Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You know what's fuckin' awesome? America

There isn’t a cloud in the sky. Humidity? I left it back in New York. I look to my right and see mountains. To my left, the Pacific Ocean. I’m fairly certain this highway is prettier than the New Jersey Turnpike.

My feet rest on the side of the car as I recline (sideways) in the back seat of a black Volkswagen convertible cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway. I’m halfway through a six pack of Tecate that I keep in a small cooler behind the driver’s seat, trying to figure out what’s more stunningly beautiful – the ocean or the mountains. But mostly, I’m enjoying the ride. Sunglasses, sunblock, and West Coast hip-hop radio.

My friend (Lexy) is driving me and my friend (Hollywood Squared) from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, which should be about a 90-minute drive without stops or traffic. But we stop for about an hour to eat fresh crabs (and by fresh, I mean crawling in plain sight) at Neptune’s Net, a beach restaurant along the PCH, right at the border of L.A. County and Ventura.

I drink a 24 oz. Pacifico and feel great. The crabs are amazing. H-squared orders some steamed clams—also amazing.

Surfers and bikers love this place as well. And by bikers, I don’t mean Schwinn—I mean Harley. But it’s all cool. Apparently, Hells Angels dig fresh seafood as well. Everyone is welcome at Neptune’s Net.

We get back on the road, farting all sorts of beautiful, shellfish-smelling scents. My forehead is clearly getting sunburned. But every time I look around, there’s something incredible to see. The bluffs, the piers, the cliffs, the sand, the hills…

By the time we get to our hotel, I wish we could just make the drive again. If you’ve ever driven along the Pacific Coast Highway, you know what I mean. I love New Jersey, but driving down to the Jersey shore doesn’t hold a candle to the drive I took along the West coast.

Taking that drive reminds me once again how many different things you can see driving around this country. Every time I drive through a new state, I feel like I see something unique and special. I've never driven across the Midwest, or the Plains, or the desert out in Arizona -- all things I'd like to do soon. The people I know that have tell me that it's amazing, and I believe them 100 percent. This country boasts so many different environments. I can only wish to see all of them.

Just another reminder, I guess, of how special it is to live here.

3 comments:

Side Bar said...

That really is one of the most spectacular drives there is . . . described perfectly by Open Bar. Further up the road you pass San Simeon and get into Big Sur . . . the PCH literally weaves through the mountains and hugs the coastline, making for a breathtaking (if occasionally nerve-wracking) drive. The drive along the Pacific is something everyone should do at least once in their life.

That said, another very cool trip is via train along the Pacific. We took it from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles in February. Amtrak offers glass covered cars with seats facing out (rather than forward, as on most trains) to offer spectacular views of both the ocean and the central coast mountains.

In sum: I am glad I am from New Jersey (http://a-mazing.blogspot.com/2007/01/new-f-jersey-greatest-state-in-union.html), but California is freaking cool.

The Notorious LJT said...

I was in LA in March and I'd have to agree, California is really beautiful - the mountains and ocean one top of one another is like nothing I've ever seen before.

The only problem with LA is if you want to do anything, it's at least an hour away by car.

Goldie said...

Open Bar must've put something in his drink, 'cause that post reads like a displaced East Coaster on Ecstasy (or 2-C-I), either way.