California – We made it to the west!

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.

Photo of Stevie Vagabond jumping in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Just after lunch at the Bellagio.
Photo of the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, Nevada
View of the Hoover Dam from Memorial Bridge.
A photo of Stevie Vagabond at the welcome to nevada sign
A nice colorful welcome to Nevada.
A photo of Stevie Vagabond sleeping in a van in California.
First night in the van… freezing.

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).

Half Moon Bay California doing a handstand
Trying to contain my excitement towards Romi’s arrival in California.
Photo of me sleeping in an Eno Hammock in Half Moon Bay, California
Tried to nap for a bit but that was impossible.
Selfie taken at the Marin Headlands National Park in Sausalito California
Not a bad view from the Marin Headlands near Sausalito.

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).

Photo of acro yoga in front of an Airstream Camper in San Jose, California
First morning with Romi in San Jose, California!

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.

Picnic at Half Moon Bay California
Second round at Half Moon Bay, this time with Romi!
Photo of the sign at the Fisherman's Wharf of San Francisco California
Quick stroll at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
Photo of the Sourdough Bread bowl with Chili at the Boudin Bakery & cafe in san francisco california
San Francisco sourdough bread bowl with chili at the Boudin Bakery & Cafe.
A photo of a photographer taking a photo of Alcatraz Island
Romi snapping a photo of Alcatraz.
A photo of Pier 39 in San Francisco with the sea lions.
Cuddle sessions at Pier 39, only sea lions welcome.


Selfie of a couple in front of the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California
Selfie with the Golden Gate.
Selfie at the Marin Headlands National Park in California during sunset
Watching the sunset from the Marin Headlands National Park.
Sunset from the Marin Headlands National Park in Sausalito California
What a spectacular show it was!

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?

Photo of a musical performance in California for EP Shadows Music Road trip
For live audio from the performance go to the “Videos” section of my website.
A photo of musicians Chris French, Gustaff Besungu and Stevie Vagabond in California
Chris French, Gustaff Besungu and I in Los Altos

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.

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