"Going off on one of those random end-of-quarter adventures again?" A friend passing by on a bike shouted as he observed the little topsy-turvy mountain of crap spilled around the car.
"Thought it was about time!"
For four years now, Cassandra and I have made a tradition out of skipping town when everyone else begins to hunker down for Dead Week and finals. A mental health break, if you will. Our destination is more often than not sunny Los Angeles and Orange County, and the goal really is to eat, eat, and eat some more. Stress-eating calories never count though, right?
Leah joined us this year, oh what a brave soul. It was such a fun getaway – very mellow, quick, and just the reprieve we needed before all the end-of-year crazy truly begins.
I thought I'd recap this business in numbers, or else the word count of this post might be somewhere in the range of 6,000 to 6,000,000. Ready?
Bags we packed for three nights: enough to survive three months.
Hours it took to get to LA: 8.
Hours it usually takes to get to LA: 6.
Total fast food joints visited: 4? Are we counting Starbucks? 5?
New restaurants tried: 2. Sugarfish, the life-changer, and Sycamore Kitchen, which I've been dying to try since my roommate ran into Tom Felton there last summer.
Number of times I moaned semi-inappropriately while fighting Leah for bites of the pork belly hash and the warm ricotta blueberry blintzes: Leah'd probably say - enough to have made it uncomfortable.
Minutes I stared at people trying to determine if they were famous: uh. 5 minutes? Each?
Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding was shared between: 3
Couch aka bed was shared between: 3 people, and a crazy dog.
Time it took to find a parking spot: 20 minutes too long.
Hours spent shopping at The Grove: I think 4. I'm also very broke now.
Number of jumping pictures we took: 80.
Celebrities we saw: 1.5 – there was the main actor from Awkward (SO tall, dark, and handsome, and probably the bearer of important Season 6 information that I desperately wanted to ask him about) and his girlfriend who was a SYTYCD winner. OK, and so I miiiiiight have run into Tom Hanks yesterday, but ... wait for that story.
Temperature: low 70's. Hot in LA, overcast in OC.
Cool new-to-me places discovered via Cassandra and her friends: A handful. The cutest little travel bookstore. Whimsic Alley – Harry Potter, I'll find you wherever I go! It's a must-visit if you are a part of any big fandom. (Thank you Annie for taking me.) Amoeba Records. Groundworks Coffee.
Number of times I asked if we could go to Disneyland: 14.
Time I spent crying: 20 minutes in the car when I requested sentimental music because "I wanted a mental movie montage as we drive by the LA skyline and as I reflect on life." Then Cassandra started crying too and held my hand. And then Leah really wanted to smack us.
Hours spent reuniting with some really awesome people in our lives – from Cassandra's home friends to old coaches to new friends to neighbors, she really knows how to gather a good crowd: not enough.
Amount of food I ate at our Memorial Day BBQ: I don't wanna say. But there was a lotttttt of chips and dip, bratwurst and mustard, tri tip, and so much more and CLEARLY I WAS HUNGRY.
Days I've waited to have the sweet barbacoa salad at Cafe Rio again: 365.
Days I've waited to have Bowl of Heaven acai bowls again: 365.
Toes I dipped into the hot tub: 10, but I wish I had more.
Chocolate chips and marshmallows I stuffed into my banana boat: infinite.
Times I opened my computer at all over the weekend: 0.
Times we uttered "but how has it been four years": enough to make your ears bleed.
Volume level of our Pictionary game: likely illegal.
Hours it took to get back home: 10.
Hours it's supposed to take to get back home: 7 at most.
Pages of a reading assignment we read out loud, audio-book style, because we had to write an essay about it due at midnight which was only two hours away: 24.
The number of times we were close to killing each other: um, I'd say around nine or ten times total? Which is actually a pretty solid record, so go us.
How many years I think this tradition should continue: does 70 sound good?