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Rented a house with a bunch o’ pals on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe for NYE… wood-burning stoves, 2 feet of fluffy white snow, hot tubbing & being drunk for 24 hours.

God, I love the holidays.

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S and I finally had a day off together.

And what did we decide to do?

Why, travel to the land of vampirical Lost Boys {Santa Cruz}, of course.

Here are the things we saw today.

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For the 4th of July, my cavalier fella suggested that we camp. … Like, sleep-on-the-ground-in-a-tent-with-nary-a-shower-to-be-found camp. And since my initial plan to rent a cabin at Russian River had fallen through, I caved and agreed to tent it up for the holiday weekend.

Our destination?

Lake Berryessa.

We got a great site, rented a car and hit the road with our fave SF couple and both of our dogs in tow. We even stayed two nights! Ate more meat, drank more beer and saw more stars than I have in a very, very long time. So, I guess unsurprisingly, I enjoyed myself and would totally venture back for more swimmin’ and drinkin’.

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Mmm… design…

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I had a lovely time this past weekend, despite my lifelong aversion to Los Angeles!

The weekend was a whirlwind of tasty restaurants, wrong turns, endless bus rides and glimpses of marginally famous people…

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Woot! L.A. and the Grammys were unbelievably fun!

I’m still in the process of sorting through my piccies (practically none of which were actually taken at the Grammys since cameras were strictly forbidden), so please enjoy these snippets of lovely things I saw whilst in the City of Angels…

My friend’s heartbreakingly adorable dog, Ms. Esther Demue…

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Woke up bright and early, pumped to tackle a hike into the Badlands! After an omelette and a quick cup o’ joe at the Lodge, Justin and I procured a gigantic bottle of water to guard us against the increasingly oppressive midday sun and set out to embark upon the Notch Trail, moderate-strenuous, 1.5 miles.

The Badlands guide recommends that anyone afraid of heights skip this trail. They also warn that it’s dangerous during and after heavy rainfall and that you should stay on the trails unless you have a compass and a topographical map because if you get lost, there’s no cell reception and you’ll probably die. But nowhere in the guide (or on the grounds for that matter) does it prohibit anyone from attempting any of the trails – it’s like the Badlands management is telling patrons that yes, it’s dangerous here, but we trust your good judgement… have a good time! This is when it really hit me that we were no longer in the whitewashed, babyproof, use-the-handrails-please Northeast… we were in the fucking Wild West. And I liked it.

Armed with this new sense of frontier-y adventure, Justin and I started the trail which was tame enough, meandering through a canyon with slightly prickly underbrush, until we came upon this…

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Awoke at a comfortable and completely reasonable 8 am to a deliciously free breakfast of biscuits and gravy, Belgian waffles, grits, yogurt, juice and tea – an absolutely superb spread, especially for a Super 8. Swiped a couple of bananas for the road and headed to the front desk to check out, where we received our first “who are these loud-mouthed brown children; shouldn’t they be cleaning the bathrooms or making me a pie” look of the trip. Of course, we brushed that aside; you can’t have thin skin when you’re as loud/brown as my brother and I.

Anyhoo, we got on the road and were making great time northward until we hit yet another multi-mile stretch of road construction! “Road Work Next 26 Miles”… Ugh, I thought and said, and slowed my pace to keep within the legal limits. There were giant orange cones and barrels to either side of me, which made me feel just a tad claustrophobic considering the size of my vehicle, but I managed to keep it together. Things were going smoothly; I only had 10 or so more miles of road work left and that’s when I saw it. A huge blackbird swooping dangerously close to my windshield. It got closer and closer, I had absolutely no room to swerve and stopping was not an option.

BAM! I hit the bird.

Shaken, I had to continue to the end of the roadwork until I was able to pull off onto a shoulder and check the damage, which I imagined would involve feathers and possibly brains. But, much to my surprise, that giant bird didn’t even make a dent! Whew. The rest of Iowa was uneventful.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

We were feeling good – well-rested for the most part and our bellies full of delicious/cheap breakfast! Route 20 was a really lovely highway through some really rural places in Ohio. We passed through farming town centers no bigger than a couple of blocks, the cutest one being Maumee; a tiny town with a roundabout at its heart, flanked by a hardware store, city hall, a library and an archaic (yet lovely) movie theater marquee proudly displaying that Harry Potter 6 tickets were a mere $5.00. We saw tons and tons of farms and teenagers on riding mowers and silos. I thought Ohio was pretty cute.

Then came Indiana. For the most part, I thought northeastern Indiana was a snoozefest, even the farms were a little less pretty than those in Ohio. And then it rained while I was driving – grr. And then we accidentally took a detour to Michigan (thanks, Jus) that added an extra hour or so to our itinerary. And then we saw this on the horizon…

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The first day was jam-packed with last minute packing snafus, late starts and insane New York City traffic. We didn’t get officially on the road and out of the city until an astonishing 4pm, but neither of us let that dampen our high spirits – the trip had finally begun!

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Hi, I’m Lauriebot!

I live in San Francisco. I used to live in NYC, Washington DC, and London.

I like to take the pictures.

I like color, excess, food, light, clothes, and going places.

I also like talking to people.

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