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Feb 19 2013

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?

7 comments

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  1. 1
    thztds

    I suggest Griffith Park/Observatory. It has great views of LA, the observatory is awesome, and you can see the Hollywood sign. You can also go to the Getty museum. Wonderful art, another awesome view of LA and the ocean in the distance. If you want to see the ocean up close, then go to Santa Monica pier. You’ve got the beach and 3rd st. promenade – full of shops and restaurants. Oh, and if you stop by the California Science Center, you can get up close to the shuttle Endeavor. Although you should make a reservation for that. Anyway, those are some of the places I take my family when they come out to visit.

    1. 1.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Great suggestions – thanks! I’m also going to try to sneak out for a scenic drive in the hills here in Brea over a lunch hour today or tomorrow.

  2. 2
    Juno

    *listens to the downpour outside*

    You might be in for a nasty surprise on arrival. Our sunshine is awfully inconsistent.

    1. 2.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Yeah – ‘sup with that? I got soaked last night! *Just kidding – it was below 0°F in Minneapolis yesterday. It can rain every day while I’m here if it has too!

  3. 3
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    From Brea, Santa Monica is a hard slog past the slums of LA and maybe not worth it. Santa Monica is a oool town and pretty beach, but … I would pack my water bottle and my snacks and head for Laguna Beach – take 57 to 5 to 56 to Newport Beach and then south along the coast to Laguna. Very rich town, can’t afford to eat there, but filled with art on the streets, beautiful people, photogenic scenery, clean sand … and tide pools at Crystal Cove State Park south of Laguna itself. Have fun wherever you end up.

    1. 3.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Crytal Cove State Park sounds lovely! I may try to do that tonight if I get out of work at a decent hour. Sunset is 5:42pm according to the internets, so if I get out of here at 4pm I should arrive in time for a very pretty dusk and sunset. Thanks for the tip!

  4. 4
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    Oops. 57 to 5 to 55, not 56

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