California has always been on my bucket list of domestic travel destinations. It's where most of my favorite influencers and celebrities reside. Although I know not to set high expectations based on other people's experiences shared on social media, I wanted to check out the state first hand. So when my friend Macon and I chose to visit California this spring I was stoked. The trip had two objectives: adventure and networking. Days one and five required air travel so we left those days somewhat open-ended. However, Macon was cool with allowing my decisions to have more weight on these days since he was tackling hiking trips for days two and three. On day four, we signed up for a super cool Google sponsored networking event for software engineers and start ups. Below is a sum of what went down in Santa Monica.
First up, we picked up our super dope chariot - the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
Second, we had to fill our bellies with fuel making IN-N-OUT the first stop a total must. We don't have this chain on the east coast so Macon and I were excited to check it out for the first time. Caution: it was packed!
Third, a pitstop at Walmart's grocery store to buy snacks for on-the-go. I went for baby carrots, chips, cucumbers, guavas, bananas, and bottled water (a must!). Doing this saved us time and money on the long road trip.
Fourth, checked in at the hotel and explored Santa Monica. We stayed at a hotel roughly 20 blocks away from the shore to save money. Three observations that shocked me: a) The weather was unexpectedly chilly ranging in the high 60's. I was certainly not prepared for cool weather. b) the topography is striking! Mountains and ocean hit you like waves. c) the landscape is dry and populated by flora that can survive dry, hot weather.
Have you been to Santa Monica? Since the weather along the coast was cold and windy I found it fascinating to see the locals bring blankets to lay on at the beach. Looked really romantic and cozy; meanwhile, Macon and I were shivering and decided to go on a walk to warm up.