There's a classic Monty Python sketch in which Death (that's with a capital 'D', i.e. the Grim Reaper) loses patience with a Yank who's trying to butt in all the time. Death, who is frightfully English, of course, snaps:
"You always talk you Americans; you talk and you...talk, and you say things like, 'let me tell ya somethin', and, 'I just wanna say this!'. Well, you're dead now, so shutup!"It makes me chuckle every time I hear it, yet the truth is they talk different over here, and the worse thing is that I've found myself joining in - for example, it takes the average waiter a couple of seconds to realise that "can I have the bill please" actually means "can I get the check please"; or that "we're going to leave now" is actually "we're gonna shoot off right now". So me and DJ have found that changing the way we speak is easiest, at least temporarily. I draw the line at subsituting 'real' for 'really' though e.g. you're never going to hear me say that something is 'real nice', or 'real sweet'. Ych a fi.
Anyways, so today is the beginning of the end, as it were, and we have a 10-12 hour drive ahead of us, from San Francisco back to catch our flight in Vegas, although we are splitting it over two days. We've done a lot of driving - from Vegas to Oceanside in 'SoCal', then up Highway 1 past plenty of famous spots: Laguna, Newport, Huntingdon and Venice Beaches, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara, the coastal road all the way up to Santa Cruz, and finally to San Francisco. It's been great.
From a surfing point of view, it's fairly obvious why so many world class surfers hail from California. The waves have been uniformally superb, all the way up the coast. Usually glassy clean and I've barely seen a single closeout. I managed to fulfill a lifetime dream and catch some pacific ocean waves down at Oceanside, perfect 3' peeling waves, no wind and totally glassy. Even on a crappy rental foam board, the waves flattered to deceive and I caught more good waves in 2 hours than I think I've caught in the last five years. Going back to relentless onshore Gower closeouts is going to be difficult! Up at Santa Cruz we nipped out to the point at Steamer's Lane a couple of morning's ago. It is one of the most famous breaks in the world, and you can see why in the photo in the post below. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to get in - though the be honest the thought of tackling that wave on a slippery 8' rented foamy didn't really inspire me, not to mention having to freeze in a 3-2 rental suit in the 10 deg water - the Pacific is cold in the winter!!
If you look in the gallery you can see our car. Due to it being the only one they had left, we were 'upgraded' by our car hire people from a little economical run-around (which we chose specially for it's ability to do 30mpg) to a complete behemoth of a Lincoln, which does 20mpg if we're very lucky. It's very comfy for travelling, but less pleasurable for the bank balance, and not to mention the environment.
Still, we've got two days of solid driving ahead of us, so maybe the added comfort isn't too bad...
PS You may also notice that, after 10 years, I have cut my hair! The dreads are still there, they're just really short. Feels different!