Thursday, September 09, 2010

This ain't no country club, this is LA.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled England post-trip coverage to bring you a report on my recent travel to Los Angeles. My brother and sister-in-law unexpectedly and suddenly packed up and moved from Detroit to Los Angeles only a month ago when he got a sweet offer from a rocket engineering firm called SpaceX. Yeah, you read that right. ROCKET ENGINEERING. My brother: he is pretty badass. Also, at his job they get free soda, coffee, and frozen yogurt. Free fro-yo, people!

Since the move was so sudden, my sister-in-law didn't have a job lined up so while she looks for ministering opportunities, Mom and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and spend some time in sunny LA. I was there about 15 years ago (yikes) when I was a sophomore in high school. On that visit I stayed with a friend who lived in the downtown area and mostly what I remembered was it being brown and very very hot. Lucky for me, Bill and Amanda settled in the Redondo Beach area, only a few miles from the beach. This meant high temperatures of around 75, sunny skies, and lovely morning fog known as the marine layer.

Not one to sit around on my ass (HAHA! Sarcasm, you dig?), Amanda and I hiked every morning with and without the puggle, Newton. We even convinced my brother to come with us one morning, as we hiked along the bluffs in Ranchos Palos Verdes. It was too foggy to see all the way to Catalina, but there's nothing like standing on a cliff, the Pacific ocean spreading out before you, with a cool breeze on your brow.

One of my favorite things that we did was visit the La Brea tar pits. Despite my Dad's assistance that we stop by the volcano that's nearby (he has trouble separating movies from reality sometimes), the pits were just as advertised. Big pools full of bubbling tar. I'm definitely spoiled by the Smithsonian, but the museum was actually really cool. A lot of people, including me, assume that the tar pits trapped dinosaurs, but the truth is the animals recovered from its depths are from the ice age only 25,000 years ago. Think saber tooth cats and dire wolves. Also, mammoths! And did you know that LA was once home to lions?? I didn't , but there you go. An educational vacation. Oh, also? Saber tooth cats are fucking SCARY, dude. Those teeth are big.

But my most favoritest thing of all was spending time with my family and friends, be it sitting on the couch watching movies, cooking s'mores over the firepit in the backyard, sitting down to one of Amanda's amazing home-cooked meals, or hitting the Redondo pier with my LA-based friends, Patrick and Rosa. Coming on the heels of my constantly on the move England trip, it was kind of nice to take things a bit slower. I spent hours just sitting in the sun in the backyard reading, a dog at my feet. It don't get much better than that, folks.

Now I'm back home, back at work, and thinking ahead to the next trip: Las Vegas over Columbus Day weekend. But there's a touch of fall in the air and if I stand on the balcony and close my eyes, it's almost like being back on that California cliff. Oh, and I could definitely get used to the idea of a California casual wardrobe.

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