Thursday, October 9, 2008

California... and other things.

It's been a while since I've had time to post. After getting home from California, things have been insanely busy, mostly due to work. But, for a quick update, John and I had a fantastic time visiting Shannon and Tim, and the trip actually seemed longer to me than it was, which never ever happens so it was an especially relaxing break from work. My birthday was Oct. 6, and I had a great time celebrating with a few friends. I received some amazing gifts, but that's all going to have to be reserved for my next post. This one is for California.

The top picture is John and I on a beach near Shannon's college, University of California, Irvine. The beaches there are so much better than the beaches out here - there's beach and mountains right next to each other, and there are rocks and tide pools and so much more going on. I'd love to live on the west coast. I'm bored of things out here.

Here are a couple more shots at UCI:

We went to the Huntington Library and Gardens near Caltech, where Tim goes. I took tons of photos. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Huntington is broken up into more than a dozen areas devoted to different parts of the world. It's spread over 120 acres with more than 15,000 different species of plants. There were also a couple of turtles, but most of the turtles seemed to congregate at Caltech.

I love turtles, and the ponds at Caltech were chock full of them. I took tons of great pictures, but John and I agreed the Piper head cock this little turtle has going on was the best.

Shanon and Tim live in Long Beach, and nearby are these canals that you can walk along, putting you practically in people's backyards. It's funny, because most of these homes have incredibly large windows overlooking the canal, also giving passersby a clear view into the family room. It's a beautiful area, though, and John really liked it. Shanon and I walked there last year when I visited, too.

We kayaked along some different canals and in a bay. I saw a seal (!) surface for like a second. We then went to this little area where all these jellyfish live. They don't sting, so we were able to pick them up...

...and pretend to eat them. I really loved the kayaking and it made me want to get a membership back home to kayak whenever I want. John, however, said he'd rather be watching TV. It was too much work for him to have fun, but I think once he got to see some ducks it was a little more enjoyable. Shanon and Tim were speedsters on their kayak. It was a little sad how slow John and I were.

All in all, terrific trip. This is a semi lame post, because I'm apparently not in the best writing frame of mind right now. It's due time I get a post up, though. The only bad part was the long layover in Houston on the way, and the plane rides in general. I hate flying for so many reasons. Of course, when the reason is to visit good friends in a better part of the country, you learn to deal.

Oh, possibly the best part?

That's right. Jamba Juice. How jealous are you?

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