Monday, July 02, 2007
Rockin out in Cali.....
Well, I've been to California and back and sadly I just don't have that much to report. I guess the first thing that I noticed was when we made our descent in to John Wayne Airport. The mountains were amazing. Very steep and just sort of plopped down in the middle of the place. A few miles up there would be a smaller mountain "range" and then further along, a big steep mountain again. This would've made for spectacular scenery from the ground except that you couldn't see the scenery from the ground for the smog. Entire mountains were hidden behind the thick brown nasty stuff.
So, we landed and rode to the hotel and checked in. The Marriott was nice enough - though not nearly as nice as their website made it out to be, still a good place to stay. We had some lunch and drinks and got ready for the baseball game. Now, one would think that when you go out one night and it gets very cold that a lesson would be learned.....nope....not by my group. Once the sun goes down in L.A. it gets very very cold. Shivering cold. Do you think this prompted any of us to carry around warm clothing? Not in the slightest. Anyway, we went to a baseball game. It was a pretty decent time, though nothing compared to last year when we were actually interested in the teams that were playing. Nobody cares about Anaheim and Kansas City.....really....
Next day was good. Made our way around the convention, mingled, learned some stuff, picked up lots of free goodies and whatnot. Decided to head to Downtown Disney for the evening. There was an amazingly short supply of stuff to do within walking distance of the convention center. If you're not going to Disneyland then you're not doing much else. So, we walked over, found a nice restaurant, had some dinner and then headed to House of Blues to see what was going on in there. It was karyoke night wouldn't ya know. So we had some drinks and hung out for awhile and finally they opened up the back room with a DJ.... Well, not so much a DJ as someone put on a CD of music from 1987. So back to the karyoke. After some time I felt the booth vibrating and decided to investigate the back room once again. Finally they discovered that it was no longer the 20th century, much less 1987 and played some more recent and better tunes. Unfortunately by this point the place had all but completely cleared (thanks no doubt to the 1987 revival), so we dance a little bit and walked back to the hotel.
Thursday turned out to be a bit more of an adventure. After waking up and going to the most amazing session ever (live shoulder surgery taught excellently) and then hearing Vince Paple speak (eh, he was alright) I headed back to the hotel to sun myself. I laid by the pool for a bit and then decided I should get ready and figure out what we were going to do for dinner. It seemed that the "group" as a whole had alot of different dinner plans, so Jason and I opted for Chipotle - which was not close by at all. We walked for a mile or two and then hopped a bus for another 10 minutes or so until we arrived at Chipotle. Had some dinner and froze (notice the lack of bringing proper clothing for nighttime) while waiting for the bus to take us back. After reading the bus schedule we realized that it would be nearly an hour between bus number 1 and bus number 2 (for the two parts of our trip - I was not walking back a mile or so). We decided to duck in to a bar to grab a drink and some dessert before freezing once again on the bench waiting for the bus. Finally we made it home and met up with the rest of the crowd to head to the hotel bar across the street where a band was playing. I didn't last there too awfully long because my back was killing me - no doubt from all the walking in unsupportive shoes and heels. Ended up having to be repaired before the night was over, but I felt ten times better.
Friday was the day of our big adventure to L.A. and Santa Monica. I got the rental and we all piled in around 10:30am and headed off to L.A. for our breakfast at The Original Pantry Cafe. It was excellent if I do say so myself. Pancakes were the best I think I've ever had.....ever. From there we were off to Santa Monica. What a great little town! I wish we had more time there to hang out and explore the town. All that we really accomplished was a walk on the beach (though Shannon and Jon did manage to get in the water). We left there after just a couple of hours and headed back to L.A. to Art & Soul where Jason would be getting his tattoo. I believe we spent a total of 6.5 hours there before departing - nicely inked - for Pink's. The hot dogs were good stuff. Lots and lots and lots of options and a line around the block as promised. After that we went the wrong way on Melrose for quite some time (my fault for letting someone else read a map - my internal GPS should know better) before dropping Jon off at a hotel near LAX. I drove us home to Anaheim and it took an eternity. I was completely exhausted, but still managed to hunt down a 24 hour Walgreens so Jason could get the proper accoutrements for his tattoo care (and pain relief).
Bright and early Saturday morning we all departed, mostly on separate flights, and said "see ya next year!" All in all it was a great time and it's always good to see friends :) Miss you guys! Can't wait to do it again next year :)