california

Alcatraz Is Not Azkaban And Other Lessons I Learned In California by Rachel Abrahams

Lone Cypress - Pebble Beach, California

Lone Cypress - Pebble Beach, California

It’s a pretty common thing (I’d say an average of twice a week) for me to say or do something totally random and my husband to just shake his head and (kindly) say to me “You’re SO weird”. When he does, I always remind him he’s the one who picked me and also that he is stuck with me.

When we recently visited California, I had a tendency to say a lot of really dumb things which then I would pre-empt his response and say “Yeah, I know. I’m weird”.  Admittedly, I wasn’t helping my case. I seriously said some really dumb things.

Let me enlighten you on what I said and my own lessons learned so you can be a savvy California traveler. Sharing is caring and I have no shame. Just don’t judge me, please. Well, at least not too much.

Pebble Beach, California

Pebble Beach, California

“Wait, is that a whale? Nope, it's a rock. I need glasses.”

Yup, in my eagerness to try and see a whale while looking at the Pacific Ocean I repeatedly would see things hoping it was a whale but alas, it wasn’t. It was a rock. Lesson Learned: Wear glasses while whale watching.

“Those are the cutest sea otters. Oh, those are sea lions? Whoops.”

There was a definite trend where I didn’t seem to have the capacity to learn the differences between otters vs. sea lions and whales vs. rocks. Lesson Learned: When in doubt, just say things like “Oh my goodness, how cute” and DON’T attempt to identify the animal. Be smooth about it. Attempt casual coolness.

I kept calling Pebble Beach, Pebble CREEK. Repeatedly. To which my husband said "If you call it Pebble Creek one more time, I'm kicking you out of this car."

If you’re not a golf person, you won’t see what the big deal is about this. If you ARE a golf person, I’m sorry. That’s all I can say. Also, it was super gorgeous there even for this (obviously) non-golfer. 

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California

On our way to Alcatraz, I said “I am so excited to see Azkaban”. Later, my husband said "Stop calling it Azkaban, weirdo" because I did it 2 more times.

Yup, card carrying Harry Potter fan here. Admittedly I really didn’t mean to call it Azkaban. 3 times. Without realizing it until my husband pointed it out. Completely oblivious. Which makes it very obvious how much my subconscious wishes receiving a letter saying I was selected for Hogwarts was a real thing. Lesson Learned: I never realized how badly I wished Harry Potter was real. There, I said it out loud so everyone will know. No more shame.

“Good lord, those seals smell terrible.” (Phil reminds me they are sea lions). “Dammit, why can't I get this otter, sea lion, seal thing straight?”

Me + nature = not friends. Lesson Learned: Refer back to #2. Be cool. Pretend and just say “Ooh”.

“Oh look, a real live California Pizza Kitchen. I've only seen them in the freezer section.”  

What can I say, this Florida gal has never actually seen a California Pizza Kitchen in real life. I honestly didn’t even know it WAS a restaurant. I just thought it was yet another brand of pizza temptation in the freezer section which calls to me in its siren song “You are tiiirreeed. Coooook meee instead. Piiiizzzaaaaaa is gooooood” every time I pass by. Lesson Learned: CPK is real. The freezer pizzas are pretty delicious. As to whether the real ones in the actual restaurant taste good, I wouldn’t know. We rushed off to somewhere else that day.

These are Sea Lions! Pier 39 - San Francisco, California

These are Sea Lions! Pier 39 - San Francisco, California

“I don't feel like shoveling shit at the elephant show but somebody's gotta do it. Just not me.”

I honest to goodness have absolutely no idea what prompted me to say this. I do remember finding it hilarious at the time I said it and again when I opened my travel log I kept about this trip. I do have some deep thoughts sometimes, I tell ya. Lesson Learned: Keeping travel logs on your phone or in a notebook is awesome. My memory sucks, hence the travel log.

“Whew, smells like a lot of people are taking their ‘medicine’ around here.”

We decided to walk around Venice Beach Boardwalk, see the sites, do some people watching, and even swing by the famous gym. What I wasn’t prepared for was how many vendors would be hawking their “glaucoma medication” in dirty lab coats trying to convince every passerby to stop in and get a prescription for weed. It looked totally legitimate (eyes rolling so hard they nearly fall out of my head). I kept walking through some hardcore “medicinal” areas (or maybe the wind was blowing just right). Lesson Learned: Venice Beach Boardwalk was really not worth the time. The people watching was amazing. The crush of humanity and shop vendors accosting you was not cool. We left within 20 mins.

“We're going to Beverly Hills? Maybe I'll see some Kardashians.”

So, if you haven’t judged me too much so far about being a complete nincompoop sometimes, you’re awesome BUT I do realize after admitting this next thing I may be asking too much. Ok, here goes. I am a big fan of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (huuuuuuge exhale). Oh my goodness. I know. I have no idea why. I am not a fan of reality TV (I’ve never seen Survivor, The Bachelor/ette, Big Brother, or Dancing With The Stars) and yet I am completely sucked into their vacuum. Lesson Learned: Maybe it’s because I’m an only child? That’s all I’ve got to explain it.

Pebble Beach, California

Pebble Beach, California

Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and take these lessons learned to travel around California like an expert. Maybe you’ve decided traveling with me deserves an award and my husband is a superstar. I like to think I make the experience more awesome and unusual. Either way, my inability to stop saying dumb things is here for your pleasure/pain. Just call me Captain Generosity.