Capturing the density of mystery that defines my golden California feels a bit like setting a mousetrap to catch an elephant. Over the next several days I'll make many such attempts though, as the practice is as engrained in my nature as the bear in the California state flag.
On the flight home, after performing my customary post-travel routine (listing my favorite memories on the back of my boarding pass while fighting tears), I realized my previous list of travel principles could use a few adjustments. It's one thing to make said list while sitting on your couch, and quite another to mentally create a similar list while embedded in an authentic travel experience.
2. Embrace unconventional methods of documentation
4. Remember the idea of a totem? I discovered succulents and cool plants are included in my list.
5. Don't hold back or squelch an overwhelming desire to run, skip, cartwheel, yell or sigh when beholding a place of overwhelming magnificence. Let irrepressible awe explode to the surface
6. Parallel parking is rarely optional
7. If you love a place, buy stuff to commemorate it
9. If you love it, post it, regardless of how many "likes" are in the forecast
10. Drink local beer, wine and coffee whenever possible
12. Remember that a photo never does justice to the real thing. Ever.