Thursday, October 21, 2010


Terribly sorry this post has taken so long! We’ve just been so busy trying to deal with such a stressful life  here at PGA West; the schedule over the past two weeks has been quite hectic.  Everyday we wake up (Christine earlier than Jess most days, unless Jess never goes to bed – unusual behavior…), make coffee and breakfast, check our email and Facebook, decide if we want beer or margaritas that day and carry that drink (along with towels, rafts and sunscreen – which constitutes the very important heavy lifting part of our daily exercise) to the pool.  After a few hours of hanging out & lounging in the sun, we trudge all the way back to our house (one house away from the pool) to shower and make lunch.  We then fit in as much CSI or SVU as our busy schedule will allow until we decide if we should make dinner or dine out.  Post dinner we like to relax as a reward of our hard day of work by watching CSI, SVU or quality reality shows (J is now a dedicated “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” viewer.)  Needless to say we, have been swamped.

In spite of all that, quite a bit has happened since we last wrote.   Christine’s parents were here for the first week of our stay as Mr. Rohrkemper finished up business in San Francisco at Oracle’s Open World conference and Mrs. Rohrkemper, well,  just needed a vacation J  We spent hours “job searching” as the parentals played golf at one of the PGA courses.  We reunited for drinks at the pool and lunch, followed by some downtime at the house as Peg prepared a FEAST, or we got dolled up and headed out for a night on the town.  C & J, on back-to-back nights, SCHOOLED the Rohrkemper’s in Euchre, being down 2 games to 0 and coming back with three unanswered game victories.  Who’s next? J

We also discovered that “the people come back to the desert with the grass – in November,” which explains the severe lack of neighbors in our community (let alone ANYONE near our own age).  Both the Palm Springs and College of the Desert street fairs were nearly vacant.  We watched the Spartans conquer Wisconsin from the Elephant Bar, decked out in MSU gear, as Peg couldn’t understand why 3 minutes on the clock meant another 10 minutes of football.

Once the parents left and we were officially alone in the desert, we actually did some job hunting (yes, really, believe it or not.)  Christine scored two phone interviews, one of which has her traveling back to Michigan next week for round two.  Who would have thought we’d have to drive all the way to California to score a job back home?  Jess has been working on her hardcover portfolio and sorting / editing / organizing all of her beautiful photos from the road trip (check out her Flickr page! or look at the rotating photos on the top right of our blog page!)

Heading to the Beer Hunter in search of Spartan football and cute boys, we hit the town, again, decked out in green and white.  Unfortunately (well, for them, anyway), we were seated next to a retired UofM professor and his wife, who obviously didn’t share our enthusiasm as Robinson was picked off in the end zone, turning the ball (and the game) over.  We did meet guys… too bad one of them tried to use his four-year-old child, Isabella, to get to Christine’s heart (bahahahahahahaha), one gave his business card and the third told us his entire life story regarding his famous soap opera star ex-wife.  We struck out.  

The next week was a blur of pool, sun, margaritas and errands.  Christine ran errands as Jess slept all day, and Jess went to Joshua Tree National Park at 5:00am as Christine slept all night.  As a testament to her love, J brought back C a “present.”  When C asked to see it, J announced that it was “more of an outdoor present” and that it was waiting outside.  This is what it was:

Yes, really, a tumbleweed.  Casper was so thrilled to have this in the trunk... 

To celebrate homecoming weekend, we bought enough breakfast ingredients to feed the masses.  C awoke Jess from her coma-like state at 8:30 a.m., only to discover that we couldn't watch the game on TV. We also discovered that we're both so lazy, we slept in our MSU gear so that we didn't have to change once we woke up... Fortunately, one of C’s awesome Twitter friends shared a link so we could watch the game online; too bad Jess only saw the first half!  Side note: sports bars here open at 9:00 a.m. so that everyone can watch the midwest & east coast games live! :)

Monday we traveled to the famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway so that Jess could see what everyone had been telling her about.  We jumped from about 20 feet above sea level in La Quinta to more then 8,500 feet while being carried through San Jacinto State Park.  From the valley to the mountains, the temperature drops approximately 40 degrees, making it one of the few places in southern California that has snow during the winter, sporting winter activities like snowshoeing.  We also observed the California grey squirrel (we think) and successfully managed to avoid mountain lions (to Jess's dismay).  A delicious Thai meal in downtown Palm  Springs capped off the day.

Memorable Quotes:

C: "The nearest taco bell is THREE MILES away?!"

J: "I just found this thing that says 'If you go home with them, and they don’t have books, don't f*** them.'"
C: "...I don’t have books..."
J: "…maybe that’s why you haven’t gotten any in a while..."

C: "All I need are gummy bears, water and a pee break..."

C: "Well, I hate kids, so that's that for me."
J:  "I hate people who have kids by other bitches. I don't want drama with another mama."

C: “The tree should smell like vanilla or butterscotch according to this sign”
J: “I don’t smell it…”
C: “You don’t smell it?!”
J: “No… it is a ‘scratch & sniff’ tree?”

C: "'SAY YOUR GODDAMN PRONOUNS!" (quoting Murder by Death)
J: "No wonder this is your favorite movie..."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"And then he burst into flames..."

A record high temperature of 113 degrees welcomed (?) us to sunny southern California.  Yes you read that right, one hundred and thirteen degrees.  The place was literally bursting into flame as we drove towards UCLA as fire ran rampant along the highway.

Christine absolutely fell in love with UCLA!  If grad school is happening, it will be happening here.  The campus was BEAUTIFUL; it was like MSU in that it was contained to one area, but better because LA is right next-door.  Hello, options!  After a quick field day in the student union exploring the many varieties of t-shirts, we ventured back to Casper to finish our trek to Rancho Palos Verdes.

We took a quick pit stop at the Starbucks, of course, to write and post another blog update.  This, however, was not just any Starbucks; it was a Starbucks with a VIEW!  The patio out back had lots of seating and a glass railing with an amazing overlook of the homes in Rancho Palos Verdes and the ocean at sunset, sigh.

Next stop was Nancy and Michael’s home, just around the corner from Starbucks.  Kate and Ollie, their massive dogs, greeted us at the door, and so did Michael with glasses of delicious white wine from his store.

The next morning, we hit the ground running as we sped towards Los Angeles.  After checking out the Kodak and Chinese theaters, we hung out with some of our closest friends including George Clooney, the Victoria’s Secret angels, The Beatles and Chuck Norris on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Footsteps of Michael's grandfather, Lou Costello!

Next stop was the beautiful Griffith Observatory, where we looked to the right and saw the Hollywood sign (…yes, really) immediately before realizing that, due to recent city budget cuts, the observatory was no longer open to the public on Tuesdays. We were able to walk around the observatory, seeing its incredible architectural details, and got the best view of the city.

From there, we headed to Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl.  To our disappointment, we were informed by security that since the terrorist attacks the stadium is no longer open to the public (sensing a pattern, here?)  We snagged a quick photo, dodged being hit by a truck and set the GPS to the lunch destination of our dreams, Taco Bell.

Post-lunch, our happy tummies and us were feeling pretty ritzy and set our sights on Beverly Hills.  After realizing our clerical error in finding “Rodeo Road” instead of “Rodeo Drive” in the GPS (cough, Jess….cough) we found the real thing as poor Lindsey was stuck on the phone with us.  Let the parade of fancy cars, rich people and designer stores begin!

After getting our fill and realizing that we clearly didn’t belong, we returned to Rancho Palos Verdes for an incredible dinner of chicken, aged cheese, ahi tuna, the best broccoli in the world and wine prepared specially by chef Michael.  The warm air (well, cool for Nancy and Christine) and setting sun created the perfect atmosphere for our last night on the road.

The next morning, we departed Rancho Palos Verdes for the place we’ll be calling home for the next month, but not before reading Nancy and Michael’s sweet note and being gifted some beautiful celebratory champagne glasses to toast with once we both land real jobs (thank you, thank you, thank you again for EVERYTHING!) Oh yeah, we got some Starbucks for the road, too, just in case you were doubting our brand loyalty J

Next post from paradise, AKA the “Gem of the Desert,” La Quinta!