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8 Jul 2008 / Julie

California Dreamin’ on such an overcast day

IMG_0593 So I’m home from California. I haven’t slept normally in 2 nights, i overslept twice this morning, and my tummy is all outta whack. Clearly, home is not where I’m supposed to be.

While I didn’t find the California I was looking for (the dark, artsy, tropical hideaway promised by Kerouac, Bukowski, and the Beach Boys) I did find a region filled with a wonderful grimy residue of a golden past. Not to mention the lurve-worthy weather. I might have seen clouds twice in 10 days. The sky was always perfect and blue. The breeze always present and warm with cool undertones. The palm trees were everywhere.

I am solar powered and California offered a steady, non-faltering source of my life’s juice. Unfortunately, when I returned home, i was met with thick clouds and some serious thunderstorms. Yay Maryland.

I flew out on Thursday, June 25th and made it to LAX by noonish. Our flight was early by 40 mins and I was excited to be in Cali. I’d never been, but often threatened to pick up and move out there at random times in my life. When I got the escapist urge, Cali was always the destination. But somehow i never made it there. (I think mom made me promise to finish college, afraid I’d get to Cali and never return. Her fears might not have been completely unfounded.)

My ALA activities ran from Friday, 8am until Monday around 4ish. I was able to squeeze in some good programs that gave me some good ideas but for the most part I was fulfilling my duties as a committee member. ALA is my favorite because it’s bigger but Midwinter allows me to actually attend programs I *want* to, instead of ones I *have* to be at.

Monday evening the bf came to town and we headed to Huntington Beach to meet up with some VR folks who had built a fairly respectable bonfire. This was more like the Cali i had in mind- beaches and bonfires; surfers and sand.

The rest of the week was fairly restful- in attempts to not need a vacation after the vacation, we slept in most mornings, never making it out of the hotel before noonish, always getting home in the wee hours of the next day. We did Disneyland for 2 days and was surprised by the lack of characters running around. We chalked it up to our memory being from Disney World. and from 20 years ago.

We drove around Hollywood, searching for it’s golden age, finding it long gone. Mere memories left in cement. We cruised through the Sunset Strip, Mulholland Drive, and the PCH (the abbrev. for which always reminded me of the turtles in Finding Nemo. Duuude.) On Las Virgenes Road on the way to Malibu, we were detoured due to fire. From the Santa Monica Pier we watched 5 or 6 different fireworks shows from neighboring beaches. It was a welcomed sight since we had gone to the pier to see fireworks and was met with a giant sign saying there would be no fireworks. (Somehow, i didn’t get a pic of that. should have.)

We also checked a Warner Bros Studio tour, the Getty, and the Le Brea Tar Pits off our list. We picked WB for the tour since it was via a tram and not a 2 hr walking tour but i was happily surprised when our guide started pointing out sets that were used in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (only my favorite show. Evah. (tied with M*A*S*H))

We were also lucky at the Le Brea. I was bummed when we went to see Pit 91 (the one they were actively excavating) and didn’t see anyone working. But the guide told us that Pit 91 work had been suspended beacuse during the neighboring Los Angeles County Art Museum was digging for their new wing, they found oil pits filled with stuff (go figure) [jing captured portion of site]. Le Brea now has 23 crates of stuff to go through. And considering they do it 6 inches at a time, it’ll be a long time before we know all of what they dug up.

One of the things, though, was a set of completely intact mammoth tusks. Apparently no one can figure out why they’re completely intact and there’s currently a debate going on among the paleontologists there about whats going on. It’s all very exciting!

After a delicious meal at In-N-Out Burger (pronounced as “In North Out Bur-jer” by our GPS), we took a red eye out of LAX. by 7am we were home and asleep until 2pm.

And now i’m suffering from the TimeZones. I’m tired at 6pm, but don’t go to sleep bc it’s 6pm. Then i’m up until 2 or 3, though this might also be because i can’t put down #9 of the Stephanie Plum books. I’m glad to be home in the semi-clearer air (although i enjoyed the smog for it’s UV ray blocking abilities. I’m now slightly less pale and not at all burned. And I never applied my SPF50 all week) but i’m missing the unfaltering sunlight and lack of humidity. Frankly, my curls are too.

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