project 365

179. Reunion.

The latest post to date! Spent yesterday at Nevada Beach in Lake Tahoe with 50+ Estepas. Between the sun and the barbecuing and the lake, it was a fabulous time.


Then went clubbing with my cousins, which is why this post is coming in rather late.

Another post to come later tonight

project 365

178. Tahoe.

Back in my beloved Lake Tahoe for the second family reunion of this trip. Drove up from friend Mollie’s this afternoon, and have been hanging out with so many cousins/aunts/uncles/unknown relations ever since.

Have only caught a briefest glimpse of the lake, so pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.


177. Driving.

Left Arcata at 11 this morning to head to friend Mollie’s outside of Lodi. It took four hours to get to Redding, thanks to tons of construction along Route 299. Twice, I had enough time to put the car in park and snap photos because we were waiting for at least 15 minutes to go down the one-lane highway.



Had meant to go down Route 99, but decided that driving down I-5 was worth the saved time and the traffic median.

Even though today was nearly 8 hours of driving, it (and this entire trip, really) did make me realize how much I’ve missed just the sheer act of it. There’s just this sense of freedom you get when you’re out on the road, singing along to some song and taking in the scenery you’re passing by.

Might need to do more road trips in the future. And maybe should get a car.


176. Trees.

Visited the Redwood National Park today. And per the suggestions of my host, decided to hike down to the Tall Trees Grove, home to some of the tallest trees in the world (and a rumored filming location for Return of the Jedi).

I am not outdoorsy by any means. But when you get a chance to visit such a place, you take it.

Admittedly, I almost didn’t, because it’s been raining all day and spending hours in dreary weather didn’t seem very appealing. I sat in my car for a while, contemplating driving back down the foggy mountain path to do the much easier and shorter hike around the Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

But no. I had gotten the permit from the Park Service. I had stood in the rain already, trying to figure out how to close the combination lock on the access road. I was going to do this.

It’s about 5 miles round trip, with a more than 800-foot drop on elevation. That steep drop is no joke (especially when you’re going back up) and I found myself staring at the ground for much of the trip down to make sure I didn’t lose my footing.

But in those moments when I got to look up…man.


I should have brought a map of the grove with me, because I couldn’t figure out which one was the Libbey Tree, formerly the tallest tree in the world. I also had no idea which ones were the other tallest trees. But when you’re standing at the base of them, maybe it doesn’t really matter which ones are the biggest, because regardless, you are a dwarf in comparison.


Scratching this one off the life to-do list.


175. Highway.

Spent most of today driving from the Bay Area to Arcata.

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway has long been a dream of mine, so I intended to go up Route 1. Unfortunately, I had to turn around at Jenner because a tanker flipped over up north, closing down both traffic lanes.

Still, I did get to drive along the Sonoma Coast (with a detour to Point Reyes National Seashore), and that part was beautiful.


While my time on Route 1 was cut short, it did mean I had to go along Highway 101, which is beautiful (and nervewracking to drive) in its own way, with wine country, redwoods and, somewhere in the middle, some delicious, delicious tacos.


It’s now 9 p.m., and all I want to do is go to bed. Who cares if it’s still not dark out?


174. Karaoke.

Another day, another late post.

After bidding the parentals and brother farewell, picked up my rental car and drove to friend Suzanne’s (a regular reader of this blog, she says!) in Berkeley. Along with her friends Obie and Jamie, we embarked on an evening filled with burritos and beer and karaoke. Top night.


Am now about to start the long drive up to Arcata. But first, made a pit stop at Target to get snacks/water/coffee/breakfast.


173. Stockton.

Another night of me falling asleep as soon as I hit the bed = late post.

Yesterday, we drove to Stockton to see more family. Visited my grandmother’s grave then went to my Uncle Norwin’s, where he barbecued in the back while we hung out with cousins Kristian and Angelica.

While the rest of us baked in the sun and swatted away at the flies, Kristian’s daughter, Danielle, enjoyed a pool of water to herself, and it was adorable.



172. Solstice.

Fell asleep last night before I got a chance to post. Spent the day in Santa Cruz with my parents, brother, uncle, aunts and cousins (haven’t seen many of them in at least 5 years). We waded into the Pacific, dug in the sand, ate BBQ and rice on the beach, rode rides on the boardwalk and wandered along the wharf. It was the perfect way to spend the day with the most daylight.

We talked about trying to do this once a year, and I hope we do. It’s a long haul for me, but whenever I see family, I always remember that it’s worth it.



171. Vacay.

Still Friday on the West Coast, and what a long day it’s been. Flew into SF this morning, met up with the family, wandered around downtown and am now at an A’s-Red Sox game. Tired, but in a good way. Can’t complain about such a great start to this vacation.