when the parents came to visit...

my parents had never been to california and trust me, they've been around the world and then some. it was thanksgiving weekend and their 44th wedding anniversary, so there was a lot of celebrating to do. their trip started in downtown los angeles. i had created an itinerary of the area for them, including where to have lunch (grand central market, of course!...which they missed, but that's another story). we then traveled to malibu for brunch, drove down the coast, past santa monica, venice beach...the whole enchilada. on that sunday after mass, we took off to joshua tree national park. my parents, who live in florida, don't have anything like it anywhere near them. i knew they would enjoy being there as much as i enjoy going. 

for thanksgiving, we drove up the pacific coast highway to see my cousin and his wife who live in daly city, right outside of san francisco. the drive was educational because my dad kept googling anything we were curious about: why is it called "camino real"? and who was van nuys?. we managed to catch the sunset crossing bixby creek bridge. i learned my mother was dramatically afraid of heights. 

san francisco is always a great getaway. we went down lombard street in my green fiat, we had the famous clam chowder soup inside a sourdough bread on the pier, and you know we had to hit up napa! i treated my parents to a wine tasting tour of the mondavi winery where we laughed a lot after the tasting. 

this isn't my first time traveling with my parents, but it was certainly the best trip we had ever taken. i'm adding some pics from my parents cell phones so that you can get their POV as well. 

Joshua Tree National Park - it's just 2 hours east

Joshua Tree, a road trip and I am 40. And in this car are 4 of my very good friends. Friends that you meet later in life, but that you already know you’ll be friends with for life.  And Mr. Bailey, our road trip mascot, a furry Dachshund mix with very short legs, who managed to jump around the car and eat whatever was left behind while we stopped to get some pictures. 

The soundtrack to our trip  was ideal from the moment we got on the highway. Everything from The Strokes to Journey to Rancheras. Once deep inside the park, we lost wifi signal. It was great to be able to put the phone down and get lost in the walls of rocks that surrounded us. We were like kids with our heads out the windows. 

This trip was an affirmation that my journey to this part of the country was not in vain. I would discover many beautiful sights that continually feed my photographic appetite. Can't wait until my next expedition.