This week end started on friday night with a great hang out with my mate Ricawdo, that I hadn’t seen since he moved from Madrid for SF 4 months ago.
Straight to margaritas and tacos to Reposado, nice food, pretty place, cool stuff.
Then for some drinks, almost club, more drinks, and home, exhausted by this first week in silicon Valley that ended up in the best way.
Talking about my intentions for the day after, take the car, ride to San Francisco, park somewhere and walk like a bastard, I end up finally switching to a much better plan: a small road trip through california.
During the week many people had mentioned several places around to visit like Napa, Monterey, Gilroy (the capital of garlic), and Ricardo repeated some of those places; but most of all, most of all, that led me to realize something way more exciting than anything: I’ve been dreaming for many years of a road trip through USA.
The car is for me the place where I love the most listening to music, alone, looking straight, music loud, me singing or just thinking, watching the views like a movie with its soundtrack, the soundtrack I created, the movie I direct.
On spotify, there’s plenty of music I’ve classified as “roadtrip”, or “for the car”, and here I amd with opportunity to ride through the states with this music. So many songs I’ve pictured listening to driving on a road trip, and here I was, with 3 CD’s full with those songs, ready for “showtime”.
Plan closed: tomorrow, I’m not “walking all day long”, I’m “driving all day long”!
Left the hotel at 10, and the first stop wasn’t actually a “roadtrip’ish” thing, since I head to a outlet in Gilroy. Not sexy, but definitely needed. Spent 200€ on 2 pairs of Levi’s jeans, 1 short, 6 pairs of socks, 7 t-shirts, 1 shirt, and a pair of brand new Asics. This would have cost at least the double in Europe. so that was a good thing done.
When I arrived in Gilroy, I noticed what Ricardo had mentioned: the all city of Gilroy smells garlic. A light smoky smell of garlic all the way through. Awesome (for someone like me who loves garlic).
When I was done with shopping, I looked up on Yelp for the best place to eat a garlic ice-cream, something that sounds aweful, but something I was definitely going to try.
Landed on a very well rated place in the center of the city, the Garlic City Café.
Ordered all based on garlic, Burger full of garlic, fries with garlic, and of course, the garlic ice cream.
Great food, the ice cream flavor wasn’t strong, a light taste of garlic, turned out to be rather good, although not exciting.
Full and happy, took the car, and headed to Monterrey. The ony reason: Ricardo told me to go. Didn’t know what to expect, wasn’t looking for anything special, just drove there.
The landscapes on the way began to be spectacular, infinite, huge brownish surface, beautiful sunshine and shadows, eagles floating in the sky, and this music… this music…
Lynyrd Skynyrd-“free bird”, Eagles-“Hotel California”, Bowie-“space oddity”, Iggy Pop-“lust for life”, Springsteen-“thunder road”, Steppenwolf-“Born to be wild”, Mariachis, Rumbas, Salsas, everything sounded different and so perfect.
Arrived in Monterey, next to the beach, many people where there, spending the day, and no free car park, a combo that didn’t excite enough to stop, so I kept on going through the city following the sea.
I finally found a place to park for free that was right next to the sea, so I stopped, parked, and went toward the sea.
On my right, I saw like a dozen people gathered looking in the same direction, enough for me to define which way to go, and I went to see what was going on.
Sometimes, this attitude leads to fun stuff, sometimes to nothing special, and one keeps on going one.
What I found when I arrived to the gate closing the beach was waaaaaay beyond expectation.
On the beach, lying like lazy, just playing in the water and having fun with waves, a huge bunch of seals. I’m talking there of hundreds of them. I was amazed. I had never seen seals in the wild before. The scene was to look at and smile non stop. We all know that seals are cute. But what I didn’t know is how much they enjoy life. They go for the basics: lay on the sand, sometimes crawl a bit further for the hurd to get a better spot, sometimes head back to the water and swim, of course with no goal, just swim. Nature defined their faces to look as if they are constantly smiling, and seeing those animals smiling all the way through enjoying every aspect of their environment, was a beautiful experience. Simple, but transmiting so much good vibes.
I spend maybe 20 minutes looking at them. I laughed when I saw this small seal freak the fuck out when a giant seagull landed right next to him. When he noticed, this happened:
After that, I walked a bit, and seeing it was already 17h, I decided it was time to go for the next stop: Santa Cruz.
On the way, I missed the entry to the fairway, took a small road that I thought would led me to the fairway, but didn’t, instead took me an amazing beach. I jumped out of the car for 3min to enjoy the view and the smells and the wind, and went back.
I modified my path, and midway to santa cruz, turned right to head back to San José.
The sun was low now, and the romantic light of this time of the day was offering me jaw dropping landscapes and lights. Music was still playing, loud, window was open, the wind hiting my smile, and I realized that also this was only a small preview of what a proper roadtrip would be, I was “there”, it was exactly as I was picturing it, and it came with amazing surprises on the way.
At some point, “space oddity” was playing, and I passed through a amazing landscape. so amazing that I said “I gotta go back there and stop”, so as soon as I could, I turned and came back to the place, and stopped the car.
The first day I arrived in SF, I went for dinner at the crappy casino next to the hotel, only place where dinner were served, and ended up talking with the mexican waitress. I mentioned I was looking for good mexican food, and I remembered she mentioned a place called “Garibaldi”. I thought that it would be a fantastic way to close this great day, tacos and tequila.
Found the place, got there, and entered.
Sat at the bar, as I susally do at “Kartel de Malasaña” (of course I had my hometown in my head at this moment), and immediately started talking with the mexican guy at the bar. Nice mood going on, we talked, I got served some brilliant tacos, a margarita that was ok (nothing like Chui’s Margaritas, dea with it); I was talking with the guy, watching baseball. When I asked for Habaneros, thew waiter told me he hadn’t, but he apparently saw I was serious about eating tacos, and instead, he brought me from the kitchen some freshly fried and fucking HOT jalapeños that combined perfectly with my tacos. I actually think they weren’t jalapeños, since they almost tasted like pimientos de padron. Perfect. Michael, the waiter, brought a couple more of tacos to try out, for free. The chorizo one was unbelievable. I had to finish with a good tequila, we talked about that, treating this as serious as it should be, ad I finally went for a Don Julio reposado, and its caramel taste.
I asked for the bill, but Michael told me “aren’t you staying for the Mariachis?”. I said “what? mariachis coming? I’m there”.
Last minute, the Mariachis called to cancel, so I decided to call it a day, and went back to the hotel, with a face totally relieved of tensions and happy.
Don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but that definitely made my week end.
Although I was alone, I saw how powerful is music to bring you specific persons to your head; some of the songs brought Viriginia, Isa, Tyler, Nuria, Joaquin, Carlos, Chui, Paula, Sandra, Javi, Elie, Jp, Thomas my friend, Thomas my cousin; I realize while writing, all people I’ve had at some point a nice moment of music sharing. That’s nice.
Road trip in the US: kind of check. to be checked properly in the future I hope.