Christine had the worst flight of her entire life back from Phoenix to Detroit. Not only was it the redeye, which only worsened the jetlag, but she was seated next to a child. Knowing how C feels about children, being seated next to one was obviously bad enough. What made it worse was that it SCREAMED the entire 3.5 hours home (literally, the entire flight) and the parents didn’t know what deodorant was. So bad, in fact, was the stench that the people seated in the row behind us passed up a bottle of Axe… it didn’t go over so well.
Bright and early the next morning, C crabbily got in the car and headed to Ann Arbor to visit her brother Jeff, cousin Sarah, and friends Eric and Danielle. After seeing more than enough blue and yellow, she decided the next day that East Lansing was the only remedy. Lunch and coffee with Kristy was great – and so are her plans to build a new home – congrats! C also wandered MSU’s BEAUTIFUL campus with Jon and picked up Miss Mary from class and headed to our fav hangout spot, Biggby (obviously).
Day #3 at home was interview day, as C was Dearborn-bound for a second-round interview with Team Detroit – an ad agency made up of five separate WPP agencies specializing in different facets of advertising and public relations. She got the job!
During these same four days back in the desert, Jessica exhausted her ability to entertain herself. Without Christine, things in La Quinta seemed pretty dull. Let’s just say these four days involved a lot of takeout, Target runs, cable, yoga, pool time and pumpkin carving. (When Christine got back the pumpkin had become slightly moldy on the inside. She didn't see the humor in this.)
After that trip we had about a week and a half left in Palm Desert. We spent most of them at the pool attempting to soak up as much sun as possible in hopes that we will still be tan upon our return to Michigan.
For our last Saturday in bliss, we went on a morning hike through a nature preserve. Jess and Christine showed up at the information station to meet their fellow hikers. Upon arrival we were a tad intimidated by the other hikers, all of who were much more experienced, prepared and… elderly. After signing a waiver, we all set off on a hike through the canyon that held part of a bighorn sheep preserve. Unfortunately, we never saw a sheep, but we did see a lot of desert salamanders and a hare. We also learned a lot about the area and the plants. John, our fearless guide, literally knew EVERYTHING. We ate flowers that tasted like cucumbers, learned about different species of cacti and the “wait-a-minute” bush (nicknamed this due to its thorns’ ability to keep people from passing if they got to close). We hiked to the top of the waterfall and then back just in time to make it to the sports bar to watch the MSU football game against Iowa (we don’t want to talk about it). We said goodbye to our Ohio State friends and then headed back to the house for more pool time (no we do not want to talk about the game).
Jess took her last sunrise adventure to Joshua Tree National Park. She left much earlier than last time, around 4:30 a.m. so that she would be able to get to the Joshua Trees by sunrise this time (since they are only located in the northern portion of the park). Unfortunately, her no-sleep-plus-Starbucks-jitters made the creepy trip out there by herself a tad more difficult; the smoke bushes were blowing in the wind and hares were running across the street. Needless to say, Jess wasn’t feeling it. So change of plans, off to the Salton Sea! It was in the middle of nowhere, but it was unique. Her feet were cut up thanks to what she thought were seashells, turns out that they were small salt formations that looked a bit like barnacles. Along with the salt, the beach was also full of dead fish. White birds were all along the coast, pelicans, sea gulls, and egrets. Definitely glad she went.
Our last big adventure in southern California was a trip to Los Angeles to see the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Anberlin concert. We decided to drive out there a bit early to get dinner and then scoot on over in time to get a good spot in line.
The Mexican restaurant, Yuca’s, we had picked out using reviews from TripAdvsior.com was supposed to be the fifth best restaurant in L.A. It was a hut in a parking lot… how does no one mention that in their review?! The food was great though, haha. No but seriously, the tacos were delicious and cheap. The bummer was that it didn’t waste nearly enough time, as we planned on a standard, sit-down Mexican restaurant, so we journeyed over towards the concert location and found parking and, most importantly, a bar. After a couple of margaritas and witty discussion over the integrity of the Hard Rock Cafe with a bartender who thought Christine was his little sister, we headed towards Jimmy Kimmel’s studio. After waiting in line for a bit and going through metal detectors we were ready for a great show!
The band was so grateful for the showing of dedicated fans as Stephen told the crowd, “this is a night I’ll remember for the rest of my life.” Anberlin played their single “Impossible” to close out the Jimmy Kimmel Show, then played four other songs (two new, two old) in a mini-concert for fans. (To watch the concert yourself please click: http://abc.go.com/watch/clip/jimmy-kimmel-live/SH005455790000/PL5520981/VD5595518/anberlin---we-owe-this-to-ourselves/moments)
For our last day we woke up super early (haha) and headed to the nail salon for mani-pedis J Next we picked up some sushi at Sam’s Sushi (apparently this is the spot where the young people go…perfect timing discovering that on the last day). After delicious food, we enjoyed the pool with margaritas and beer to celebrate our journey and Christine’s success.
See you soon. Jess is terribly sad she missed fall but now she is tan (well for her) so she doesn’t completely regret it. Hopefully we will make up this winter with a white Christmas and skiing. Christine is very excited for the beginning of her career, and didn’t miss you very much at all.
Christine and Jess
C: “I think it’s right around this corner…”
John (tour guide): “What? A bird’s nest?”
C: “No… a people nest…”
Anonymous: “that took awkward to a WHOLE new level.”
Hiker 1: “how did that get here?” (Referring to naturally occurring desert plant known for causing hallucinations)
Hiker 2: “Prop 19.”