me how to play drums and bass. I love music more than I love breathing, but I really am just not coordinated enough to make pleasant sounds come out of instruments .Still, we tried, and I had a blast doing so. It made me remember how much I adore live sound, and how that needs to be something that I prioritize back into my life.

I was supposed to go surfing today, but it rained overnight (because I always bring the rain to California) so apparently the water is too dirty to surf in. I tried to explain that I have kayaked in the East River—and thus am not particularly concerned with dirty water—but it was a lost cause. That’s okay. Perhaps I will learn to surf in Hawaii. Or maybe I’ll head over to the beach on my own tomorrow and find a cute surfer boy with an extra board. Meh, probably Hawaii.

I am waiting for my friend to wake up so we can go grab some lunch. Aside from our rendezvous a few nights ago, we haven’t seen each other in six years. Both of my friends who live in San Diego are people that I know from Roundabout, and it’s quite strange to be walking through a doorway into the past while stumbling blindly into the future. Still, time does little to friendship. Wherever you go, however long its been, the core of understanding remains the same. Friendship is constant and everlasting.

Transition week is coming to a close. Two days until Hawaii.


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This entry was posted on February 3, 2014 by in Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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