Tuesday, February 22, 2011

California Dreamin'!

I'm sitting here in Genetics, not feeling much like paying attention. So I'll finally update with California pictures!!

I got in Thursday evening after getting lost for an hour or so in Palm Desert. I had ended up leaving a little later than planned (around 2PM. I had to mail a dress I sold to Sarah, and did dishes so they wouldn't be sitting without me for a few days), then stopped to pick up the GPS from Kyle at work, and headed out. There was a little construction on the 10 heading out of the Valley, and traffic was down to one lane. There was a little more construction somewhere out in the middle of nowhere as well, where traffic was down to 35MPH and one lane. Bummer deal. Especially when you're stuck behind some huge tractor-trailers who are going even slower.

I had pulled up directions from Google Maps on my laptop before I left, and took that with me as my trusty co-pilot. They had me getting off the 10 and heading to the 111 somewhere past Indio, and so I did. The GPS started yelling at me to turn around and get back on the 10, but I thought I knew best, of course. Google maps had never led me wrong... until then. I spent an hour trying to find the tiny "highway" that would have put me on my way to Oceanside, with no luck. After stopping and asking some poor woman what town I was in, I called Mike for directions from there. He told me to go back to the 10, and that I was still probably three and a half hours out. Huge moment of panic ensued. I had already been in the car for four hours at that point (I think, anyway). I was not terribly pleased about being in the car for another four.

<side note: We're watching a movie from National Geographic, back in 2008/2009 about possibly cloning a baby wooly mammoth. Awesome.>

Anyway. I had originally planned on getting there somewhere between 5 and 6. Leaving at 2 should have put me there closer to 7. I think I ended up getting there around 7:30, so not too terribly late. It took me a while to find Mike's place, and then it took a while for Ryan to get over there so we could make dinner plans. We headed out around 8:30 to Breakwater Brewery Co. for some pizza and beer. We got some cheesy bread sticks and a chipotle artichoke pesto pizza! There were two guys at the booth next to ours who were leaving and hadn't finished their beer (some sort of honey ale, I think), so they gave us that pitcher, and Ryan ordered a pitcher of something super dark - their beer of the day. I think it was some kind of stout. Wasn't a big fan, but he paid for the beer and Mike paid for the food, so I certainly wasn't going to complain! I am SO thankful that I didn't pay for anything other than my gas for the trip. <3

The three of us after eating. It's not a great picture of me, but it's the only one of the three of us from the night. My face looks super skinny, though!

When we finished up eating, we drove around (in the dark!) along the pier/oceanfront for a little bit and tried to decide what to do. Ryan wanted to drink and no one was opposed to the idea, so we went looking for a little dive bar to hang out in for the evening. The first one we stopped at was a TOTAL bust. You could hear the live band from outside. We got in there and it was tiny, packed, and SO loud. I was trying to talk to Mike and I had to yell. He could barely hear me even when he cupped his hands around his ear and I yelled right into them. It was pretty crazy.

So we ended up at Once More, That's It (I think that's what it's called, anyway) - a pool hall down the street from Mike's house. I texted Blayne once we got there, and told him to come out and join us. I had left my purse in the Jeep, along with everything but my ID, so I went out at one point and got my camera. We played a few racks of pool before Blayne got there - I think Mike won every time, but I came in second at least twice! When Blayne got there, we did at least one other game in teams. I think there might have been two. Mike and I were a team (because I suck, for the most part, and he had been helping me), and Ryan and Blayne were together. I had quite a few drinks (my standard Bombay Sapphire & grapefruit with a splash of cranberry and two limes!), and the details of the night get a little fuzzy after the first game of pool with Blayne.

I did take two pictures with him!
Evidence that I was indeed having a blast.

All the drinks in the back that have straws are mine. Oops!
Apparently my crooked smile becomes even more prominent when I've had a bit to drink. But I adore this picture! And he's still good to look at. No wonder I wanted in his pants in high school.

The rest of the night has escaped my memory, for the most part. Mike and I shared a few kisses, and then I clogged his sink when I got sick. Embarrassing! He said that there might have been a little more that happened, but since I don't remember, there's no point dwelling on it. I woke up with Subie sticking her nose in my face, and headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's to spend some time with them!!

Thankfully Google Maps didn't fail me there. I made it to their place, met their super hyper new kitty, and got to spend some awesome quality time with them. Grandma gave me a beautiful beach-scene quilt, a TON of Avon stuff, and we all went out to lunch at the Elephant Bar. I had heard a lot about them (and get coupons in the mail every once in a while for the one at the Chandler mall), but had never been there. It was really good, and pretty cheap!

Grandpa was being his usual worry-wart self, and kept saying that I should leave in order to avoid traffic, so I finally headed out the door around 3. They packed me a lunch box with a box of Wheat Thins, four cans of Diet Coke, my leftovers from lunch, and some strawberries Grandma had in the fridge. I love them so, so much!!

I hit traffic and almost got into a collision at the 215/15 junction. Some moron thought it would be okay to pull out from his lane of stopped traffic into my lane of moving traffic, right in front of me. But I finally made it home without a hitch! I saw a cat of some kind along the road (alive, moving, walking toward traffic) in the Arizona backwoods somewhere, so I was a paranoid driver the rest of the way home (since my night vision sucks).

When I finally got home, my poor little man was SO upset with me. He hadn't been covered up the night before, and hadn't had any attention all day, so he was alternating between screaming and sulking. The next day, he wouldn't stop following me around. If I left the room, he flew around the house until he found me and landed on my head. It's a good thing he's so sweet!

It's time for me to find something for lunch, so I'm off to go through the grocery ads and maybe make a shopping trip! My poor kitchen is running super low on supplies right now. I haven't gone "real" grocery shopping in over a month.

I started a photo challenge a few days ago, so I'll be back to transfer that here in a bit!

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