Saturday in SoCal

Moar travel/photo blogging!

Saturday was another travel-packed day. We drove back into LA to hit the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum. The drive out from Brea – north on 57 to Hwy 60 – was really quite pretty in the daytime with the mountains visible in the distance.

When we arrived at the tar pits we accidentally walked over to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – we thought we were heading toward the building that housed the Page Museum. LACMA had a number of outdoor interactive exhibitions, so we played for a while.

Jesús Rafael Soto’s Penetrable in Neon Lime

Funny story: Carrie and I “stepped inside” this installation, and while we were there we heard a little boy who appeared to be around 5-6 years old exclaim, “Daddy’s in the Spaghetti Monster!” Wheee! We had fun with that.

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Carrie safe within His Noodly Appendages

Continue reading “Saturday in SoCal”

Saturday in SoCal

SoCal After Work

The next several posts will be a wrap-up of last week’s California adventures.

On Wednesday night I hung out with a Twitter/FB/online friend who lives in the area. She took me into Santa Ana and we had dinner at Chapter One, which was yummy and made for happy times.

On Thursday I made a harrowing rush hour drive south to Laguna Beach. The plan was to leave Brea in time to get there for sunset. My coworkers advised me to allow a full hour to make the 30-mile commute, so at 4pm I ran to the car and started driving. Well, I started stopping and going. And inching forward, building up a little speed and slamming on the brakes. And waiting. And going. I finally hit some free road, but I didn’t realize until the crucial moment that the highway I had hopped onto – Highway 73 – was a toll road. Luckily I had the $2.50 exact change to exit at Newport Coast Drive. The options were exact change or risk the $57 fine for not paying. No way to pay with a card, no change, no attendant. $2.50 (or greater) cash or a $57 fine. Seriously, California – that’s effed up. But at the end of the day (literally) it was all worth it:


Laguna Beach and coastline from a hillside overlook. Continue reading “SoCal After Work”

SoCal After Work

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!