from the road

Day 43: Seeing the Pacific Ocean & Dorothy!

I realized that we’re about to turn eastward on WVT, heading slowly back to the East coast. Crazy, right? As such, our brief sojourn in San Diego is our last stop near the ocean, so I wanted to soak in all that salty goodness today.

After a run along San Diego’s Embarcadero, we grabbed lunch at Bay Park Fish Co. Harrison was excited to eat an authentic fish taco in San Diego. (The authenticity is perhaps disputable, but he says that they were de-licious.)

Fish tacos at Bay Park Fish Co.When we had a family reunion here in 2008, I loved running and walking around the Mission Bay Park, so I made sure to hit that up today. I was shocked to see so many people in the park, enjoying a picnic, swimming, or windsurfing, on a Wednesday afternoon. I’m guessing that they’re mostly summer tourists, but maybe San Diego residents get out to enjoy the occasional mid-week fun-day.

Mica in Mission Bay Harrison in Mission BayWe were not, however, content to see only the Bay. We headed over to Mission Beach to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean, which is FREEZING.

Mica in PacificHarrison was not thrilled about this, but he MANNED UP and walked right in.

Harrison walking towards waterHe made it in, just barely…
Harrison in water

 

…before posting a hasty retreat!Harrison retreating from water

 

 

 

That’s okay, we got an obligatory couples face-photo on the boardwalk so you know we were there!

on boardwalk

 

What??? TWO free Lara bar samples on the boardwalk?? SAMPLES?!? Mission beach is the best!

Mica with Lara bar eyes

(I’m frowning here because Harrison wasn’t taking the picture as fast as I wanted and people were staring at me.)

Not content with just Mission beach, we headed to the swanky La Jolla area for a view of the sea lions at La Jolla cove:

at La Jolla coveYou can see how gray it is in the background–the clouds blocked out all the warm sunshine, and with a breeze blowing, we were cold! I did not stick around to take photos of sea lions. Nor did we stick around long enough to feel really poor because La Jolla is for the fancy-pants rich!

For dinner, we went to Bleu Bohème to meet one of my sweetest and goofiest friends, DOROTHY! She and I took several high school classes together, but one that sticks to memory in particular was senior year Anatomy & Physiology, where we learned that eyebrows are like “eye mustaches.” Anyway, Bleu Bohème came with a glowing recommendation from Dorothy:

“Do you like French food?  (haha!)  😉  There is this cute place called “Bleu Boheme” that is super cute.”

And we concur, it IS super-cute (and tasty)! I love all the melted wax candles that look like sculptures at each table:

candle at Bleu Bohème

It was great to see Dorothy, whom we last saw in (we think) 2010! She has been out here for the past five years pursuing a PhD in Speech Pathology, and she’s hoping to finish up next year. However, she, like us, has fallen out of love with academia, so it was a dinner full of commiseration and grand expressions of empathy for how we all made the wrong life decisions. (But also, really fun!)

Grad school makes us feel like this:

Grad school facesSometimes, we try to talk with our mouths full and look like this:

Mouths fullDorothy, we lurf you!

with DorothyAnd, once again, grad school, we do NOT lurf you:

sad grad school facesWe’ve crammed a lot of sightseeing and friend-seeing in our 36 hours in San Diego! Tomorrow, I’m going to take deep lungfuls of sea air to prepare me for our drive into ARIZONA. Oh lawwwwd, it’s gon’ be hot, and I am not ready for it!

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from the road

Day 42: Beverly Hills to San Diego

Like the movies have us believe, LA has palm trees.

Palm trees in LA

And also, plentiful sunshine, expensive cars, clothing, houses, children’s furniture stores–oh, the list goes on! We said “good-bye” to Helen this morning and descended from Hollywood Hills via Mulholland Drive, Rodeo Drive, and Wiltshire Drive. It was a feast for the eyes, that’s for sure.

And, you know, I think that the abundant wealth and sparkle of the city convinced me that Los Angeles is where we want to move…

…which is why I am delighted to share with you that we found a new house(s)!!!! 


Our "new" house

Yes, yes, we’ve decided to move into BOTH of these two adjacent homes in the heart of Korea town! This zip code isn’t quite as flashy at Beverly Hills, but, you know, our new home boasts a luxurious outdoor bathroom and impressive sunroofs in all rooms. And when we move into the neighborhood, property value is certain to increase. We’re such trendsetters; this will be 2013’s most expensive US zip code, for sure.

Okay, so we didn’t find a home in LA (HAHAHA, like you fell for that!), but we did find Chris Choi!

We met Chris through Dan and Alejandro while he was studying in law school at UofI. As it turns out, he just flew into LA from Washington, D.C. yesterday and wanted to meet up with us. What a serendipitous meet-up!

Chris has lived all over the world, but he is an LA native and knows good Korean food. So, of course, he chose a pretty awesome Korean restaurant, Soban, for lunch today. I knew it was authentic immediately upon entering because (1) a seizure-inducing new feature about goats was playing in the background and (2) a mesh colander filled with stainless steel utensils was prominently displayed on the bar. The food was so good that it made us realize just how crappy the Champaign Korean food is. (*sigh* There’s one less thing to like about it.)

Soban gives you tonnnnnnns of banchan (side dishes). BANCHAN EXPLOSION!

Lunch at Soban with Chris

(Chris says I look more Korean than he does. I disagree. Thoughts?)

I’d say we did a pretty good job though….

Empty platesLike us, Chris is applying for jobs all over the country. I hope we end up in the same city because he’s a cool guy and I know he will be my gym buddy for LIFE if we’re in the same place. (Right, Chris? RIGHT?!?)

After lunch, Harrison wanted to revisit the CalTech campus, which, contrary to the impression you may have from this blog, is actually his one true love. After spending his first “independent” summer there in high school (He says: nominally, doing research but in reality, being payed to play pool and hang out with awesome people), he has talked about it with a sort of dreamy, drunk-on-nostalgia voice for the ten years that we’ve been together.

Harrison in front of dorm

So yeah, I was expecting a lot! It is a very pretty campus. I mean, there are olive trees lining the quad with the dormitories.

CalTech QuadHe somehow neglected to tell me that THERE ARE TURTLES IN A CAMPUS POND! This is clearly the best part. World-class academics ain’t got nothing on turtles.

CalTech turtlesAfter the turtles, it was all downhill. I got the post-lunch sleepies and fell asleep in the car until we reached the outskirts of San Diego.

We’re staying in downtown San Diego at the swanky Omni, which is a very generous wedding gift from my (and now, Harrison’s!) cousin Trent and his husband Rick! I visited their lovely home in the hills five years ago for a family reunion, and I was pumped to go back and see them and to eat Trent’s homemade Mexican food!

The house has gotten even better–they now have two great dogs, Ellie (chihuahua) and Sarah (lab)!

Trent, Rick, and dogsTrent and Rick are two of my most favorite relatives! Trent is a kindred spirit who loves musicals and enjoys when I post pictures of the satellite radio Broadway selection on Facebook. And Rick is a retired police officer, and he told us all kinds of cool stories. We heard a pretty awesome one about how he helped find the missing dolls from a million dollar Barbie theft in the 90’s by searching through records and talking to tweekers. [Raise your hand if you knew what a “tweeker” was. Please! Put your hand down! You didn’t know!]

Meanwhile, Sarah listened to our conversation with great dignity!

Sarah & Ellie

 

Rick is a San Diego native, and Trent has lived here for 25 years. They had lots of great things to say about the city, and their arguments about the weather were pretty convincing (“We own some hoodies. That’s about it.”).

WVT in SD

So, maybe we’re not going to live in our airy home in LA, but I might just be convinced to move in with Rick and Trent FOREVAAAAAARRR (Okay, guys? Lady-dogs? All good?? Yeah??)

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