I've been slow (ha ha! get it! SLO?) to post about my trip. It's been nearly a month since I got back (how in the hell...?) so I'd better get on with it. Plus, Mr. Burdy's cousin called tonight and wanted to know how it was (we haven't talked in a while), so if I needed a sign from the Universe to wrap this thing up, that was it.

But Other Things have been happening! Fun things! And I have wanted to write about them, too! I guess I will have to write about them after I finish writing about this trip. Which, at the rate I'm going, will sometime in 2012.


SLO, Day 2:

We start out our tour of downtown with the mission.

I don't know what it is about statuary that fascinates me. Most of my pictures from my 1999 trip to Europe are of statues (and me making an ass of myself in front of them. Oh, to be 20 and shameless again...)

Here we have a bunch of Catholic missals. Which, as a nerdy ten year old, I could not dissociate from projectile ammunition. Oh, homonyms, how I love thee.

Here is our challenge for the day: Bishop's Peak. "Obispo" means "Bishop" in Spanish. Thank you, Victoria, for teaching me this. I would have spent the rest of the trip thinking San Luis Obispo meant something like Saint Louie's Abyss.) And thank YOU, perky young ladies at the Visitor's Information Center, for not knowing the length of a mile from a hole in the ground. Normally, I'm not the type to complain about walking, or about bad estimations of distances to places, but in this case, with my feet swollen in their shoes from the heat, and my tiny water bottle nearly empty before we even got to the FOOTHILL, I was a little more than miffed. Apparently, the attitude in SLO is so laid back, residents can actually cut four miles into one just by saying it slowly.

Yes, we climbed it. And yes, we were sore afterward. And yes, it was sooooo worth it.

This is my favorite part about travel to temperate climates: CITRUS! GROWING ON TREES! IN PEOPLE'S YARDS! It's like shrubbery, or ground cover or something, all casual-like and unassuming on people's property. Like the citrus trees are all, hey lawn, how's it hanging? I'm just standing here minding my biz, making fruit and stuff. Only it's not all casual-like to me because it's CITRUS! With real CITRUS! fruit. And I live in a city that's cold and gray and the only thing that grows really well here all casual-like is mold.

My second favorite part about travel? Signs. Yup. I love me some signs. Especially ones like this one. (The stupid 20 year old in me is snickering right now.)

You know you might have some issues with food when, in a historically Spanish-speaking down, you see a sign that begins with "Del" and you hope and pray it ends in "i" and that they have a good rye bread. Geez. You can take the girl out of New York...

Victoria and I hauled ourselves to the top of Bishop's peak (well, almost to the top; the actual last thirty or forty feet required bouldering equipment) after a very long trip to the base from town. Sure, it was only a few miles, but STILL. When you're planning on just a few hours of hiking because you're trying to save up your energy for the heavy drinking you want to do later that night, you need to pace yourself.

Another thing SLO residents stink at? Describing natural landmarks. We were told that we might come across two massive rocks that would block the road that would require us to "shimmy" between them to get up and over. We came across no such rocks. Why? Because we took a different path to the top. But we weren't told there were two ways to get to the top, so we guessed that the rocks everyone was referring to were these slippery, wet rocks that shot up into the stratosphere at a ninety degree angle. Not wanting to miss the spectacular view from the top, we started up. We got about ten feet up, and both of us broke out into cold sweats. I'm not sure what Victoria was thinking, but all that was running through my head was "Don't die don't die don't die". My knees were starting to give out (because I'm not a billygoat, for god's sake) but I didn't want to disappoint Victoria. But then I saw her face was a shade lighter and we both decided to clamber down, take some photos, chew on some trail mix, and assess the situation. We decided (smartly, duh) to take another path up, and it turns out we chose wisely. From fifteen hundred feet in the air, it was gorgeousness in every direction.