Monday, October 26, 2009

The California Coast (Stuck In LAX)

So today ends my California vacation.  I've been out here for the last week or so visiting my brother (who lives in Los Angeles) and taking in the sights of southern and northern Cali.  I've had a great time, and am bracing for the cold of Wisconsin that awaits me back home.  

Unfortunately, my arrival back in Madison is being delayed until tomorrow morning due to flight complications.  I was supposed to fly out of LAX at 2:20 today, connect in Denver, and then arrive back in Madison at 10:30 tonight.  When I arrived at the airport I learned that the flight to Denver had been delayed long enough so that I would miss my connecting flight to Madison.  The best that United Airlines could do was put me on a red eye flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, which wont leave until 11 tonight, will arrive in Chicago around 5:30 tomorrow morning, and I will then take a flight to Madison, arriving home tomorrow morning around 8:30.  While my flight plans do not necessarily make for interesting reading, let me just take this moment to publicly whine.  I will be in this airport for the next seven hours, and I've already been here for a couple.  

The one good thing about this situation is that it gives me plenty of Internet time to post pictures from the vacation.  I had to pay $8 for the Internet at LAX, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it go to waste.  I actually tried to get United to get me a free password for the wireless system here since they inconvenienced me, but no dice.  I wish this airport had free wireless like Denver, where you just have to watch a short ad from a sponsor before logging on.  I wish I were going through Denver.  Ok, enough whining, here are some pictures from the California coast, north of San Francisco.

When we first made it to the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy. 1) after leaving San Francisco early that morning, it was pretty damn foggy.  This was a vista point right where we entered the highway, eager to see the coast.

The day soon began to brighten up, and here you can see Cody standing above the mighty Pacific Ocean, just a little further on up the coast.

We stopped for lunch in some little coastal town.  The restaurant was up on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, and they were nice enough to let us take our food down to their garden on trays so that we could dine with a view.  Oh, and their clam chowder was pretty spot on as well.

A little further north, just south of Fort Bragg, we stopped at Russian Gulch State Park and went on a hike.  This was our first (of many) sighting of the gigantic banana slug.  Huge, cool slugs, pretty rad.

Russian Gulch also provided our first encounter with the gigantic Redwood trees.  Here is Cody standing next to an old Redwood stump, with a newer tree growing on top of it.  I believe the forests here were logged fairly heavily, but we got to see some ancient, humongous trees the next day in Redwood National Park...

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