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.
Laguna beach and coastline from the shore.
Waves crashing over rocks on the shores.
HIllside overlook and moon.
Sunset from Laguna Beach.
Twilight at Laguna Beach.
I had dinner and a piña colada at an oceanside restaurant named Las Brisas.
Friday was my last day of work in Brea. I cleaned up all of my stuff, wrote some reports and high-tailed it out of the office. I met up with my friend Carrie who had driven up from San Diego. Neither of us had spent much time in Los Angeles before, so we went on a whirlwind driving-exploring tour. We drove out to Long Beach and saw the Queen Mary and the ocean. We didn’t take the tour, but just walking around the area was pretty amazing.
The Scorpion submarine and Queen Mary with Long Beach in the background.
We ended up having dinner at Green Field Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse, and ate ourselves stupid. Noms. So many noms.
Next we headed up Pacific Coast Highway into Santa Monica. We drove east up Santa Monica Boulevard into Beverly Hills and drove down Rodeo Drive. Then we circled around and drove down Rodeo Drive again because it was that unbelievably, otherwordly posh and we had to see it again. And actually… Carrie was too busy gawking to do her photography duties. It was silly how much money was on that one street. We tried to take a tour up Hollywood Boulevard, but were detoured right before Grauman’s Chinese Theater because the whole area was blocked off in preparation for the Oscars. While we were in the area we decided to head up Mulholland Drive. Sadly, the Hollywood sign wasn’t lit up, but we did get some great views of the city before heading back down to Brea.
Downtown Los Angeles and surrounding area. I wish I had had a tripod with me! Also, I wish I knew how to photoshop those wires out of the picture. Ah well, one of these days.