The next morning we woke up early to an awesome breakfast by Kao.
She made homemade bread and we put nuts and cream cheese and dried fruits on it, which made a really nice color scheme that was only beat by its even better taste. It looked like something out of a magazine like Ku:nel, and tasted even better.
Then we decided to go on a special trip with Kinya, Kao, and Selena, our friend from Tokyo who was back in Portland then. They wanted to take us to the big rock from the super famous movie Goonies. Have you ever seen it?
I was really little when I saw Goonies, so I don't remember anything about it, but apparently this rock was an important part of the story.
Even if I didn't know that, it was obvious that this rock had some sort of star power just like a human. I was the first time I ever noticed charisma in something other than a plant, animal, or human.
But, the main lesson I learned from this was that Oregon's beach is freezing! I thought I was going to turn into a snowman just by dipping my feet in.
Patrick and I decided that since we were there we had to jump all the way in just because. But, Yoshimi, being the awesome smart person she is talked us out of it. I feel a little sorry for her because she has a bit of double duty on this tour as singer and overall mom. She always talks us out of dumb stuff.
Then we saw this statue which Patrick nicknamed "the streaker".
On the way home we stopped Uwajimaya which was heaven for Yoshimi. She really loves Japanese food, and can barely go just one day without eating it. So, she was really craving miso soup and ramen before we found this giant Asian supermarket.
She bought so much ramen, which ended up being useful in the upcoming days.
We also bought the stuff to make homemade gyoza. Gyoza is one of my favorite foods, and I was really excited to have the homemade kind for the first time.
Next to Kinya's house there was an empty field with just one giant tree holding up an amazing tire swing. There was a little guy who was about 7 or so doing some crazy tricks on the swing (like jumping from it onto a mysterious sofa someone must have dumped in the field). Patrick went to talk with him and it turns out he was from France but visiting here with his mom who is an artist. Naturally, she was interested in Patrick's photography, so she let him take a lot of photos. Then the boy taught us some tricks.
Yoshimi and I made up a new one called "extreme tire swing kiss." It is my best trick now.
While we were swinging, Selena and Kao made a flower crown for Yoshimi. And then we took some promo shots in front of a very blue wall.
In the night Kinya rented a robot movie called Short Circuit because it was filmed in Portland. Yoshimi and I had never seen it before, but we were both laughing pretty hard. Afterwards we kept ripping off the line "More input." It was so nerdy I can't believe I am even telling you.
The next morning we woke up early and started the long adventure back to California. We had 2 days off before our next show, so we decided to take the scenic route down the coast. Unfortunately, Patrick was driving for the whole first part of the way and his driving makes us both really sick. So, we had to take a lot of motion sickness medicine which knocked me out and I ended up sleeping through a lot of the most beautiful sights.
We didn't have anywhere to stay so we decided to camp out which was a first for me and Yoshimi. But, luckily, what Patrick lacked in smooth car control, he totally made up for in camping skills! We found a place in the dark and made a little fire and cooked some corn and so much ramen.
The next morning we got up early to hit the road to get a little closer to California.
In the morning I made pop tarts with our fire and they weren't nearly as delicious as I remember them being when I was little.
Did my taste buds change that much? I used to love those things, but now they were way too sweet for me.
After a long drive through nothing we found a nice cafe out of the blue. I don't know where we were or what it was called, but they were playing good music and had some hot drinks and a cookie that looked like an octopus.
After driving a little farther we finally made it to the "Avenue of the Giants" which we had been looking forward to the whole day. It has all of the biggest trees I have ever seen! And it smells great. And there were awesome clovers all over the ground. But, it was all too magical and I forgot to take many photos.
Near the forest there was a shallow stream which was warm enough to get into but cool enough to wake us up.
We jumped in, woke up, and drove some more until we could find a place to camp out again. Where we ate more ramen (but still not getting sick of it at all)!
We woke up again with super tenthead (like bedhead but crazier).
Then we were able to finally drive the last bit of the way back through California with just enough time to drop off Patrick at his sister's house and return our car in San Francisco. That night we were playing at a cool event at a super hip Asian restaurant with our friend's RF and Lili de la Mora.
That night I learned a new phrase, "Hollywood Headlining." It means playing last, but really late on a weeknight. Thanks to all of the people who stuck around for us! You are awesome! And, a lot more people were down watching us go on after midnight on a Tuesday than I expected.
After the show we were beat and hurried back to Ryan (RF)'s house to get some well deserved sleep.
Also, I finally found a sweater that day! I had been freezing every night because I forgot to bring one from Japan. For a while I have been hoping to start a new style theme called "postal" for a lot of different conceptual reasons.
So, I was so excited when I found this USPS sweater.
Unfortunately it was XL sized, but that ended adding to its charm in the end.
First I should start off telling you about Ryan.
He is a super nice and funny guy. But, also crazy talented and professional. Maybe you caught him at some point on tour with Joanna Newsome. He plays the guitar (among many other instruments)for her.
I hung out with him at various times when he has been in Japan , with Joanna and with his own project Rf. And, almost every time has lead to some type of adventure. For example, the first time we met we snuck into some club only to find out they were having a goth party with a caped DJ and everything! But, we stuck it out and ended up dancing like crazy because it was just then that I remembered that goth kids love the Cure too, and upon request the floor was getting burned up!
So, I was too excited to see what the three days of hanging out would bring.
This was the first time I could see him in America (i.e. not on tour) so it was interesting to see how he works. He doesn't have a normal 9-5 job, but he does some design and developing work from home. So, from the morning he kind of locked himself up in his room and got all of his work done for the day. I need to learn how to do that! During that time Yoshimi and I took a long walk around his neighborhood in Berkley. It is such a beautiful place! There is a huge rock with a beautiful view.
It is on a big hill and just below it we found a super delicious Italian deli where we had a huge lunch to make up for 3 days of ramen . We also finished off a whole bottle of wine which made the long hike back up the hill a little harder than we had hoped.
After we got back Ryan drove us down to Santa Cruz to meet his new girlfriend, Mirandy. I don't know if it was the wine or the hike or both, but we were both exhausted by the time we got there. And, it looked like they needed a little alone time too, so she showed us to the room where we were staying for the night. Yoshimi worked on an illustration for upcoming small exhibit in Portland and I dozed off quick. When I woke up she had made this (theme for the exhibit was to make something about your favorite clothes, so she did it about her raincoat).
It was totally awesome waking up late and well rested at Mirandy's place in Santa Cruz. She has an amazing garden which we raided for food for our breakfast. She gave us some scissors and told us to go cut some stuff to eat. But, since we had both never cut vegetables from a garden before, we weren't exactly sure which ones we could eat at first. But, then we found some spinach, and it was on. I got all up on it like Popeye in need of a fix.
Here is Yoshimi in the garden.
After that we went into town and I found a samba whistle that was red which made my day. Then they took us to the beach which looked beautiful from the cliff.
I decided that if I was ever going to get into the ocean on this trip, it was probably my only chance. So, I stripped down to my undies, bit my lip and fell into the cold waves.
I didn't last long out there though, because it was too cold and I didn't want to get sick.
On the way home, we stopped off for some groceries and bought Santa Cruz Organic Cola which I used to love when I lived in Louisville. But, it tastes even better in Santa Cruz! We ate some more food from the garden, and Yoshimi and I decided that we would have to plant some plants when we got back to Japan (editors note: now we have spinach, basil, rucola, and one tangerine).
For the day's grand finale, I found out that Mirandy is a volunteer firefighter, so she let me wear her uniform when I watered the garden. Awesome!
When we got back to San Francisco in the night Tim's roommate was playing drums at an Afro-disco event in the mission. So we decided to check it out and dance it up. It was fun, but the real highlight was having some burritos afterwards. Mission burritos!
In the afternoon we went to visit Sean Talley again at his work. He is really one of my favorite artists so I was so excited to get to hang out with him some many times this trip. Just outside of his work we found Quickly which is a bubble (tapioca ball) milk tea place we go to a lot in Nagoya. It is from Taiwan really, but the one in Nagoya is pretty good too. The one in San Francisco wasn't quite as delicious, but it was still better than nothing. After that Sean took us to some very mysterious pirate store. I don't know who shops here really, but there was a funny quote from David Byrne, one of my heroes, in there. It read "Definitely one of the best pirate stores I have visited recently."
After that we tried to visit the latest art exhibit by Kyle, who is the brother of megamoog, and also the mastermind behind . Unfortunately the gallery was closed, so we had to settle with just peeping through the window.
Then we hiked up a giant hill to Tim's house to have a BBQ.
It was the first time I ever saw anyone make homemade salsa before. Now, it is the only kind I can eat!
And, I mentioned here before that Tim is a furniture builder, so he used some of his scrap wood to build a fire. And then we tried to cook fish on a hinoki (Japanese Cedar) board.
But, it kind of tasted like a bathtub (if you go to Japanese hot springs with outside tubs, they are usually made from hinoki). But, it looked really nice. And, with the proper amount of beer to wash down, it was totally edible!
We missed booked our flight and ended staying on the West Coast an extra day, even though my parents were already in New York waiting for us.
But, since we were stuck in San Francisco, we decided that we should take it slow before going to New York, because we both think that place is crazy.
So Ryan took us to the Golden Gate bridge, which was huge and windy.
Then we visited some small coastal scenic spot across from it where I tried to hop across some rocks in the sea to get to a whale statue for a tourist photo, only to slip in! Luckily Ryan had some flip flops he let me borrow while my shoe dried out.
Finally he dropped us off at the airport where we waited for our overnight flight to New York. We were both excited to see what would happen over there. And, also, of course, excited to see my parents for the first time in a while too!