And now, dear reader, we near the end of the Rookie Road Trip. After exploring eerie Eureka and before soaring into sunny San Francisco, we ogled obscene Oakland. (I am really proud of those alliterations and spent the whole week developing them.) The vintage store and beauty salon Down at Lulu’s had good cheerleading skirts and good PINK STUFF EVERYWHERE:

Our SF meet-up had quantity and quality! So many people, all so nice and happy to see one another. If this was a MasterCard commercial, or the episode of Lizzie McGuire that ends with her throwing toilet paper with her mom and a voiceover parody of a MasterCard commercial, I would say this: Bi-Rite ice cream, four dollars. The guitar one girl brought to play, probs some money. The REAL LIVE CAT another girl brought to play with, probs some money. Bonding and hanging and talking and hugging and all-around good vibes and nice people, PRICELESS.

Cute ladies!

More cute ladies, who are all in a feminism club at their school!

And we finally got to meet one of our illustrators, Leanna.

There were a LOT of people.

Sigh, what a loving group. I really loved how everyone else in Dolores Park was confused by this parade of girls in crowns. And once again, I sang the troll lullaby, and everyone joined in. That night, I stayed with my friend who was visiting California from back home, but the rest of the Road Trippers hung out with Rookie diarist Dylan and allegedly had lots of fun. (I believe it.) We watched Almost Famous, and I realized that once William’s in high school, it’s possible the whole movie could have NOT HAPPENED AT ALL! You know how he listens to Tommy with a candle burning when he’s little because his sister said he would “see [his] entire future”? And then there’s the sequence transitioning into his future? Isn’t it plausible that the transition is just like, him seeing his future, like That’s So Raven, and the whole rest of the movie is just his imagination? I mean, obviously it’s not supposed to be that way, but IT WORKS. THINK ABOUT IT.

There needs to be a different word for “driving” when you’re driving to Big Sur, because it is entirely different from driving to any other destination. Highway 1 is right on the coast, and it’s twisty and turny and green and blue, and the ocean is, as one would expect, sort of beautiful.

Petra and me when we all got out to take it all in.

Our get-together was at the Henry Miller Memorial Library, the perfect venue for a cozy last meet-up. We talked about LARPing, and people showed off their special talents.

Here we are, bitchfacing.

We got to stay with the very hospitable man who runs the library, Magnus, and his also hospitable wife, Mary Lou. They were so hospitable! And Magnus already knew the troll lullaby, because he’s Swedish! So we bonded over that. Mary Lou made a delicious dinner. At night we went to the hot springs. Big Sur was very hard to leave.

The view from the house. I am standing in a bunch of lavender, surrounded by no-sting bees, and miraculously not freaking out.

Now we’re in Los Angeles, and tomorrow our installation/show/pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty opens, and our week of fun will begin. You can see the full list of events and times here. It will be a beautiful sea of hormones and probably many crowns. Here’s Petra, excited about the Hattie-designed T-shirts that just arrived. (You’ll be able to buy them here online in a few weeks!)

Shout-out, also, to our London readers who organized their own meet-up, which looks like it was SO MUCH FUN. I wish we coulda driven across the ocean and joined you all!

So, I guess the on-the-road part of the Rookie Road Trip is over. I’m not prepared to reflect on any of this yet, and will wait until our events here in L.A. are over to even try. Meanwhile I shall link you to this song and, consequently, remind you of fifth grade. ♦