Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road

The driver lets out a sigh as he waits for pedestrians to cross the street at the speed of molasses. Seeing that one of them has a walker, he eases up on the steering wheel, which he’d been gripping tightly before. “No one to blame, Anger. Stay down,” he instructs his festering emotions. The walker scootsContinue reading “Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road”

Toast with Me: Golden State Bars

Step inside and unwind at these California bars with memorable ambiences—all stumbled upon in my excursions as a Lyft driver across the state. **No need to worry, as I can assure you that sparkling water was my beverage of choice at pretty much all of these. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First and Last Chance Saloon (Oakland, CA) PaperContinue reading “Toast with Me: Golden State Bars”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA

I love all the redwoods. I love the transcendentalist feel. Driving by the beach I saw screaming, sunburned teens plummeting down the Big Dipper Roller Coaster; sea lions being cute and blubbery out on the pier, with no regard for their neighbors’ personal space; people in bikinis playing volleyball in the sand. I wrote thisContinue reading “Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA”

The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2

**This is a continuation of an entry from a few days ago that featured the towns Turlock, Modesto, and Fresno. ~~ Lodi, CA After I pull in to the parking lot of a 711, three humans dressed in wedding attire pile into my car, holding cardboard trays filled with burgers and fries. The bride’s dress takesContinue reading “The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2”

The Bucolic Life for Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 1

In general terms, the Central Valley encompasses the land-locked farm towns of California, spanning from Redding down to Visalia. Back when I first started to compile this entry, I wanted to know how the locals felt about living here. Did it suit their needs? Had they lived anywhere else? What made it special? One passengerContinue reading “The Bucolic Life for Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 1”

Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA

Eureka, CA  I’m on my way up to Eureka, a town of 27,000 in northern California’s Humboldt County.  Just outside Garberville off Highway 101 N, a gargantuan tree lays toppled on the side of the road. I stop the car to explore it; a closer look shows me that it has been carved out and convertedContinue reading “Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA”

Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns

Towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills, or “the Gold Rush towns,” were among my favorite getaways in the state. Many of them conjure the feeling of having been transported back in time. What they may lack in cultural variety, they more than make up for in their almost complete serenity, opportunities to connect with nature,Continue reading “Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns”

Ride With Me: Mermaid Bars, a Guide Dog Passenger, and The Boxing Niece in Sacramento, CA

When crossing the overpass from Davis into Sacramento, you’ll see tall buildings begin to appear, jutting out and up from the surrounding farmlands. It almost looks like they’ve been dropped from the sky, scattered like dice across the cornfields by a higher power.  That said, this is the fantastical origin story I imagine of Sacramento everyContinue reading “Ride With Me: Mermaid Bars, a Guide Dog Passenger, and The Boxing Niece in Sacramento, CA”

The poke bowl couple, Salvadoran beaches, and car crash meet cutes

I’m walking past a small group of cows on a bucolic hike, and my heart rate is elevated. I’m irrationally afraid that one of them will charge me. Luckily, I’m able to calmly remind myself that there have been close to zero reported cases of a feral cow attacking a human (as far as IContinue reading “The poke bowl couple, Salvadoran beaches, and car crash meet cutes”