August 11, 2007

West Coast Wanderings

My friend Ami announced her engagement this past holiday season. Attending the resultant wedding festivities in Santa Clara, CA a couple weeks ago kicked off an incredible 2+ week sojourn Out West.

I see that in my absence Seth tagged me to enlighten the blogosphere on a quintet of personal factoids. Rather than put forth the effort to come up with 5 more facts about me, I've decided instead to share five highlights of the trip (though limiting to five is quite restrictive!)

1. Ami's wedding wasn't just any old wedding. She and her now-hubby pulled out all the stops for a traditional Hindi wedding, spread out over three days of celebration. The ceremony itself on the final day is immediately preceded by the baraat and my friends had it all, including the horse:


2. I convinced my Seattle-based pal Tina to come join me while I was in her time zone so she flew down and joined me in sunny California. Following the wedding festivities, we hopped in a rental car and made our way to the City of Angels, via the incredibly breathtaking Pacific Coast (i.e, Route 1). Preferring Tina's much nicer camera over my bare-bones one, and the unlikelihood of her taking pictures (she tends to forget -- thusly, it was rather amusing to learn that she got the camera as a birthday present), I am currently without any images of the stunning views of that amazing coastline. The best part of our 2-day road trip was catching the sun setting along one of the prettiest bits of coast between Carmel and San Simeon. We stayed in San Simeon that night and took advantage of the oceanside fire pits our hotel had set up on the beach 'cause damn, it was cold!

fireside oceanside

3. We kicked around L.A. for a few days (including a delicious venture into Koreatown) before taking off for Vegas where I would eventually be meeting up with other friends. This was my first trip -- Tina's fourth. I never fancied myself a Vegas kinda gal, but wanted at least to see it once. Perhaps because I went with only curiosity rather than any expectations, Sin City managed to draw me in and I do intend to go back to do (and eat) the things I didn't get to do on the short stay. Maybe next time I'll even win enough to catch a Cirque show.

4. Tina headed home after Vegas, and I caught up with my East Coast gals Kelly, Jenna and Katie. We ventured south in hopes of escaping the scorching Nevada heat, and made our way over the Hoover Dam toward the grandest of holes in the ground -- the Grand Canyon. Words cannot describe the magnificence of that natural wonder. Only there for one full day, we chose a short but challenging hike down the South Kaibob Trail to explore beyond the Rim:


5. After "conquering" the Grand Canyon, we had one final stop in Denver, CO for my favorite part of the trip -- whitewater rafting. We none of us had done this before but by the end of our 2-hour adventure, we were all itching to do more. I think I'm going to have to find me some whitewater adventures up thisaways!

Now I'm back and it's back to reality. Though I can't complain too much as it was a nice vacation: long enough of a break to enjoy it and leisurely enough that it was indeed, a vacation. Besides, I'm looking forward to soon meeting the latest addition to Ken & Kari's family (shamelessly fishing for an invite, Ken!).

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