Vacancy


Waterfalls and Mountains and Snow… Oh My!

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on July 18, 2010

Snow? In July? Yessir, you were not mistaken… there was snow – in abundance – at Yosemite. So much so that we couldn’t camp at the sites we had planned on initially because the water levels were still too high. This meant waking up at 6am to wait in line for a canceled reservation (otherwise we’d have to sleep on the side of the road with the wildlife!), it also meant fierce waterfalls like you couldn’t imagine.

My first waterfall

The water was so intense that in order for me to capture the river below I had to walk away from the falls otherwise my camera would have been soaked…
The river at the bottom of the waterfall

The second day we were there, Clare and I headed up Tioga Road to check out the snow keeping us from camping at a higher (aka cooler) elevation. On the way up the road we saw lots of things worth talking about… like a baby bear!

The coolest part of traveling is seeing all sorts of creatures, people included… in their natural state; having the opportunity to see a powerful wild animal such as a bear, in their natural environment was the highlight of Yosemite. In this photo it’s a bit hard to see the bear but we didn’t want to get too close considering that we could hear Mama bear in the woods breaking tree branches and sharpening her claws on tree bark…
Baby bear along Tioga road

Further down the road we got to the Lembert Dome… a mountain/large rock that the ranger suggested to people with absolutely zero hiking ability, aka us. This dome as they call it, was a lot of fun to climb up… about 10 minutes and a couple of rest stops later we were at the top looking at this…
360 of tioga road
(unfortunately the image is super long and not very tall but if you zoom in you can see everything a lot better.)

… Not to forget the image of me climbing to the top!
On the way up the rock

The feelings that developed while atop the Lembert Dome cannot be described with words.
Another view from the top

On the way back to Beetle Juice (that’s the Subaru’s name) we decided to get a little dirty and trek through the swamp like river… I guess that would be a meadow? I’m not sure but it was fun and felt amazing in the hot hot heat.
Clare and I crossing the river like champs

After our stay in Yosemite Clare and I decided to book it back to the eastern shore… We stopped one night in Salk Lake City, two in Colorado Springs then stayed in what we hoped would be a dodgy hotel in Wichita, Kansas but actually turned out to be a nice hotel (I guess this is where the monetary differences peer their heads, $60 for a hotel in NY gets you a cot in a roach infested closet… not so much in Kansas). Speaking of Kansas, avoid driving through this state at all costs, it is flat, it is boring and it is mind numbing.

Next stop Memphis…
For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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“A lil bit of ghetto and a lil bit of gay…”

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on July 10, 2010

… as Clare described Haight… a funky town in downtown San Francisco and my favorite part of the eclectic Northern California city. There we went thrifting (for the umpteenth time on this trip) at Crossroads Trading Company, Goodwill and Mission Thrift. Crossroads and Mission Thrift were obviously a bit more pricey than the gigantic Goodwill but the finds were undeniable. Below is a street in Haight which somewhat describes the ghetto/gay culture in this town… the barbed wire next to the graffiti and further down the road the colorful store fronts with gay pride slogans lining the door.

Haight, San Francisco

Another great find in San Francisco was Pat’s Cafe, a great little cafe just North of the Fisherman’s Wharf (Fisherman’s Wharf is where all of the “tourist” attractions are… cheesy novelty stores, Alcatraz souvenir shops and countless [aka mindlessly expensive] restaurants. After an amazing breakfast of granola, yogurt and fresh fruit with about 5 cups of coffee Clare and I headed to the Wharf for only a short time while waiting to board for the Alcatraz tour… All things considered; the huge crowds filled with overly rambunctious children and their neurotic parents a short time was enough to spend on the Wharf for travelers in San Francisco. Below are two images, the first was taken outside Pat’s Cafe, the second is an example of one of the corny attractions near the Wharf.

Pat's Cafe

We Can Do It!

After a much-anticipated wait, it was finally time to board the Alcatraz Cruise… Clare and I being the two scaredy-pants that we are were hyping this trip beyond reason. It turned out to be a nice cruise to a cool looking abandoned island… not a bit scary if you ask me.

Here is a photo I captured on the way to Alcatraz Island…
View from the Alcatraz Cruise

It was a crime of passion fashion… here I am in an open jail cell at Alcatraz wearing one of the items purchased at Goodwill.
Me in a jail cell at Alcatraz

To get an idea of how small the cells were…
Jail cell in Alcatraz

This building was where the officers would go to relax on their days off duty…
The abandoned rec room on Alcatraz Island

The view of the life prisoners were missing out on while serving time on Alcatraz Island…
View of San Francisco from Alcatraz

It wouldn’t be a trip to San Francisco if we didn’t check out Lombard Street aka San Francisco’s Crookedest Street. Not only was this street super crooked it was also quite steep but that didn’t stop us from trekking to the top to see the view… just imagine being the newspaper delivery boy! Good luck with that…

From the bottom…
Lombard Street from the bottom...

… to the top.
Lombard street from the top.

The last thing I have to say about San Francisco is… What’s the deal with the army of balancing scooter-ers?
An army of lazies...

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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“Are you happy right now?”… “I’m in California”

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on July 5, 2010

I’m pretty sure there’s a law in California stating that if you aren’t a happy person you can not reside in sunny LA.  I could confidently say that the majority of the people we ran into were radiating joy.  Another great aspect about this place was the diversity we saw walking the streets of Hollywood… The images below illustrate two types of people I had the opportunity to photograph along Hollywood Boulevard.

A Local from Hollywood

Another Local from Hollywood

While Hollywood was great to see, there were parts of it… many parts of it where you just couldn’t help but think ‘What the hell is going on right now?’  Such questioning is explicit in this image below.

Spiderman getting arrested...

After our trip to Hollywood Blvd (which as a side note, smelt a lot like New York City in 98 degree weather… just lovely) we decided to try and find the Hollywood sign.  This trip was a bit harder than we had ever imagined… each road led into the other and the presence of wild coyotes was not a rarity.  Nonetheless, the outcome was pretty cool.

At the Hollywood sign

The next stop was Robertson Boulevard where we quickly got into our roles as posh Californians.  We only walked the strip for a couple of minutes because the heat was incredible but as we walked back we did spot Angela Simmons, Rev Run’s daughter.  Today Angela is the developer of a shoe line, PastryShoes.
Angela Simmons

One of the not so great aspects of Los Angeles is the traffic.  One second you can feel like you’re flying and are making fantastic time and the next you’re slamming on your breaks, realizing that the road you’re merging onto looks like this…

LA Traffic

My favorite part of California was the drive out of Beverly Hills to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway… I was astonished as the the environment went from dessert to farm to mountains to ocean in a matter of 20 minutes… it was a great way to leave the city for northern Cali.

Along Pacific Coast Hwy in California

Cali-for-ni-a, a great place to visit…

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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What happens in Vegas…

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on July 4, 2010

… doesn’t always have to stay in Vegas.

‘You’ll have so much fun in Vegas’, ‘It’s sin city!’, ‘Best place to go when you’re looking for a good time’… and I’m sure it is if you’re a 35-year-old newly rich and single business man looking for an easy lay (because we all know that about 80% of the girls who throw themselves at men in Vegas are too drunk to realize what in fact is going on)… but for a 21-year-old traveler who had just been to the Grand Canyon the day before, and the day before that was staring up at a billion star filled sky; Las Vegas was nothing to sneeze at.

On the up and up… the lights were pretty at night and the show we went to was fantastic…
Margaritaville on the strip
After a day of fake Paris’ and business cards with naked insecurity plastered on the front and ‘Call Me xo’ on the back it was nice to get back on the road to some place else… (anywhere else)
Red Rock Canyon
Our first stop was the Red Rock Canyon not too far from the Vegas Strip… go figure.
Road to the Sunshine State...
The road from Nevada to where we were staying in California was long (to say the least) but beautiful…
Sunset at the edge of Nevada
For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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