In June 2011 I made my first trip to the West Coast with a great group of friends. Not only did we spend four days in Seattle drawing and painting, but we plane hoped and took a ten day drip to San Francisco as well. During our adventure each day we were able to explore the array of sites that the city had to offer such as the beautiful Botanical Gardens, Fisherman's Wharf, The Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Sausalito, and the Disney Museum. Up until that point in my life and being in my late 20's at the time I had not ventured past the Midwest blaming it mainly on my fear of flying. Quickly realizing that way of thinking was greatly limiting my experiences as a person and an artist I bit the bullet and hopped along!
Growing up two thing's stuck out the most in my head when I thought of this west coast city; the tremendous hills and the Golden Gate Bridge. I attribute my fantasy of riding up and down those hills on the trolley to the Rice a Roni commercials I use to see when I was about four years old. Naturally, I had to put it on my bucket list and my teacher must have been privy to that for I got my wish on the first day. There I was in the pouring rain sitting at the end of the trolley row as my friends and I were covered in plastic uncomfortable ponchos I watched and felt the trolley climb up that massive hill slowly. Believe me at the time you could not tell me that I wasn't going to fall from it for in my mind it just didn't seem possible for it to make it up the hill! Once it did my question was if it would fly back down like a roller coaster and the more I thought the more my stomach was starting to turn as we got closer and closer to the top. Glancing to my friends some of whom were drawing other passengers, sipping on coffee and engaging in conversation with each other I diverted my eyes back to the top of the hill. It was almost as if my eyes had me believing that there was nothing after the top of that hill and that we would simply fall off once we got to it. Rest assured all was fine and we did make it up and down the hill in a pretty moderate speed and nothing too alarming. Phew!
Maybe my reaction was a little over the top and dramatic but after that first ride and when the rain subsided I found the views from those steep hills to be quit remarkable and one of a kind.
With a dream to drive up the coast on Highway One I plan to make that happen this summer when I visit San Diego in June! To be honest it can't come quick enough so until then I will keep dreaming until I get on that plane!-Danielle