Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Japan: Store Fronts

Photo theme on store fronts

Japan Day 1: Pictures of the day

Pictures from day 1 in Yokohama and Kamakura, Japan

Road Trip: Berkeley, CA to Pensacola, FL

Total Trip Length: 2425 miles
Left the bay in the same way we found it 2 years ago; enveloped in cotton cloud of morning fog. Winding down Grizzly Peak’s curves, redwoods and eucalyptus trees emerge from the fog like a rusted old memory. The gloom is repressive as we tear our hearts away from what has become our home. In 6 years of marriage, this was the longest time we had spent in a single location and its easy to see why. The bay area immediately captures you with its otherworldly beauty but then charms its way into your life through its quirks, cuisine and culture.

By 9:30am the fog has been burned off in the central valley and misty shortsightedness has been replaced by infinite farmlands, Priuses by trucks, john muir by john deere, locally owned by a string of chains. Somewhere after Bakersfield I notice that our normally fuel efficient Honda is indicating that the uhaul has greedily consumed what fuel we had. We need to find a gas station and we need to find it fast. I take the nearest exit and put my trust in the hands of Garmin….not a good idea. No more than a mile down the road and our paved road transforms into a bumpy off-road trail weaving through California farm fields. I tell Kristi that given our current predicament its probably a good idea to turn off the AC and roll down the windows. Fast forward 20 seconds. Clouds of white dust are billowing through our car and we are coughing, weezing and waving arms frantically… fast forward 20 seconds…. Windows up, AC on…The orange light from the gas indicator is burning a hole through my skull like an all seeing eye; constantly mocking me for my decision making skills. I weigh the pros and cons of unhitching the trailer and making a run for the gas station (risking never to find it again) or risking to find a gas station. Our car jerks and lunges but I cant figure out whether it is from a lack of gas or due to the bumpy road….in the distance rising like a mirage out of the horizon heat appears a texaco sign. Somewhere in the distance I think I hear a chorus of angels singing hallelujah…hallelujah indeed. .25 gallons left…yes that is point 25 gallons

Rolling towards Baker, tumble weeds bounce across the road and dust devils dance feverishly in the flats. Skeletons of abandoned stores, homes and lives dot the roadside.

Overnight in Tucumcari, NM. Next day an epic haul all the way home. 19 hours, a red bull and a 5 hour energy later we pull into our destination.

Adieu California

It feels as if it was just yesterday that I was driving on the road from Kampala to Mbale when Kristi and I received the news that I had been accepted to UC-Berkeley. We were so excited about the prospect of moving to California and getting to experience the bay area. Now more than 2 years later I’m putting on a graduation gown and we are packing up our Uhaul to head back to Florida. It’s all over and I almost cannot believe that it has gone by this fast. Reflecting back on all the friendships we made, the foods we ate, the road trips we took and the experiences we had; it was an incredible time which will leave an indelible footprint on our memories. Since no one is interested in reading my top 1000 highlights of the last 2 years, I’ll stick to the top 10.
  1. Napa and Sonoma Valley road trips
  2. Farmer Browns
  3. A never ending supply of “street drama”
  4. Saturday morning breakfasts – shout outs to Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café, Lynn and Lu’s, Rick and Ann’s,
  5. Café Strada
  6. Camping on top of a foot of snow in Yosemite
  7. Weekend road trip to LA to eat at blu jam café
  8. Sitting in a field of flowers eating a brie sandwich
  9. Gerald, my route 65 bus driver
  10. Sunsets over the bay from Grizzly Peak Blvd