I'm on a big high after spending a few days in California with some of my best friends, eating my own body weight in fresh avocado on toast and having my love for the West Coast reaffirmed. Making the most of my time in America has been a real priority and visiting my friends who are also on exchange at their respective universities has been high up the list-particularly with two of them at Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. Seeing everyone after a few months of absence was really, really lovely. People who understand my filthy wit! Familiar bodies with which to lie in bed watching Apocalypse, Now! Friendship is a fine, fine thing.
Some of my highlights included spending a lot of time in Jim's crusty but loveable Toyota 'Shandy' (complete with a 'Badass Bitch' bumper sticker which I like to think was akin to Uma Thurman's 'Pussy Galore' paintwork in Kill Bill, but about 100 times smaller.) I also cycled through San Francisco with Charlie and huffed and puffed up for a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun was blazing and we spied two porpoises down in the bay below us.
We took the Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterrey, stopping at the brilliant Swanton Berry Farm Stand which is a couple of miles north of Davenport. Jim and Kate were cold and wet after a naked dash into the sea (see above) and we were collectively seduced by their super delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate, cooshty sofas, variety of pies, honesty box and free reign of a backgammon board. Certainly worth a visit if you ever find yourself on that stretch of road with a rumbling tummy.
The guys in California have is pretty good. There's nothing quite like being so close to such breathtaking scenery and having sunshine on tap to make life look pretty good. I found myself fantasising about running away to the Golden Coast, wearing a permanent tan, learning to skateboard and driving an obscenely hyper-masculine 1980s car.