the bay area

Heather and I just made it across the ocean and are stopping briefly in the port of Muroran. We’re sitting on the sidewalk right outside some art store that offers free WiFi. Meanwhile, here’s the next step of my trip recap:

[August 19 – 27, 2012]

After crossing into California, we slowed our pace up for a bit. On a whim, we decided to try to stay overnight in Yosemite on the way into the Bay Area. This was apparently rather foolish of us given that it was the absolute height of the season and the valley floor was crawling with tourists. As luck would have it, the Yosemite Lodge had an emergency cancelation minutes before we arrived and they had a room ready for us. It wasn’t air conditioned but it was also a step up from the tents and cabins.

In the morning we did a little hiking in the Yosemite Valley. It felt fantastic to stretch my legs out after the all the driving. The experience was pretty surreal compared with most other California parks I’ve been in due to the number of visitors, not to mention the wide range of languages being spoken. It was like Disney had designed an idealized version of a California park, and I was visiting that instead.

In the afternoon we drove the rest of the way to the Bay Area and spent a week in Berkeley and Oakland. There wasn’t much time to rest with all the people I wanted to see and the errands we had to do. We finally ended up paying someone to handle our Chinese visas for us because the Chinese Consulate’s process was confusing at first and would have been too time consuming. I probably only ended up seeing half of the friends who I wanted to, given our brief stop I really had to cherry pick. On top of that a bunch of them were also in the middle of getting ready for their own Labor Day plans so it was hectic all around. I’m looking forward to a more mellow visit next time I’m in town.

Soon I’ll post about our visit to the redwoods and the conclusion of our roadtrip!

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