Adventures in the Lone Star State

Vacation in the South Land

Boy, if anybody can believe it, I’ve barely spent any time on the computer during these past three weeks. The first week of August, I spent time in California with Diane. She flew down at the beginning of the week and I showed her around the area. We spent some time in L.A., San Diego, and Orange County (I thought about abbreviating it as LA, SD, and OC, but I thought that is lame).

I picked her up Monday afternoon at John Wayne airport. It was pretty funny because a few days previously we had talked about how the reunion was going to be. I told her that it should be like in My Best Friend’s Wedding where Julia Roberts runs into the arms of her best friend (and then has an awkward moment where attempts to kiss him, but he shoots her down—we were going to modify that ending). Anyway, the real greeting didn’t really happen like that. Diane was riding the escalator down and I waited for her at the bottom with a bouquet of flowers. As she approached me, this random guy started asking us weird questions and pretty much killed the moment. Oh well, I was happy to see her and I’m glad that the three months apart had ended.

Since we had some time to kill before dinner, we headed down to Laguna Beach and walked around Main Beach and the little shops. After a couple of hours on the beach, we headed home where Diane got to meet mom and dad. I’m sure it was an exciting moment for everybody since they had never met her and I had never brought a girl home before. Grandma had prepared some enchiladas as part of an authentic Mexican dinner. I had to laugh a little bit because Diane and I had joked about my “Mexican-ess” previously and here she was having a Mexican meal for dinner. I should have told mom and dad to decorate the house differently to give her a little scare.

Los Angeles

I hope that I’m able to remember everything that Diane and I did. I thought that I had some pictures on my camera, but I guess not. I’m writing this entry on the drive home with Diane’s parents (we’re leaving Lake Chelan and heading back to Redmond). Diane’s staying until Wednesday because I’m going to be in Kennewick for the next few days. In case you’re wondering, the ride home has been pretty quiet. Nancy (Diane’s mom) has been gathering her thoughts for a talk and Clair (Diane’s dad) is quietly driving. I’m not really talking either…just typing away on the keyboard, so you can hear the clicks from the keys.

Since Diane has only been to California once (this past Memorial weekend), I decided to give her a whirlwind tour of the South Land. We started by going to the Getty museum; it was fun to have a cultural stop, but I was okay with only staying for a couple of hours. Museums tend to bore me if I’m there more than two hours. I wanted to take her to this supposedly excellent hamburger restaurant (I read about it in GQ a few months ago). Anyway, I couldn’t remember the name of the place, so we stopped at In-N-Out a few miles down the road. The LA temple happened to be only a couple of miles away, so we made that our next stop. The visitor’s center was closed for renovation, so we just took a stroll around the grounds, which are huge.

2:30pm – Not that anybody cares, but Toby just puked in the car and it smells worse than normal (he has bad breath to begin with). I hope my backpack doesn’t smell (he’s resting his head on it). I’m going to take a break because now I feel sick…

Santa Monica pier was the next stop on our journey. The pier was fun because it’s like a mini carnival. I was hoping to see some sort of street performance at the end of the pier (like I had the last time that I visited SM pier), but there was no show, just a bunch of Mexicans fishing. Boy, I think I’ve used the word Mexican more in this blog entry than I have ever used the word in my whole life. Back to the pier…I thought that it would be fun to ride the little rollercoaster; I had never done it and I always wanted to. Needless to say, it was very exhilarating, but the little kids on the ride made it fun (average age was probably 5). It was kinda funny because you went around two times before you got off. I guess that’s because the ride was so short.

While on the plane, I read on article about SM pier and Venice beach. I didn’t realize that they’re so close together. It recommended taking a bike or something and going from SM to Venice (a 2.5 mile trip one way). We found a bike rental shop (very poorly run, in case you’re wondering) and got a tandem bike. It was quite the experience. It was my first time getting on one and it was super trippy! It felt so weird to have additional weight on my rear end. I struggled at first to keep my balance, but once we got going it was okay. I managed not to crash, which is more than Diane can say (we both took turns in the front). We had a near collision with a man and Di also took us into sand, which sent us flying off the bike (very funny to watch).

Venice beach isn’t really that exciting. They have a bunch of freaks doing stuff on the boardwalk and there are some “modern” houses. Those were interesting to look at, but I can say that I don’t really care much for the area. The original muscle beach was cooler than the new one (located about a mile down the beach).

We finished riding our bikes around 5:00 pm and I didn’t want to drive back home because I knew that we’d be stuck in rush hour traffic. Instead, we drove to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Talk about super nice homes and cars! We got to the point that Porsches were “bleh” because we saw so many Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghini’s, etc. The houses were pretty, but well enclosed, thus making it difficult to see the whole property. I felt extra poor driving my explorer down some of the street because the “cheap” cars were BMW 750i’s.

We didn’t spend much time in Hollywood because it was getting late. I wanted to show Diane the Hollywood sign and go down Hollywood Blvd. (where all awards shows are held). The problem was that I had no idea where the Hollywood sign was. Fortunately, I was able to look it up online (on my Treo) and we managed to see the sign before it got too dark. The best thing about Hollywood was the French Crepe Co. The crepes we had were sooo good! We both got a strawberry crepe with butter and sugar. I’ll have to go there again when I’m in the area.

August 25th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

One Response to “Vacation in the South Land”

  1. Diane Says:

    1. It would have been lame if you abbreviated LA, SD and OC, but I think you made it worse by mentioning that detail.

    2. Decorating your house more Mexican-like would have been hilarious.

    3. It is so classic that Toby puked in the car. But I’m sad that he didn’t leave a very good impression on you…I really wanted you to like him…

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