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Entries in Los Angeles (4)

Wednesday
Jan202010

An amazing end to the first leg of a very long trip

 


Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

 

If you thought I wasn’t lucky enough to get two bluebird days in one ski session, you were wrong – although the second evening of snow was merely a trace, it was still a gorgeous sunny day and I count it.

I took a day off between ski days to relax and allow myself to recover from the first full day back on the slopes since last season. Fortunately, I didn’t need the rest too much as I was surprisingly, not that sore. I slept in late while Dan worked and then he accompanied me on a quick drive into Invermere. The trip was originally intended to catch some photos of some gorgeous scenery I had passed on the way into town the night before, but after getting all the way down the mountain, I realized that I forgot the SD card for my camera… awesome.

So we decided to just chill out a bit. We walked out on Lake Lillian where they had a cute skating rink banked off with snow (although the rink was not skatable as it was mostly covered in snow). After that we drove down to the main lake in Invermere (Lake Windermere) and then drove ON the lake. I was quite a bit nervous at first but Dan coached me through it and we drove out as far as another small 2 wheel drive car. We walked around skated a bit farther out and then the novelty wore off and we drove right back off. What was really cool about this lake was that there is actually a legitimate road that drives right across the middle and where we were parked (on the water) there was an ice hockey rink, a fishing hole, a bonfire pit and an ice garden set up by the park association. There was also a cross country skiing track setup around the perimeter. Really cool.

After we left the lake, we picked up some items at the grocery store for our contribution to Alana’s going away pot luck later in the evening, picked up a hitchhiker (aka one of Dan’s friends) and drove back up to Pano.

Alana is one of Dan’s friends who actually stayed with my parent’s when they did the cross-country drive from Pano to North Carolina and I had heard wonderful things about her. She is moving back home and so some friends put together a little pot luck going away party. Dan and I decided that our contribution needed to be nothing other than… queso. I actually found Velveeta at the supermarket and ghetto rigged up some ro-tel. It was a huge hit and I thought, a very clever contribution to the evening :)

The night ended relatively early after a really nice house party and we all prepared ourselves for a long day of skiing ahead.

We woke up around 9:30 and got dressed quickly to be on the mountain at 10. Dan, Emma, another friend, Harper, and I all met up to ski down some runs before meeting up with Nick and Alister at the base at noon. It was a really fun crowd and we had a great time. The snow was still pretty great and we hiked a bit further down Taynton Bowl to the very end, a run called Whitetail, which was a bit steeper than B1st but immensely shorter. I got some excellent skiing advice from Nick, who coaches on the mountain, and I started to feel a lot more comfortable with the double blacks (just in time for another year long skiing hiatus). We skied all day but never really tired and were greeted at home with another amazing hot meal prepared by one of Dan’s roomie’s, Amy. Tonight, a chicken curry, which was warm and delicious and exactly what I needed.

We took a quick dip in the hot tub before heading to watch Alister play in a broomball game played up on the frozen over tennis courts. The game was hilarious; it’s basically a more formalized version of the street hockey we used to play with a soccer ball back home. Short broom sticks with a flat end and a soccer ball kicked and swatted back and forth between tipsy employees slipping all over the place on the fresh ice. So much fun.

From there we packed up my car and drove back up to the T Bar for “Jam Night” which was basically an open mic night with a full band setup. In theory, it would have been really cool, but apparently, the main guy who runs it was not there this night, so it was a bit disorganized. Dan brought his drum set, and we had some songs lined up to sing and play (Harper plays a bit of electric guitar, with Dan on drums and me singing) but the highlight of the evening ended up being when we plugged Dan’s iPod into the overhead speakers and he accompanied a little Soulja Boy and Lady Gaga with his drumming magnificence. Definitely a fun night.

I left the bar around 12:30 to begin my drive to Calgary. The drive was really pretty boring. The conditions were great, clear skies, not too much snow left on the roads. The only issue was really fog, which wasn’t terrible, but just patchy in parts. The only thing that really happened was at about 2:30 when I hit a patch of fog and then suddenly saw a VERY large silhouette inside it. I slammed on my brakes and came to a halt about 10 yards from a gigantic female moose. She looked at me and then took off up the mountain to my left, but needless to say, I was a bit more careful looking for wildlife for the rest of the drive.

I got to Calgary about 4:30 and parked outside a Comfort Inn to pick up wifi and check on the carry on allowances at the airport. Unfortunately, the websites for both Continental and the Calgary airport were not exactly accurate. I’m going to type up a separate post detailing exactly what went down, and will provide a link here when I finish that up. Summary story, I ended up having to throw away a bunch of stuff in my laptop bag because I couldn’t take it on to the plane with me. I almost missed my flight out of Calgary, as a result, but didn’t, thankfully. I flew from Calgary to Houston, had a quick layover and then flew to Orlando (yes… opposite of the direction I wanted to go) and then to Los Angeles, finally. The amazing Lauren Rudy picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach for some dinner and a couple beers. I had originally planned on staying up all night tonight to get on Japan time a little early, but I think that since I didn’t sleep last night and only for about 5 hours today, that I’m probably already screwed up enough to avoid jet lag completely. So I am off to bed.
Tomorrow, I head to Okinawa. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. This is going to be a big step for me in terms of culture shock. But I’m ready. Asia, here I come!

XOXO

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Now playing: The Young Dubliners - Rocky Road To Dublin
via FoxyTunes

 

Tuesday
Dec152009

I'm back in Okiehomie and ready for some R&R


Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

I am back in Oklahoma finally, after an amazing roadtrip and a great staff meeting in Los Angeles. Sam put me up in Long Beach and (even though she was deathly ill) was the best host I could have asked for. I got to meet the infamous Tiffanie and spent time with all the old regulars. Patrick, Mike, Jen, Anthony, Marissa, Liz, even Larry (*cough*) were super excited to hang out and we had a great time doing the usual (aka drinking beer, watching football and playing rockband - best life ever).

E2's staff meeting was in Seal Beach on Thursday and Friday and was relatively uneventful. We had a good (Long) meeting at the hotel and a gorgeous dinner and gift exchange at McKenna's on the Bay in Alamitos. For once, Jeff and I actually held it together and I made it up and chipper in time for the 8:00 EMIS meeting on Friday (miracle!).

Unfortunately, I started to feel sick about half way through the staff meeting. I've been fighting this one off for a couple weeks knowing that there was no way I could get sick in the car. So I decided to fly back to Tulsa early and let the mom take care of me. I hate to miss the LB Christmas Parade :( but I'll just have to go back again for it next year!

Tulsa is... well... Tulsa. I haven't told anyone I'm home, which has been nice since I really need to get some sleep and get caught up on all things life before I head out of the country forever. Update in a few weeks once I have my next trip figured out!

XOXO

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Now playing: Alice in Chains - I Stay Away
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Monday
May042009

I try to try, and I live to live


Vancouver to LALocation: Hollywood, California, USA

I woke up yesterday somewhere in Oregon, which was another beautiful gem to add to my list of unknown states. It had rained some more but now was relatively patchy. Everything was incredibly green because of the fresh moisture and as we wound through the mountains, the light mist turned to light snow. There wasn’t much of it, but it was just enough to flock the trees and dust the roads. It was extremely picturesque coming down into the valley. Then right as we came out of our Christmas tree farm, right in front of us is Mt. Shasta. Now, I had heard of this little bump in the ground before, but NEVER did I expect this. It’s is this GIANT volcano that juts out of the middle of nowhere. There are no other mountains touching it and it is just surrounded by grassland and pine trees. Completely snow peaked and surrounded by some clouds, it looked like a painting. Unfortunately, Herr Brian (aka nazi) wouldn’t pull over to let me take a picture because he said we were running too far behind, so I snapped what I could from inside the car and onward we continued.

It was probably about this point that we ran out of music on my iPod as well. I have about 2000 songs on there, which I guess lasts about 80 hours, because that’s where we were. Not good. So we decide to do a little Chris Cornell marathon and play everything I have before the show.

We continue down central California through the central valley, Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. We pass hundreds of acres of cherry trees, avocado trees, orange trees, grapes, lettuce, almonds… pretty much everything. But that’s really all there was. It was relatively boring and redundant. Traffic started to pick up as we passed San Francisco and so did the winds which made it hard to drive a consistent speed. As we got close to LA, I took over driving again and led us into the city. We drove straight to the Wiltern in Hollywood, grabbed some PBR and a bag of chips and parked in the covered garage to change clothes and have a snack.

We walked into the Wiltern about 3 minutes before Chris went on stage. We grabbed a quick beer and ran in just in time to hear the beginning. It was one of the greatest shows I’ve seen, such an honor to watch such an amazing rock legend do his thing. And absolutely the perfect ending to the best and longest road trip any human has ever attempted in one weekend. Brian and I swung by the SM Apartment to pick up my mattress and Tinsley and then I dropped him off in Belmont Shore and headed to my own little pad for a much needed nap. And that’s that… the end of an incredible trip… And definitely one I’ll never forget.

Vancouver, BC, Canada --> Long Beach, CA
Miles travelled: 1319
Time travelled: 24 hours

XOXO

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Now playing: Curtis Peoples - Country Road
via FoxyTunes

Sunday
Dec162007

California... Here I COME!!!

map LALocation: Los Angeles, CA, USA

So LA has been fabulous. Tuesday and Wednesday, me and Emma drove around and looked at apartments. We went to the BCBG offices to look at where she is going to work and I took her to Santa Monica and Hollywood to show her the sights. Tuesday night we went to dinner at this cute restaurant called Ketchup where we had some wonderful truffle and crab meat macaroni and cheese. It was amazing!! We also made an appearance at Les Deux and Winston's. We met some great people and I can't wait until we get to move out here in June!!

The Christmas party for EDSG was fantastic as well. We went to a really nice restaurant in Laguna called Mastro's Ocean Grill and the food was WONDERFUL. We had a nice gift exchange and ate a ton of food. Of course the company was great as well :)

I'm currently back in Westwood at Katy's apartment. We're about to go see Juno and eat some Mexican food (my last for a LONG time). I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow. I still feel like I have so much to catch up on before I get there!!

I won't be updating tomorrow (most likely) because I will just be flying all day. My plane leaves at noon and arrives in London on Monday morning at 9 AM. I'll do my best to make an update then or at least that night. Yay!!

XOXO

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Now playing: Incubus - Just A Phase
via FoxyTunes