It is very, very rare that my family is able to be in one place at the same time. Between school, work, kids and my active social life (…. the only thing I have going on right now) we are all constantly trying, and failing, to figure out ways to spend time together.
This Summer, with my brother having just graduated from college and me quitting my job very prematurely before starting school, we found ourselves for the first time in years with a whole lot of free time to fill. The timing of this serendipitously coincided with my parents 25th wedding anniversary, and we decided that the four of us were going to do a big family trip to celebrated the “next phases of our lives.”
We talked about going to Africa, Tahiti, Thailand, Vietnam, Peru, Argentina, Portugal, the Mediterranean Islands, Israel, the South of France… all places that none of us had ever been
After months and months of back and forth disagreement, we settled on…. California.
Because I really tried to limit myself on how much I was allowed to Instagram from the trip (and how much I was allowed to complain in a public forum about how bananas my family can sometimes be), here is a series of highlights from our trip.
1. We went to Alcatraz, and I went into a jail cell. My brother offered to pay the guy to leave me there for the night. I wore socks and sandals because San Francisco is apparently cold and no one told me.
2. We ate pork rinds and drank 75million tequila shots at a rooftop bar in The Mission District. My dad, who doesn’t drinks, took 6 in a row and told me it was fine because since they were “little drinks” they didn’t have that much alcohol in them
I fell asleep at the table like this:
3. My dad and I went to an Oxygen bar to nurse the tequila hangover, and a stranger tried to get me to join his cult. I thought about it, but ultimately decided to stick with family vacation (This was only day two- had he asked me on day 5, I may have had a different answer.)
4. We watched this cute little lady make fortune cookies for a full hour. My fortune was “Try your best to get along with the people around you, they are far wiser than you realize.” I lied and told my mom it said something about the moon.
5. I MET MOTHERFKING SEALIONS
6. I also met Leonardo Dicaprio, and asked if there was any hope of a future together because apparently he’s into Georgetown girls these days
7. We went to Haight Ashbury (where the hippie movement apparently started) where my mom talked about how she used to be a hippie and my dad took a homeless man out to lunch, only to discover he was not, in fact, homeless, simply SUPER high and very dirty looking.
9. We went to dinner at The French Laundry, and my mom sent back 3 of the 9 courses. The experience was traumatically embarrassing, so there is no photo evidence.
10. We met Dave Franco at the pool and took this romantic picture with him and his famous girlfriend. When they told my parents they were actors, my dad asked them both what they’d been in and whether or not they knew Michelle Kwan personally.
11. To solidify the experience as worthy of the plot of the next “Griswold Family Vacation” movie, my mom bought us all matching “Baja Sweaters” and demanded we wear them to lunch at the Pebble Beach Golf Club.
12. I rode a horse on the beach and looked incredibly chic doing it in aforementioned Baja jacket.
13. I ALSO MET MTHRFKING ELEPHANT SEALS (I was really into aquatic mammals this trip) who weigh 5,000 pounds and get so tired after moving 10-15 feet that they need to sleep for the rest of the day. We stumbled across this random beach covered with hundreds of them right off of the highway. I am fairly sure they are my spirit animal
After 3 weeks, 5 cities and 800+ miles, we somehow still managed to look this happy with one another on the last night of the trip. To my family- thank you for a fantastic vacation and for not making me drive a single mile of the trip.