Friends: Old and New. A Lifetime Of Memories…

In my very first post about our trip to the US I mentioned how it had been 20 years since my feet had touched American soil. It has been a whirlwind adventure from the get go.

I am only exactly half way through my trip and have another month to go before returning home back to my posh but hipster but musical, artsy, open-minded sea-side city Brighton. — I do miss it dearly when I think about the people that surround me and the mindsets it encompasses… Not that I am tooting my own horn for the city I call home. It’s just a pretty awesome place.—

Coming here has sent me on one of the wildest trips down memory lane. Not only did I travel back in time by 20 years but I have also walked through the years of my puberty too! A total time warp, let me tell you.

Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to catch up with a friend of mine who I went to secondary school with back when I lived in Spain. She resides now in San Diego working as a pediatric occupational therapist — fancy — and we planned to meet for Taco Tuesday but I had to — with deep, deep regret — cancel on her because I could not keep anything down following a night out on Pacific Beach. — I know, I know. What a pussy… But seriously, I had been on a complete detox and had abstained from drinking any booze for a good long while minus a pint one time… And a glass of wine for dinner at a friends another time… Tequila was not on my side that night. — I was severely ill the next day and beating myself up over a missed opportunity to catch up with a friend and eat cheap tacos! GUTTED.

But despite this, the trip so far has been one full of friendship and memories. Old and New.

Making New Friends

Santa Cruz

following our trip to San Francisco, we rented a car and drove back down the West Coast towards Los Angeles stopping at Santa Cruz then Santa Barbara.

On Brad’s stag do last year, he met a group of Americans and being the open, friendly man that he is invited them to join him on a 3-day cracker of Amsterdam madness. To which they obliged. — Of course. — They ended up exchanging numbers and kept in touch.

We let John know we were headed over across the pond and he kindly invited us to visit his family in Santa Cruz.

He told us “Santa Cruz is awesome, the weather is amazing all year round. It only ever rains 5 times a year. I’ll take you to Big Basin, we can go for a walk on the beach. It’ll be great!”

We were excited. We had never met John’s family. And Brad had only ever had that one encounter with him. So this was a chance to seal a new friendship. Everything was just as he described. The only thing that didn’t go to plan was the weather. I guess we turned up the only time of the year it rains!

We had the most wonderful time regardless. John and his wife were possibly two of the kindest humans we’ve met. So warm and welcomed us into their home, showing us around their town and the surrounding areas.

Coastal Redwoods of Big Basin National Park

Santa Barbara

Driving back down the coast on Route 1 was truly a spectacle. It is one of the most scenic views I have whitnessed with my eyes. — And also one of the most in America I have been told by quite a few. 

We stopped in Santa Barbara for two nights, sort of on a whim but boy am I glad we did. It was a gorgeous seaside location, a lot of Spanish influence and the atmosphere was extremely laid back.

After a long 7.5hr drive we decided to go for a drink on a Monday night and explore. Which lead us to Wildcat Lounge and a group of people we would spend the next two days with and solidify a pretty epic friendship.

It started with pool between husband and wife, to pool with a group outside, to karaoke, to a long night of laughter and great company. We met the following day for dinner, shared a special moment setting off fireworks on the beach then said our goodbyes the next morning over breakfast.

We have arranged to meet up again, in the UK in 2017.

It’s meeting people like this that restore my faith in the world. In finding and keeping lasting friendships with strangers. We need more of this.

To be continued…

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