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!


  1. Forest fire--scary.

    Taco Bell--not surprising.

    The Rose Bowl--Sweet!

    Nancy and Michael--good people.

    Stumptown coffee 4 lyfe.

    If the "Lindsay" of whom you write is our very own Ms. Paszko, she's going to kill you.

  2. Eek Christine wrote that so I blame her haha and I'm fixing it right now