So, where are you guys from?

Ingvild and I are back from our trip to California. The word “amazing” has been thrown around a lot in our social media updates during (and after) the big adventure. It was everything we hoped for and more. I shot 1921 digital images, 189 Polaroid pictures and a handful of mobile phone snapshots, plus a few short videos. Ingvild took pictures too, and is fixing to draw images inspired by what we saw and experienced out west. She also filmed the most memorable critters – Skunk! Squirrel! Steller’s Jay!

The USA might be a car county, but it worked out just fine taking trains and buses, cabs and Uber (and a short ride with a ferry) to get around. A lot of people thought we were quite insane when they learned that we were “doing” California without a car. People also flaunted a lot of raised eyebrows when hearing that we were only staying a week. “But you have to stay longer when you travel that far,” they’d say. I would have loved to stay longer, but the “mere” week made the trip possible within the foreseeable future. I’d rather do a trip like this every other year, than have to save money for five years to stay a month.

The jovial people of the sunny state is very talkative – by the end of the week we automatically answered “Norway” in unison when asked the question “Where are you guys from?” for the umpteenth time. Some people tried to guess where we were from too. Germany was the most reasonable guess – after hearing us speak Norwegian, but why any one would think two pale gals like us are from Brazil or Argentina is beyond me… we were asked that too.

Generally every one we talked to was exceedingly helpful and nice, and often dished out a bit of humour along with their service. Our first encounter with real life American humour hit us already on the plane across the Atlantic. We had collected a bit of rubbish after eating a meal and were looking to get rid of it. It had been a while since a steward had passed by, so I walked up to a steward sitting at the back of the plane and asked if he could take it off my hands. He gave me a mean scowl and said: “No, we ain’t got the time.” I just stood there, feeling like an idiot, not quite sure if I should take him seriously or not. A grin spread across his face. “Naaah, I’m just kidding,” he said. “Give it here.”

In short, this is what our trip looked like:

Day 1

(We landed in San Francisco the day before)

Fisherman’s Wharf

Alcatraz

Dinner at Greens

Day 2

Travel to Sacramento (bus + train)

Shoot at Folsom Lake

Visit a friend of Ingvild’s and eat dinner there

Day 3

Travel to Cedar Lodge in El Portal (bus + train + bus)

Explore the area

Dinner at the lodge

Day 4

Yosemite

Ride horses to Mirror Lake

Explore the museums in Yosemite

Dinner at the lodge

Day 5

Shoot in El Portal

Yosemite

Raft on Merced River

Back to Cedar Lodge for more shoots

Dinner at the lodge

Day 6

Travel back to San Francisco (bus + train + bus)

Dinner at random Indian restaurant in Chestnut Street

Day 7

Wells Fargo Museum

Walk across The Golden Gate Bridge

Dinner at The Plant

(We went home the next day)

Like I stated in my previous post, the result of our escapades in California will be collected in a travel journal. I can promise you a book filled with fun and adventure, musings and tales, and of course lots of pictures. But please don’t hold your breath, we don’t expect to complete the book until some time next year.

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