Go West, Young Woman!

I’m traveling this week!

To California.

In February.

I win.

I mean, it’s for work, but it’s still traveling to California in the middle of a cold, damp Minnesota winter.

I left the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport on Monday morning. I love being in airports – watching people rush to and fro, wondering where they’re headed and what adventures or experiences are waiting for them on the other side. I wonder who I’ll meet on the plane, who I’ll be squished next to in the tiny traveling tin can in the sky. On a plane personal boundaries are grudgingly ignored in the name of cost-effective, fast travel. That and a prolonged travel time sometimes leads to unique interactions: alliances and temporary friendships forged and then forgotten in the space of a few hours.

We flew right over the Grand Canyon on the way to Santa Ana . *sigh* I love the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon

I walked out of the John Wayne airport to a sunny 55°F winter. It was bliss. My 2013 V6 Toyota Camry rental is so much sweeter than the POS 4-cylinder Ford Focus that I usually drive, and traffic at 1pm was minimal. I did come straight to the Brea facility and put in a solid seven hours of work, but that just made the hotel bed feel awesome when I finally collapsed into it later that night.

Everyone assumes I speak Spanish out here, I’m guessing because of the prevalence of Spanish speakers and the olive skin/dark hair thing I’ve got going on. I’ve been greeted in Spanish on four separate occasions and the rental car shuttle driver even got exasperated at me – she repeat some phrase at me four times, each time enunciating more and getting more irate at my blank stare and helpless shrug. I finally gathered “Lo siento – no hablo español.” to my brain and tongue. She looked annoyed and switched to broken English. Poor woman seemed like she was having a tough day.  *sigh* Quiero hablar español! Sadly, the Rosetta Stone and I haven’t been able to make that happen yet, but we’re working on it. Either that or someone could please discover the frickin’ Babel Fish already. Geez.

On Saturday I’ll be doing the Tar Pits tourist thing with my bestest college friend; she’s driving up from her home in San Diego on Friday afternoon. Everyone says I should do Hearst Castle, but that’s four hours away, y’all! I’m thinking I’ll have to see the ocean while I’m out here. Maybe I’ll have some time after work on Friday afternoon to drive over to the coast. Any recommendations for scenic overlooks/memorable oceany sunsets within 45 minutes of Brea?

Go West, Young Woman!