socal sojourn

I’m not really a huge fan of socal. I think I’ve mentioned that before. I mean, there are some great things going for socal. There’s an abundance of awesome food down there, some stuff which is not really available up here. The beaches down there are great, not like the cold water beaches we have up in northern California. But man, the traffic makes going down there unbearable. Usually if I go down to socal, I try to fly, but this time around I was late booking a flight, so I made the long drive down instead.

1200 miles. That’s how many miles I ended up driving this weekend. 1200 miles in some pretty ridiculous traffic, because Interstate 5 has been under some major construction, being closed to one lane in many places. So the drive was pretty miserable, but in the end it was totally worth it.

What usually brings me down to socal nowadays is a wedding, which happens about once per year. This time the wedding I was going to happened to coincide with my friend Paul’s birthday. Plus James and Joseph were in town for a different wedding, so I had a good time just seeing old friends, both at the wedding and for Paul’s birthday bash.

Paul had a whole day of activities planned on Friday. First we went out to Newport beach and hung around the beach for a bit before renting stand up paddle boards. I fell in like three or four times before following the advice of the guy we rented the boards from. You’re supposed to look at the horizon instead of looking down at your feet. I started looking down at the board, which caused me to lose balance. When I started to look ahead at the horizon I was able to keep my balance better. (That’s probably a good bible study analogy, I think I’ll try to remember that for the future.) I’m not sure why they call these stand up paddle boards, obviously the most comfortable and coolest way to use them is lying down…

Afterwards we hit up Chuck-E-Cheeses for Paul’s birthday. It was actually pretty fun. Surprisingly they serve beer there. I ended up buying a round for everyone, and as I gave my credit card to the cashier I thought, “Man did I really just buy beer at Chuck-E-Cheeses?!!” It turns out it’s actually a great place to go to drink responsibly. They swipe everybody’s driver’s license and limit everyone to exactly one beer per hour. The night continued with laser tag. For the second game of laser tag the Davis peeps all played protect the VIP, allowing Paul to blow away the high score for the day.

On Saturday I kinda felt like a bum. I had a whole load of stuff in my trunk (since I was helping Sam move some stuff to his new place in San Diego), and I was basically living out of my car for the day. I had crashed at Paul’s place in Irvine on Thursday and Friday night and would be heading to Sam’s place on Saturday night, but the wedding I was going to was in Glendale. I had forgotten to bring gel and shaving stuff, so I ended up going to a Target in Glendale just before the wedding. After shaving and putting on gel in the Target bathroom, I really really felt like a bum…

I didn’t bring my SLR (my good lens was in the shop being repaired anyways) so I only took one picture with my cellphone. It was good seeing old Korean friends again. If anything I should head down to socal again to hang out with Korean peoples and eat Korean foods… It seems like most of my Korean friends are leaving Davis- even Bcho, who’s been here forever, will probably leave soon…

I spent Saturday and Sunday nights in San Diego at Sam’s place. We went to the shore and drove around La Jolla and chilled on the beach for a bit. We visited Sam’s church- the worship band there was incredible, apparently the lead singer sang at the Urbana conference the last couple of years.

I ate a lot of Mexican food, including these carne asada fries. Apparently they were more or less invented at the place we had them. It was a pretty huge platter, I could only finish about half of it.

On Monday I made the drive back up towards Davis along with Stanley. We decided to stop in downtown LA on our way back. We hit up the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art.) Then I realized I don’t like contemporary or modern art. I like landscapes- apparently this is a landscape in contemporary art.

The caption made me more confused. When I look at a beautiful landscape I get a certain feeling– I definitely don’t get that feeling when looking at a canvas that’s pretty much blank…

The MOCA had two branches. Since we were cheap Asians we needed to get our money’s worth and hit up both. The second branch was running an exhibition on dirt or something. There were a ton of random piles of dirt on the ground. The only thing I liked from this branch of the MOCA was this piece, which was like a crop circle suspended from the ceiling. No picture taking was allowed so I snuck in a cellphone shot while the guard’s back was turned.

We also did a quick tour of the Walt Disney Concert hall (since it was free… and since we were cheap Asians.) I actually enjoyed this a lot. In high school I wanted to be an architect, and actually took a few semesters of architecture. I was a big fan of Frank Gehry, so seeing one of his more famous creations was pretty cool. They had an audio tour in which he talked about some of his thought processes behind the design of the building. Very cool.

During our drive back up we stopped for dinner at Pea Soup Andersen’s. It was a good break from a miserable drive– There were many spots where construction brought highway 5 down to one lane, so it took forever to get back home. But in the end I guess I’d do it again, I had a pretty weekend sojourn in socal.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • good times with old friends
  • friends who let me crash on their couch and guide us around town

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