Socal - Newport Beach

Went to Newport Beach area to meet my old pal (and actor) Justin Chon and wife cuz he lives around there.
ahi poke at Bear Flag

visited the tide pools at Little Corona Del Mar

this hole has a mouth

all that uni

some kind of conservation study it looks like.

Socal - Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is named for the Joshua trees that are all over there.  It's huge.  It takes 4 hours to drive through the whole thing.  
we started with Mexican food at this big grocery store, the Northgate Market in Escondido.  They have a food counter area with all Mexican clientel.  

Joshua tree is a climbers heaven

lost his tail

Barker's Dam, built to water cattle, fought over by good guys and bad guys, ranchers vs miners vs cattle rustlers and every combo there within.

It's completely silent out here, it's a big star gazing location because it's so far removed there's little light pollution.  I was taking in these petroglyphs and then the old guy next to me farted.

I "bouldered" a lot and got up pretty high.  It's pretty scary because one mess up and you could be dead or paralyzed or something.  Jen said I was like an 8 year old kid running around and climbing on everything.

Keyes view.  You can see the Salton Sea on the left

the Joshua Trees

a little oasis?

Skull Rock.  You can just drive right up to it.

The Cholla cactus garden full of Cholla cacti.  We got there at just the right hour so the sun hit the cacti spikes and made them glow.

A sign warns not to touch them and for good reason.  Jen had to try and kick one and it got stuck to her shoe and they i tried to get it off with my shoe and then we both had super tenacious spikes in our shoes and we had to sit there and pull them out.

The sun was setting and we raced through the rest of the park for the Salton Sea.  It was pretty cool zooming through the winding roads as the sun set in the park

The Salton Sea is a dead sea,  I guess after flooding this sea was formed and somehow got salinated and everything in it died and the resort town around it went to crap also and now it's a hang out for hippies, meth vans, and weirdos.  

this was just on the shore as soon as you look down.  It really is a dead sea.

I'm guessing this is crusty salt mud that laps up on the shore

Socal - Pacific Exploration

Jen's sister and her husband live in Southern California (Socal) in San Diego, California and she needed a break from winter so we went for a week.

first stop after the airport, Ballast Point brewery tasting room.

a hike around Torrey Pines

freaky looking elk kelp everywhere.
the land before time.  California Brown Pelicans flying down to La Jolla
Why does blogger always mess up the colors of my photos?!!! This is really bad!  Anyway they seriously look like flying skeletons, i can almost see their wing hand skeletons

taco madness at Oscar's university ave location

the next day we did a kayaking tour.  This was how disappointed I was when Jen told me that we were going to be in a double kayak together.  I wanted my own and wanted to go fast and control my own destiny.  I didn't want to cooperate and run a well oiled in sync machine with stupid jen.

overall the tour was cool but it was annoying to stop every so often and hold everyone's boats together in a group and hear some educational crap.  ew.  learning, gross.

So coming back in you surf the kayak on the waves and we flipped.  If I was in my own kayak and flipped I can only blame myself but since I was with Jen i'll never know if I had what it takes to make it to shore without flipping.  So long story short it was freezing and we spent the rest of the day wet and cold
La Jolla is a pretty cool place

Tons of birds chillin on these cliffs.  brown pelicans, cormorants, 


one thing we learned on the kayak tour was that the houses close to the cliffs are un-insurable and on a bad year up to a foot and a half of cliff is lost and on a good year only a few inches.  When part of someone's house does fall in they get fined too for industrial waste littering or something.

caves galore over here.  Bob would love it

a (juvenile?) Brandt's Cormorant. 

California Brown Pelican
Jen enjoyed this seal photo-bomb by this one solitary seal that just flopped over on his back to relax 

I like how they can retract their heads like no thank you.  

nope!  no thanks!

See-Line woman.  The old folk song popularized by Nina Simone is believed to have less than savory meanings dealing with prostitutes and sailors.

the Sea Lions of La Jolla Cove.  I had some kind of allergy spring fever thing going on so my nose was stuffed up and I couldn't smell how horrible these guys smell.

was this lil' guy trying to get to his maaam?

never seen the ocean this color.

La Jolla has a lot of cool houses around the beach

100 ounces of beer.