Sam and I just got back from a work trip/vacation to California, and today I thought I’d share some photos and a recap. Fair warning: it’s nothing compared to my four-part post about our trip to Iceland and Scotland in September (one post about Iceland, one about Scotland, one with travel tips, and one about the amazing places we stayed on our trip), but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time.
We started off with a few days in San Francisco, where I failed to take a single photo because I was on a work trip for this portion so was mostly at our Bay Area office. But Sam snapped this lovely shot from a hike he took in Lands End (a park in the city):
Beautiful! It was actually unusually cold in San Francisco and also in LA (in the 50s) while it was unseasonably warm in Boston (in the 70s), and now that we’re back in Boston it’s in the 30s. But oh well, it looks warm and sunny in photos!
After a few days in SF, we hopped a quick flight down to Los Angeles where Sam’s brother, Isaac, lives. Isaac moved there a few years ago and works in “The Industry” (that’s what they call Show Biz in LA), and we’ve never visited him there. He took us to see some lovely sights, including a hike at Runyon Canyon:
A shop where they sell like a thousand kinds of hot sauce:
The La Brea Tar Pits:
And Griffith Observatory:
Also we found the best restaurant ever:
But even though we love Isaac, the highlight of our vacation was a few days in Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree is a 2.5 hour drive from LA, but is like an entirely different planet.
We stayed at Indian Cove Campground, where our campsite was right in the midst of some amazing rock formations.
We did typical camping things, like sleeping in a tent and cooking over a fire (including drinking coffee with some amazing views, mandatory when camping).
And we hiked up Ryan Mountain, which is a relatively short hike (just 3 miles roundtrip) with a view from the top of the entire Park.
The only downside of this hike is that it is formally within the Park, which costs $25 to enter — and Indian Cove actually isn’t (and is just $20/night for camping), so paying just for this hike doesn’t feel totally worth it. That’s mostly because there is so much fun to be had right in Indian Cove. The campground is surrounded by these huge rock formations which are unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The amazing thing is that they are very climbable, so we spent hours navigating boulders and trying to get to the top of various peaks. It was definitely a bit intimidating, but so fun.
And all the scrabbling was worth it for some amazing views:
This time of year it gets relatively cold at night, but it’s still a great time to go because it’s temperate during the day (it gets incredibly hot here in the late spring and summer, with no shade to be found).
We had such a wonderful time, highly recommend it, and can’t wait to go back!