Sunday, June 15, 2008

California Vacation

Even though it's way too late at night to be blogging, I figure I better at least start talking about our vacation before so much time passes that I completely forget what we did. We flew out of KC very early in the morning on the 3rd, which put us into LA in the mid morning. We actually caught the shuttle to our rental car company without any problem (as opposed to our last out-of-town trip to Miami), picked up our dorky looking Dodge Caliber, and headed towards Long Beach. My brother was working on the ESPN show Jim Rome is Burning for the day, and since it's shot in Westminster, we decided to head that direction so that we'd be closer to him when he got finished with work. While we waited for Eric, we had our first meal at In-N-Out Burger, then made our first visit to Trader Joe's, which is another California institution that my brother has always talked very fondly of. Let me just say that I love that store! They have so many unique and slightly bizarre food items, and I wanted to try just about everything I saw! For some reason I'm such a sucker for trying weird food. All of their food is very organic and healthy looking too, so that just made it doubly interesting for me! I totally wish we could shop there! We ended up buying a bag of almonds and a bag of cashews there that we ended up snacking on the entire week!

Anyway, after leaving Trader Joe's we headed south some more, and decided to stop and enjoy the beach for a while since the weather was so beautiful. We picked a nice little dog beach and stopped to enjoy the view, the sand and the doggies! It was a great place to walk around and enjoy the weather, relax and take some of our first non-airplane pictures on the trip! We probably would have stayed their longer except that we didn't have any change for the parking meter!

After leaving this beach, we continued south towards Huntington Beach, where we stopped at the main pier and watched some incredible sand volleyball players, watched a bunch of surfers, and took a long walk out over the ocean. The weather was so nice--cool but very sunny. After our walk we did a little shopping, and then headed back towards Long Beach to meet my brother.

After consolidating vehicles, Chad and Eric and I drove around Long Beach trying to figure out what we wanted to do. We chatted and saw the sites of the area and finally decided to stop and eat an early dinner at a place called RockBottom Brewery. Since Chad and I had gotten up at 2 a.m. California time that morning, we decided just to head back to Eric's apartment and relax after dinner. It was about an hour drive to Eric's, and my very kind brother gave us the parking spot at his complex (and also gave up his bed later that night!) and then proceeded to drive around his neighborhood for 20 minutes trying to find a spot for himself. We hung out with Eric and his roommate Seth (who happens to be a roommate of Chad's from college as well) for a little while and watched part of Mission Impossible III, but we didn't even finish the movie because we were so tired. We wanted to get up early again the next morning to start our drive, so I think we were in bed by 9:00! The only bummer about going to bed so early was that I didn't get get to spend quite as much quality time with my brother as I would have liked! I cherish every minute I can get with him!

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