And off to California we flew
Going out of order but I really want to share some of the awesome pictures I took during my recent trip to California! Twas a family trip in December. My adorable little grandmother (maternal) is visiting us from Bangladesh and I’m so glad I was able to soak in the Cali sun with her!
Our itinerary was a bit ambitious and in our short time there, we saw A LOT alhamds. My greatest concern while planning everything was my grandmother’s comfort. I don’t mind bullying my parents into keeping up but I would NEVER force my Nanu to do anything she would struggle with in the slightest.
(MY GRANDMOTHER IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND I HAVE NEVER FALLEN IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE SO EASILY AND SO QUICKLY. If you want to hear stories about my time with my gma, just ask me. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TALKING ABOUT HER)
But wow, did my grandmother prove me wrong. She has such an adventurous heart MashaAllah. She pushed herself and kept a positive attitude even when she was at the brink of exhaustion. She wanted to see and experience it all.
“I’m tired Samiha, but I don’t want to miss any of it. Every California experience is my first and probably my last.”
We went for an entire week: December 25-January 1. 1 week, 2 cities, 3 hotels, 5 family members. voah
My mom has been fixated on San Fran forever and if it were up to her, we would have stayed there the whole time. My dad has always wanted to drive down Highway 1 so it made sense to go to both LA and San Fran via Hwy 1. [no regrets]
The general outline of the trip:
LA [one day] -> Driving day/Big Sur [1 day] -> San Fran [four days] -> LA [1.5 days]
It has been over a month since our trip so the details are escaping me but I’ll try my best to summarize each day while sharing my favorite photos.
Day 1: LA
After landing and resting for a couple of hours, we went to Santa Monica and walked around the area until it was too cold.
Day 2: HWY 1 aka Big Sur
We didn’t do the 10/12 hour drive on Big Sur the whole time. We did a combo of I-5 to 101 and then connected to Big Sur somewhere past Cambria and drove all the way to San Francisco. This drive has been described as “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world” and I agree. Every 5 minutes I wanted to stop and just stare at the cliffs and the water and the colors.
Fav random thing that happened. It was getting late and my mom asked my dad to park so we could watch the sunset. My dad stumbled upon some random abandoned parking lot that had stair access to the beach down below. The clouds above dissipated and suddenly the whole world was just covered in hues of orange and pink and gold. I’d never seen the sunset before… I mean I’ve been outside during sunset but there were always clouds in the way.
This was such a grand first of mine. I can still see it, so peaceful and beautiful. GAH JUST DESCRIBING IT MAKES MY HEART MELT.
Days 3-6 San Francisco
Anyone that knows me, knows that I love exploring but I prioritize dumb things sometimes. For example, I will prioritize an aesthetically pleasing restaurant over the quality of food offered there any day of the week…
Because I make idiotic decisions more often than not, I rely on my friends for recs ALL THE TIME.
One of my besties, Thanh Ly, an accomplished architect, has an eye for beautiful things (duh cuz he’s an architect). His IG is one of my favs AND he lived in San Fran during an internship at some point in his life.
Of course I asked him for recs… and like an amazing friend, he sent me a pinned map of cool things. I’m going to share what he shared with me. One of the mornings while I was planning our day out, I found some NSFW items lolol… see if you can find them below.
We did a combination of the above things and the classic touristy things in San Fran. No we did not go to Alcatraz. It still hurts my heart.
Day 7-8: LA
Back to LA. Our last couple of days were absolutely exhausting. But at the same time, there was so much left to do! We went to Griffith Observatory, Venice Beach, the Hollywood Sign, Greystone Mansion, Rodeo Drive, Warner Bros Studio Tour…etc
I had such a good time in LA. The beaches are all beautiful and the food is amazing. We definitely explored at a slower pace in LA. I think we all were ready to go back to Texas.
It’s a good sign of a good trip imo when you’ve had your fill and are ready to return to your everyday life.
Alhamdullilah, a trip I’ll look back on fondly forever!