Gustaff and I made it to California at 2:00 in the morning on March 26th, 18 hours after leaving Flagstaff the day before. On our way there we had a lunch break in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel with a pit stop on the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge to see the famous Hoover Dam. From there we b-lined it to a Walmart parking lot for our first night sleeping in the van. Although we were now in Cali, it was definitely not a warm tropical night. I thought it was a nice contrast to go from eating in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, to sleeping in our van in California.
That day we spent the afternoon at Half Moon Bay before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. I was really trying to stay busy and pass the time as fast as possible because that evening my girlfriend Romi was set to arrive in San Jose to join us for a portion of the road trip. The hours ticked by painfully slow even though I was in such a beautiful environment. Just before Romi’s arrival a friend of Gustaff took us out for dinner at a local vegan restaurant. The food was delicious and we topped it off with some gourmet ice cream (totally not vegan).
Although it was such a nice day I can only vaguely remember it as my mind was already at the airport waiting for Romi. When she finally appeared coming down the escalator at the baggage claim I returned to the moment of “now”. It had only been just over a month since I saw her last, but it truly felt like ages. That night she had arranged for us to stay in an Airstream camper, through Airbnb, in San Jose. What a great way to begin our California adventures together (check us out on Instagram @barefootstories).
For the next couple days Romi and I explored San Francisco and the surrounding area. We got to experience the famous Golden Gate Bridge, relax on the shores of Half Moon Bay, hike the cliffs of the Marin Headlands National Park and visit the sea lions down at the San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf.
Gustaff and I performed two shows in the Silicon Valley area of California. Our first show was in Morgan Hill for a nice cozy crowd of around 10 people. We got to play with a fellow musician and dear friend by the name of Chris French. His knowledge of music and skills with the flute, saxophone, drums and other instruments really added a nice flavor to the performance. The next show was in Los Altos for our largest crowd yet of 80+ people! Supposedly our hosts were known for always packing a relatively small space beyond capacity, and they did not disappoint. Chris played with us once again and thanks to him we impressed the crowd once again. Both nights we were treated like family, including Romi. Everybody loved her vibrant spirit and radiant heart, which didn’t surprise me one bit. How did I get so lucky?
On March 22nd, since we had no rush to get to out next location, Gustaff, Romi and I packed up in the van and headed south towards LA.