We're sitting in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library in San Jose, California. Since I didn't bring a laptop and my PDA keyboard is not working this is the only real opportunity I have to blog until I pry the laptop from Rob's cold, dead hands.

Actually this is the second time I've started this entry, since the power went off at the library three sentences in. Since we arrived in the Bay area, the weather has been pretty shitty (for California, that is). Despite this, we're still having a pretty good time on the ol' trip.

Saturday in the Los Angeles Area

We flew in on separate flights Saturday, grabbed a rental car and went for some pasta and wine in Venice Beach. We shot some photos, even though there wasn't a lot of activity on the beach due to the March weather (it is still winter after all, even in the Los Angeles area) and then went for some dessert at Real Food Daily. Six dollar brownies... good, but six-dollar good? Whoo!

Then we tooled up the coast towards Malibu and arrived at our hotel in Ventura. After a fiasco finding a room with a working toilet, we made our way to Santa Barbara where we had some tasty food and wine at Spiritland Bistro. We ended up going to The Wildcat Lounge for some Glenmorangie and heavy bass before we drove back to Ventura for the night.

The Pacific Coast Highway

In the morning, we started our drive up the coast of California. The Pacific Coast Highway as it's called. The sojourn was punctuated by several stops mainly to catch our breath but also serving as great photo opportunities of the amazing scenery. The drive takes about 50% longer than it does by freeway but this is the scenic route, after all - it's well worth it!

My suggestion: Do the drive in mid-to-late spring (it would be much warmer by then), and reserve at least two days for this journey. You're going to want to stop at Hearst Castle for a tour, you're going to want to have dinner at Nepenthe and see Big Sur.

The half hour before and after the Big Sur area on the highway are particularly treacherous with winding roads, a distinct lack of rails for the road, sheer drops off into the ocean, and the occasional rock or mud slide. Think Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote but with trees and an ocean view. Beep Beep!

Make sure you save enough daylight to drive up to Carmel-by-the-Sea, so you can arrive safely (the drive is much less hazardous after this point) . If "Carmel-by-the-Sea" doesn't sound manly enough for you, you should know that Clint Eastwood used to be mayor there. Convinced yet? Actually, the town is quaint and pleasant. Stop and have a cozy, fireside dinner at the Hog's Breath Inn. I can now recommend the Hog's Breath Inn Pale Ale.

We finally arrived at our hotel at about 9:30 PM last night and had enough time for a quick soak in the hottub. I was so exhausted by this point that I passed out on the bed and didn't crack an eye until the morning.

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day

Monday has been slow for us, which suits me just fine as Sunday was draining. Sitting in a car doesn't sound like very much work, even if it involves pulling off to the side of the road and taking some pictures every hour or two, but if you've ever driven a long stretch (300+ miles), add to that a bunch of adrenaline rushes as you swerve around rocky corners in the road to barely miss cars travelling the other direction and you can understand that yesterday was kind of like spending all day at an amusement park. Without the cotton candy.

Anyway, even though it was rainy and grey we still hit the hottub again. Cold water on the face, hot water on the rest of the body: An interesting contrast.

And that gives you a near up-to-the-minute guide to my experiences in California so far. If anyone is still awake, tune in tomorrow when we learn:

  • What groceries did we buy?
  • How long can I hold off doing laundry?
  • Did I sleep in the right or left bed?
  • What kind of toothpaste did Rob bring?

Seriously, further entries will be much more technically focused as we have our Joel On Software geek dinner tonight, tour the Ames Research Center and Yahoo! (thanks to Scott) on Tuesday, and we get into the Game Developer's Conference on Wednesday.

Of course, I'll also post some photos too.

§238 · March 20, 2006 · GDC, Life · · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “GDC Trip 2006: Part One”

  1. candace says:

    Thanks for the update. Are the roads really that dangerous? I’m not sure if you and Rob are in cahoots so that the rest of us back here in cold country don’t get too jealous.

    Enjoy your yahoo trip. btw ~ what kind of toothpaste *did* Rob bring? I hear he’s pretty particular.

  2. Cahoots. What an odd word to read when it’s typed out.

    Roads sure look dangerous when driving them – both of us were more nervous sitting in the passenger seat than while driving (something about not being able to focus on the sheer 100+ foot drops into the ocean while driving). That section lasted about an hour or so…

    And… Colgate…