My trip to Cali
2013-01-15, 8:22 p.m.
I left for California on the morning of December 26. Our flight was supposed to leave at 6 30, so we needed to be at the airport by 4 30. We didn't even board our flight until after 7, and when we got on the plane, it still didn't have any heat until we were around Vancouver. Which was perfect, as we landed in Seattle for a layover. Courtney had to go via San Francisco to get to LAX while I went straight through. SEA airport is super awesome and simple to navigate and I managed to find my gate on my own and board my flight with no problems. I even rode a little train that takes you between terminals.
So I got to LAX, and finally ended up outside, that place is INSANE, and the signage sucks. I saw my first palm tree, and had my first taste of California alone, which was kind of sad. But it seemed somewhat fitting that somebody like me would have a moment that felt big, alone. Darren's dad said that a good place to meet would be the McDonalds in the international airport, so I finally get there (he said it was about 3 house lengths away from the terminals that we would each get into) yeah... it was far. and an absolute gong show. So I thought I could just meet her at her gate and save the time. So I go to where I think her flight is going to come in, to find out that her flight has been delayed by 2 hours. So my 2 hours alone in LAX, turned into 4. I sat on the floor at what I thought would be her gate, and read for 2 hours. At this point I didn't want to stay in California, go to Disneyland or Santa Monica or anything, I wanted to go home. She called me as she got in, and we realized that she actually ended up coming in at the same terminal I came in, not where I had been sitting. We *finally* meet up and go get our rental car on a shuttle bus. That all goes smoothly, our reservations were fine, which is something I always worry about. I pull my GPS out of my bag all ready to put our hotel address in, and we figure out that California isn't on it. It has about 2/3 of the states, seemingly random. So we get directions to our hotel, which is only a few minutes from the airport and get situated. We go to a grocery store (Ralphs) and make some salads and get a few things, ask for directions to a wal mart to buy a gps. I never found wal mart, but we went to Best Buy, and I asked the guy if there was anything he could do to help me out, and he said to buy a GPS and then jsut return it, so I did exactly that. On our way back to the hotel we saw people golfing, at night, in December. I found this to be particularily amazing. We went to Target, and drove through a few "rougher" areas on our way back to our hotel. I loved it all just the same
So our plan for our first full day in Cali was to go to Huntington Beach and Long Beach. So I got onto the freeways and interstate highways for the first time (which in a Ford Fiesta is not a easy task, they drive fast and aggressive down there!) Huntington Beach was love at first site. It was warm, I was in flip flops in December, and it was bliss. The beach was amazing. There were real surfers all over. The pier was really neat too. You could see what looked like hundreds of surfers from up there. We walked up the main retail area, which I also loved. We then went to Carl's Jr for lunch, my first Carl's Jr. meal! The portions there are huge, if you don't specify that you want a smaller size, you get a 32 oz. "soda" with your meal. We went to Sally's beauty so I could get my sought after nail polish and to a liquor store so Courtney could find some coolers.
Long Beach was more a big city feel, and all I could think about was how badly I needed to pee. I finally pulled over in a loading zone so I could use a public bathroom. We then faced the challenge of finding free parking, or then any parking at all. Ended up just paying $8 for a parkade. While Courtney used the washroom I overheard an announcement on a loud speaker about a sun set cruise leaving right away for $12, I didn't think she'd be interested but she was really excited, so we took a boat ride around the area and saw some really cool land marks, like oil islands (oil rigging operations designed by disney or somebody to look like resorts as you pass by), as well as the Queen Mary ship, the submarine next to it and a bunch of other things. The sunset out on the ocean was pretty amazing. We were so happy and so relaxed out there. After the boat ride we walked around the pier, and had dinner at The Yard House. We weren't super far from the parkade, but it was this point that my foot started to hurt.
life - death