Yeah, a week ago I sort of had a little time open up in my schedule so I decided to go to California since all my family would be there. I flew from JFK to Burbank, quite convenient, and was in a clicky enough mood when I got off my flight to take a picture of this ad for Pasadena, because that’s where I was pretty much headed, to Grandma’s in San Marino.
Good Ol’ Broekie picked me up and before heading home we stopped off at Del Taco because Del Taco is the greatest, so much better than Taco Bell. While there I tried to imitate myself with only medium success.
Now, Grandma had been on a trip to Alaska with Aunt Louise and Uncle Bob and the rumor was that they were going to be getting back on Thursday so I figured that for sure she’d be home on Friday night but nope, Grandma wasn’t home, and neither was her lodger, Max. Fortuntely for me, I knew where she hid a spare key (is it a security breach to say that she hides a key somewhere on her property?) but unfortunately for me, I couldn’t remember the code for Grandma’s alarm. So I spent Friday night talking to the alarm company, talking to the police that came over, and going through Grandma’s phone book looking for some relation somewhere in the country who could tell me the code whilst the alarm rang through her house and through sleepy San Marino. Sorry neighbors. But now I promise to never forget the code ever again.
Saturday morning I took advantage of the fact that a New Yorker can sleep in until 12:30 and have it only be 9:30 in California and rested fully and was still up and at ‘em. I drove down into Hollywood or whatever and hit up Amoeba Records and the okay stores on LaBrea, but the whole time I was sort of like: “Hmm, yeah . . . we’ve got all this stuff in New York.” Except we certainly don’t have anything like Amoeba, and for Amoeba I am grateful when I go to California.
I admired some Californian graffiti . . .
And saw things I wanted to remember later . . .
I spent Saturday thinking that my Grandma was about to return at any moment, but it turns up she didn’t show up on Saturday either, even though I bought cookies and put up balloons to welcome her back.
Also, I spent Saturday wondering when my own family would be showing up, because I was strongly under the impression that they were going to be in California too (they had been “vacationing” in Utah the week previous.) But I finally heard from my Mom that they’d be arriving on Sunday afternoon and that we were to meet up at my cousin Danny’s missionary farewell in Tustin.
So, yeah. On Sunday I met up with my family at my cousin Danny’s missionary farewell. It was a fine affair jammed full of relations and I realize now that I pretty much didn’t take any pictures, not even of Danny. But here’s one of people holding babies.
And here’s me and Grandma.
Shucks, no mail.
All right, and then on Monday we all drove down to Orange County again to check out the Newport Beach Temple open house.
The Newport Beach Temple is really, really ridiculously good looking (on the inside [not that the outside is so bad])
You know you’re at a major LDS event when you start seeing license plates that say “Brig Rig” on them. Crap. Another Brigham that isn’t me?
After the open house we went to the Cannery at Newport Beach for lunch. There were lots of glass jelly fish there.
When I was seated the waitress asked me if I would like a black napkin, so of course I said “yes”, even though I didn’t even understand why I would need a black napkin (I’m not that fancy, afterall). So this is me with my special black napkin.
This was my calamari. I didn’t mean to eat the whole appetizer, but I kind of did. I mean, there was some sharing that was done, but I ate most of it myself.
I took some pictures of the whole family dining, but I can imagine scenes of cannibalism more civilized then the manner in which we devoured the delicacies of the sea that were placed before us.
Our Tustin relations watched after Kristen’s babies. We found Blake watching TV.
Greg did all sorts of Uncle nonsense with Blake.
Heading back to Grandma’s we checked out the Mr. and Mrs. Smith residence and their neighbor’s house, both of which are on the street behind Grandma’s.
That night I went and hung out and stuff and guess who I ran across down in LA . . . none other than Ms. Gwendolyn Stevens from back in the day.
I wasn’t so surprised for her to pop up like she did on a Westwood ballfield, but still it’s special that she did.
The Westwood Jews for Jesus building logo . . . I just think it’s good looking.
Over there by UCLA there’s a really serious In N Out with a huge In N Out sign inside (as shown here with Ms. Broek)
Now, having only lived in LA from age 2 to 8, I’m not as fanatical about the In N Out as life-long Californians but on this specific night there was no better way for me to have spent $2 than on this cheeseburger.
First it was so good that it made me make a perv face . . .
And then it was so good that it made me make a face of sheer joy and satisfaction (with a touch of patriotism).
Just walking around Santa Monica you’ll find interesting apartments or whatever.