San Diego, CA to San Francisco, CA

There is more diversity of people and place in California than any other state I have been to.  After more than 2,200 miles of riding in CA I surely waited too long for a blog post. There were too many people to talk to, too many hills to climb, and consequently too little energy left at the end of the day. 

Riding from San Diego to Santa Barbara via LA wasn't so bad, as I was warned it would be.  There was a lot of traffic on the road, some crappy industrial areas in LA, and some big commercial farm areas south of Ventura, but mostly nice beach towns with places to sit, and plenty of other cyclists on the road.  My favorite part was riding through places I previously knew only from pop culture (from La Jolla to Leo Carillo, through Laguna, Long Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu).  North of Santa Barbara everything changes.  The coast is largely undeveloped and idyllic.  Hats off to CA for keeping so much of their coast in a relatively natural state. 

In Laguna I had one of my favorite long lost friend visits with Lauren, who I know from my 2 years at the University of Denver.   She arranged for me to stay at her parent's house where there was an extra bedroom, tasty food, interesting drinks, and delightful company.  Twelve years and a couple kids later Lauren has the same wonderful sense of humor and laid back personality and it didn't feel like more than a decade had passed.  

Madlen, Lauren's younger sister, gets the prize for putting the most effort into fixing me a drink.  There is not much I can't eat or drink, but despite my best effort I could not come close to finishing her concoction, which tasted like breakfast, fiery shrimp cocktail sauce, and vodka.             

 The OC Bloody Mary.  Luckily there were other beverage options, including tasty Kombucha, which Lauren's other sister, Kirsten, makes.