I’ve been counting down the days until one of my dearest friends from college, Valechka, comes to visit me from Russia! T-minus 3 days, and she is here! I have a list of a hundred things to show, do, and eat with her. Because she spent 3 years of her life in China (where I got to visit!), hopefully my neat place in Nolita, just a few blocks away from Chinatown, will make her feel at home.
Do you know that feeling, when someone special is about to visit from far away, and you just want to show them every beautiful piece of your life? When this life is based in New York, it’s even harder to narrow down the list. Anyway, after 6 days together in New York (which will include my first ever Capoeira Batizado with Motumbaxé Capoeira and a boat ride with our performance, which everyone is welcome to join!), we will embark on a grandiose road trip.
Two girls, one boy (childhood friend Misha is also joining all the way from Moscow), a convertible, and an inexhaustible willingness to explore. Here’s the rough itinerary of this road trip of life.
1. We will start off in Phoenix, AZ and spend a day in rocky Sedona.
2. After spending the night with a hospitable professor in Flagstaff, AZ, we will move onto the Grand Canyon. There, we will hike, walk around the Grand Canyon Village and take everything that the alternative spirit of the place will have to offer.
3. Spending the night in Kingman, AZ, we will make our way to the Hoover Dam.
4. Hoover Dam will lead to Las Vegas, where we will spend the day (Hard Rock Cafe Pool) and night (Nove and Moon, and then Aria Hotel thanks to Jetsetter.com). The next morning, I have somehow planned to wake up early to meet a local relative for breakfast before his meetings.
5. Next, we will start off to California with a soundtrack from Metro Station. Stopping at the ghost town Calico to see the mining town as it was back in 1890s, we will drive to Los Angeles. There, we will spend the night on a boat in Long Beach (thanks Airbnb for alternative accommodations solutions!).
7. We’ll begin the day by hiking to the Hollywood sign and exploring the area. Griffith Observaroty, Beverly Hills, and all the good stuff! Thanks to the hospitality of my friend Erwin, we will spend the night at his place in the Hollywood Hills after having a Japanese dinner with a view at Yamashiro.
8. We will ride bikes in Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and then watch a Shakespeare play under the stars in Laguna Beach. The night will be spent at a beautiful house in the hills of Laguna (once again thanks to Airbnb).
9. Making our way to Malibu, we will do what a true local would do on a Saturday morning – surf! Then have a meal somewhere on the beach, drive to the neat little Danish town of Solvang and spend the night at the cozy Wine Valley Inn.
10. On the last day of the majestic road trip, we will do our best to explore the Santa Barbara Wine Country to its fullest (any winery recommendations?), to complete the journey with some good local pinot noir.
Can’t wait! Starting off on June 17. If you have done a similar trip or just have suggestions on what to do/see/eat, I’d love to hear them! Thankfully to my friends, who are just as crazy about traveling and eating, I already have a pretty solid list for the road trip. T-minus 10 days!