California... what can I say about this wonderful state, other than that it is wonderful? While my explorations of CA have thus been limited to the central coast and sliver of Paradise surrounding San Diego, I have to say that while some people mock the state (you know the one about the country being shaken and all the fruits and nuts falling to Cali?), the things that I saw on this trip and the people that I met on this trip have got me totally smitten!
For instance, these photos were taken, obviously, in front of/next to/inside an old VW van. How did I happen to come across said van? I'm glad you asked.
My dad and I were wandering around Ventura, looking for a nice place to sit outside and chat. In the absence of benches, I noticed a little coffee shop and figured that a little caffeine jolt couldn't hurt. My dad sat down at a table while I perused the menu. As I was doing such, a super laid back, surfer-looking dude walked in and complimented me first on my boots, then on my dress, and then on my long hair, saying that they reminded him of better times.
He and my dad then launched into a long-winded, but highly entertaining and rather political discussion of the evolution of people from the mid-1960s to today. My evident hippiness was pointed out and then Surfer Dude said, "Hey... you know that there's an old VW van around the corner, right?"
Not being from the area, I told him that I had no clue. He gave us directions and told us to knock on the door because a real-live 1970s hippie lady lived there and would be happy to let me (a 2016 hippie girl) take photos with the van. And so... that's exactly what we did!
It was cool. I never thought of myself as a van kinda gal, but this experience has got me totally re-evaluating my priorities! Oh... and I got to meet a real hippie.
... Shhhhhh, California...