California

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Headed down to California for the UW vs UCLA football game a few weeks ago.

1. Every time I fly, I’m convinced the plane is going to crash. I don’t know why it freaks me out. I’ve never really been in severe turbulence. I’ve pretty much flown in good weather every time. I’m guessing it’s just: 5 seconds into the flight you’re screwed if something goes wrong combined with the fact the plane is going 150mph when it lands and is slowed down by some flaps on the wings (hopefully). The whole thing is nuts. We just accept some random guy will fly us at 500 knots through the air 35,000 ft above the ground and it’s normal. But the flight went well.

Wednesday

Friend Jason and Shayna had seats next to each other, and I was a few rows back. Shayna called Jason in the morning saying she missed her flight from PDX to SEA, and would just be flying to Burbank directly. Jason and I then devised a plan to get the whole row to ourselves. I sat in Shayna’s middle seat, and when the aisle lady arrived, Jason told her that our friend had missed her flight, and that the seat in 27D was open if she wanted it (and that the plane would deboard from the back and front, meaning she’d get off quicker). She was fine with moving back, so I moved to the aisle seat and we celebrated our cleverness. Just as the flight attendants were closing the doors, a kid got on the plane. As he walked towards us, we were both like, on no, no way, can’t be in our middle seat, etc. He stopped near us, looking for a place to stash his bag, then moved past us. We thought we were in the clear, but unfortunately, he came back and sat in the middle of us. Wah wah.

The rest of the flight was pretty hilarious. Guy feel asleep immediately, and Jason spent most of the flight mouthing things at him, offering him sips of his drinks, and taking pics of him, all while he slept. Ridiculous.

We landed in Burbank, met up with Shayna, and cabbed over to Matt and Liana’s house, where we waited for them to get off work. We then hit Old Town Pasadena that night.

Sunny Pasadena

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Lights in Old Town Pasadena

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Thursday

Matt’s brother’s boss is some big-time financial guy in LA who has some big Malibu ranch house, and a Malibu beach house on the private part of the beach that he rents out. He currently doesn’t have any renters, so he let us use the beach house for the day. So we headed out to Malibu in the morning.

Malibu is amazing.

As you drive in, you see Pepperdine University. These kids get to spend four years studying at a beautiful beach. In amazing weather. I can’t even imagine. My college years were spent in humidity/below-zero temps (Boston University) and rain (University of Washington). We hit up the grocery store for some beverages, then met up with Matt’s brother and headed to the beach house. It was everything I hoped for. A back deck with a staircase that descends into the sand. Sea lions everywhere. Sandpipers running around. 85 degrees. An empty beach.. The houses were all mega, and a lot of them had signs that said “No Paparazzi”. It would have been kind of neat to know which celebrities lived in which houses.

We played football in the sand, drank pacificos and walked the beach. The boys took a raft out to get a closer look at the sea lions. Everyone one who walked by was super nice. One lady dressed all in black, carrying a black umbrella stopped and asked if she could exit to the street through the house. We said no, sorry. She then asked if we knew where Val Kilmer lived. No again. I almost felt like tweet warning him about her. She was definitely on the hunt.

After all day on the beach, we grabbed lunch at a really good restaurant that’s owned by George Clooney and Cindy Crawford (where Matt’s brother’s wife works), then headed down the Venice which is totally weird and wacky and not what I expected.

After going to Hawaii and Malibu this year, I’m starting to wonder why I don’t live closer to a beach that’s warm and sunny. Us Seattle people are definitely a hearty crew to survive the 7 months of gloom and grey. I swear, if I didn’t snowboard, I don’t know how I’d survive the winter. Some people that live here don’t ski or snowboard. It’s crazed.

On the beach in Malibu

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Friday

Game day. In preparation for the game, we made 150 jello shots. They were layered with purple, white and yellow and were pretty amazing. We got to the Rose Bowl right when tailgating open and set up shop. I’ve only tailgated at an away game once (at WSU) and it wasn’t that fun. Lot’s of trash talking towards UW fans. But UCLA was different. Their fans don’t care about football. They care about tailgating and hanging out and having fun. Everyone was super nice. I’m sure handing out Jello shots definitely helped. Highlights of tailgating included:

  • Neighbor tailgaters feeding us homemade tacos that were the best tacos I’ve ever had.
  • Offering Jimmy Kimmel and Cousin Sal Jello shots. They were filming some ad for the Tostitos bowl.
  • Playing football through the crowd. Nothing feeds my ego more than having a bunch of guys tell me, “wow, you have an amazing arm” over and over.
  • Meeting a bunch of really great people.
  • Having the security guards profile us over and over, telling us we can’t play beer pong while not telling anyone else they can’t play games.
  • Having another security guy driving a golf cart pull up and say, “Hey, I need to talk to you. Be careful here. In Seattle, you have some types. Here in California, we have all types”. (Evidently some USC fan stabbed a UCLA fan a year or two ago, so tailgating hasn’t been the same since then.)
  • Seeing the Rose Bowl in person.

The Jello shots

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Jimmy Kimmel filming

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Our new friend Hugo pressuring Ryan and Chelsea to take Tequila shots

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The Rose Bowl

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Saturday

Saturday was a pretty mellow day. We headed up to the Griffith Observatory to check out the Hollywood sign, views of LA and the Observatory. We then spent the afternoon playing games, and hit up Old Town Pasadena that evening.

View of LA

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Hollywood sign

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Griffith Observatory

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Sunday

There wasn’t much planned except watching the Seahawks game, which isn’t really fun when the only sports bar is focused on the 49ers game. I think Sunday would have been a good day to come home. By the end of the day, everyone was iPhoned out, just staring at their phones and not talking. LOL!

Headed home on Monday and went straight into four days of  intense freelance work, including one 15 hour day. I was pretty much exhausted by Thursday when the project wrapped up.

All in all, it was a great time!

 

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