We should go somewhere.
Not to say that I don't like gifts. I love gifts, I love the surprise, if it's a good gift that someone who knows me well knows I will like, I love the excitement of Christmas morning. (The only downfall of gifts with me is when it's a gift I don't like. An overwhelming sense of guilt bestows itself upon my conscience forever and it's likely I won't ever say anything or return the gift because that person spent time picking it out just for me and to return it would be an affront to their persona. So that's a personal downfall of mine.)
But where? Where can we go that will make giving up gifts worth it?
A return to San Francisco, the city of the suburbs where I was born and have never been back.
So we went. We drove. And we drove. We drove from downtown Phoenix, with a stop for the night in Blythe, CA (which I'm fairly sure exists just for the reason that we used it for - a place to stay when you're driving west) and drove the rest of the day up to SF. (The drive up the middle of California was somewhat less interesting than the drive on the way back - down Route 1. That gets its own post.)
The rest in pictures.
Not the mountains we got caught in a snow storm in. Different, calmer, and less stressful mountains.
Because when the mountains look like this, it's my Favorite. Thing. Ever.
The weather app on my iPhone told me I was in Cupertino, and it wasn't even because I had just taken it out of the box and had yet to set it to my own settings. Sort of magical, really.
Stanford, because we had to pretend to be classy for a little bit.
And because it's beautiful. That has to make college more fun. Probably.
Facebook planned when making this sign. Quite the good place for pictures.
Back to where I came from.
First house I lived in. (In other news, I'm not sure the laws of posting pictures of houses you once lived in and stood outside of for a while, not sure of what to do next. But here it is.)
I remember being in Paris, walking around to the side of the Sacre Coeur, and seeing a small, faded Eiffel Tower for the first time, and being blown away and excited and amazed all at the same time. This was just like that.
Top of Lombard Street. Special Guest: Confused Tourist.
Golden hour at the Golden Gate Bridge. Couldn't have picked a better time if I tried.
Less golden hour-y, but still an awesome view.
And no worries, this was not the place where several signs told us to be quiet, and then had men hanging from the side of a cliff with jackhammers and chainsaws. Somewhat disturbed the peace of Cathedral Grove.
I underestimated the awesomeness of a city at Christmastime.
The best firework shot I could get at midnight on New Year's Eve while sitting in the car with traffic that was not going anywhere. Probably spent 3 hours in the car and moved 3 miles total.
I've always been amazed at pictures to just not include weather at all, and most of the time not show any suffering because of the weather. It. Was. Freezing.
On our way back south. Those pictures to come.
And I'm pretty sure this Let's Go Somewhere for Christmas Instead of Do the American Christmas Thing is going to be a thing. At least it will if I have anything to do with it.