Monthly Archives: March 2012

La Segunda Parte: California

We’re halfway done with our trip  and the California verdict is in. San Francisco: LOVE. Los Angeles: Not so much. In San Francisco we did things like walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a ride ona trolley and shop at Fisherman’s Warf. My friend said we got lucky because it had been raining a lot lately, but when we were there is so gorgeous. About 70 degrees, sunny and not a cloud in sight. Walking across the Golden Gate was my favorite part. You get such a magnificent view of the city, it’s phenomenal. I also just love the contrast of nature and city, which you get when you look at all the tall buildings right along the Bay. The trolley was all it was cracked up to be too. We met two old, crazy foreign ladies who Lyan and I are convinced are us in 40 years. One was from Australia and the other was from Canada and they met up in San Francisco to go on vacation together. They were definitely some spitfires! There was also a man from Mexico who taught us Spanish the whole time. iAsi mucho frio! Lastly, there was an Italian man, which we ended up walking around a bit with. He was in America to buy planes, which we took back to Italy, rebuilt them and sold. In the mean time he got to just travel to a whole bunch of different places. That would be a pretty cool job. He taught us some Italian too, like “gratzi mille” and “bella donna”. I love touristy places like that where you get to meet a diverse variety of people. There are literally people from every corner of the world. I think it’s just the coolest thing ever.

Then we headed down to Los Angeles along the 101. Whoever said that was a pretty drive is a big, fat, liar. The first few hours was nothing but hills and desert. By the time we made it to Santa Barbara the sun was setting so we didn’t even get to enjoy the view of the beaches. But it wasn’t all bad. We made up games like “Would You Rather…?” to pass the time. We got to L.A. late and were tired from the drive, but we still had enough energy to get Pink Berry for the second time that day. I’m obsessed with their peach froyo, which I try to come up with different toppings each time so that it appears I’m more exciting with my froyo choices than I actually am. So far my favorite is peaches with a wafer cookie. The next day we returned to being full-blown tourists. We went to Griffith Observatory to look at the Hollywood sign (which still photographed small, thank goodness for photoshop!). Even without the Hollywood sign, that was a pretty interesting place. There’s so much stuff on space, and they did an excellent job with the displays. Of course we went to the Chinese Theater and saw all the hand prints and the star walk. Then we drove around Beverly Hills looking for rich husbands. We didn’t find any, but we did end up driving down Rodeo Drive, which provided further motivation for finding a rich husband! It’s such a gorgeous area, I wish I could have afforded to shop. Someday! In honor of 500 Days of Summer (my second favorite movie after The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), we went to Angel’s Knoll Park for what they refer to as “the best view of the city.” For dinner we went to Don Antonio’s, which Spencer Pratt took Heidi Montague to in The Hills. We’re obsessed with that show. We both got carne asada, which was so good. It came with homemade tortillas, which is the best. They have some real strong drinks though, so watch out for those if you ever end up going. Half a margarita and I was definitely impaired. It was nice to thaw out in L.A. They have a warm heat that is so different from Seattle. And I loved seeing palm trees everywhere we went. The drivers are definitely something that will not be missed, it is a true miracle we didn’t get in a wreck (although we were very close countless times). I would love to go back, but it’s definitely not a place I would be able to live.

Now we’re driving to Phoenix. I have never been before so I’m excited to see what it has to offer.

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Californiaaaa, Here We Coooome!

The first leg of the road trip is complete. The three of us met up in Portland, which turned out to be more of a “calm before the storm” adventure. It went by really fast (like all fun things do). Friday night we were all pretty tired from finals week, sicknesses and traveling, so we just got some dinner and went to Voodoo donuts. This was the first time going to the original, which was a lot cooler than their second location. It has a voodoo man made out of shrubs, which is actually ridiculously creepy, in the best way possible of course. We got some of their famous donuts like the Voodoo man donut, which is a raspberry filled, man shaped and frosted donut with a pretzel stuck through the heart. We got a bunch of others too, including the cocks and balls, which is a huge donut in the shape of an erect penis (and of course it’s cream filled). Needless to say, that one was a bit awkward to eat!

Our second day we took full advantage of Oregon’s no sales tax. It’s definitely a good thing I don’t live in Oregon, otherwise I would be more broke than I already am. Our car pretty much looks like a closet full of shopping bags. It’s amazing. Then we went  to downtown Portland for St. Patrick’s Day. I was extremely excited about this for a couple of reasons: 1) every year I have had a final the day after St. Patrick’s so I could never celebrate. 2) I love it when the three of us do anything together, it makes life so much more fun. And 3) I feel more a connection to the holiday after living in Ireland. It reminds me of what an amazing time in my life that was and any connection to it has such a great connotation that I can’t help but feel happy. We spent most of the night at a bar called Henry’s, which was full of yuppies eating, drinking and celebrating. Best of all, we got to hang out with a group of soccer players. What could be better? It was such a great night of being Irish and enjoying each other’s company.

Right now we are driving to San Francisco on what start out being a beautiful sunny day. We went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, which I think is better than Disneyland. It’s the happiest place on Earth! I can’t imagine anything better than being surrounded by tons of different kinds of cheeses. I finally bought some cheese curds, which are so hard to find. They’re delicious though, so salty and squeaky with a hint of cheddar to them. Once we came out of the cheese factory, it was hailing, which is not something you want to see when you’re about embark on a 12 hour drive. But like everything Lyan and I do, we persevered.

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In Omnia Paratus

Three days until the epic road trip. This road trip symbolizes the end of an era, which is an interesting position to be in. Upon my return, I will begin my final quarter as an undergrad. I cannot believe how fast time flew by. Everyone said that it would, but when you’re in the thick it, graduation feels like a life time away. I remember being beyond frustrated by how long my time in college felt, but the I blinked and the next think I know I wake up, throw on my cap and gown to humor my parents by posing for countless pictures.

I can already feel things changing. Tomorrow is my first interview that is not for a minimum wage, work while I’m going to school, job. It is crazy to think that this is the point of my life that I am at now. I have no idea where I will be three or six months from now. Everything is up in the air and literally anything could happen, especially since I have been applying so many different jobs including one in East Africa! That would be such an amazing opportunity, but no matter what happens, it is going to be difficult to leave the life that I have created in the last four years. There have been some pretty rough times, but all-in-all, college has been the most fun I have ever had. I learned so much about life, who I am, what I want and how the world outside my rural hometown works. I’ve learned that there are some selfish and rude people in the world, but there are also so many good and kind-hearted people who will go out of their way to help you. Best of all, I have learned that there is good in pretty much everyone, and true love and friendship always persevere.

As hard as it will be to move on to the next step of my life, I will cherish the last four years and could not have asked for better friends, experiences and adventures. They shaped me into the person that I am today, and I am proud of the person I am turning into. I can only hope that I get a job that will help nurture this person and lead me to the career and place that I am meant to go. But I have the faith that life will lead me in the right direction, and when it does, in omnia paratus.

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