So picking up where I left off….
Thursday 10/24 I was starting to feel a bit more recovered from my cold. I was definitely still very congested but my energy level seemed more in line to normal. I had a dinner date with my long lost friend Hedieh-Jan (jan means “dear” in Farsi) in Torrance so I headed down to Redondo Beach in the early afternoon to nosh on some lunch, work, and hopefully set my eyes on the ocean for a little bit. The weather on Thursday was LOVELY until I was off of work and then by the time I made it to the ocean, it was overcast, windy and FREEZING! If I wanted those things, I’d go to the Oregon Coast! It was lovely nonetheless, but I didn’t withstand the weather in shorts and a short sleeve top for more than 20 minutes before I moved on.
|Redondo Beach - a cloudy sunset|
I met Hedieh at a casual Persian restaurant in Torrance and when she walked in I could barely contain my excitement! I stayed with Hedieh the first several times I came down to L.A. to visit after graduate school and we’ve always gotten along very well. But we had lost touch for a few years until I found her on the Facebook. There was so much I had to know about what had been happening in her life (she’d gotten married!) but had been waiting for an in person interview to get the dish. We had a nice meal and talked for about two hours before I, regrettably, had to leave to make the 1.5 hour drive back to West Hills. It was so amazing to see my good, dear friend, though, and I feel confident that with social networking such as it is, we will not lose touch again J
|Hedieh and I at Fanoos restaurant|
Friday I had SO much to do. I had to get up, finish packing, say my goodbyes to Sayra and her family, and head east to San Bernardino for an 11:30 lunch date with my old professor and thesis advisor, Mark. I had to stop at Rosa Maria’s anyway (outstanding burrito stand) so I met Mark there for lunch. Again, SO much to catch up on. Did I mention it’s been FOUR year since I’ve been down to SoCal? In the four years since I’d seen Mark, he’d gotten married and had two lovely boys. It was wonderful to hear about his life and his continued work at the university. It was a great visit!
|Rosa Maria's - amazing food!|
|My professor from Grad School - Mark|
After lunch, I was feeling sentimental so I drove my old apartment and drove up to the university to check it out. I didn’t park and walk the campus, just drove up to the turn around and turned back. After all, I had a date in Palm Springs!
|That bottom corner unit used to be mine!|
|The center of campus - the San Andreas fault right behind it|
I could NOT believe that Palm Springs is only about an hour outside of San Bernardino. So I was there in a jiffy. As soon as you pull into Palm Springs, it’s like you’ve pulled into an alternative universe. It’s a little oasis in the middle of the desert. Not only is there plenty of green, but it’s BEAUTIFUL! I didn’t much time to explore, but I checked into my hotel and as soon as I saw the pool, I knew I was going to spend my extra time right there. The hotel was called Skylark and it’s only been open since September and it’s a wonderful cross between 1960’s retro and modern décor. I LOVED it! The hotel manager walked me to my room, showed me where everything was, made sure I knew how to work the air conditioning. And it used a traditional key with one of those triangle fob thingies attached? Omg, I loved it so much! So I immediately got into the pool to kill some time. It was absolutely divine.
|My room at the Skylark hotel|
|Skylark from the outside. Renovated motel = SO CUTE!|
|The pool. The floaties have smiley faces on them! <3 td="">3>|
|My feet and the jacuzzi|
After the sun started to set, it was time for me to get ready to go see Jayme. I hadn’t kept in touch with Jayme since graduate school so it had been 11 years since I’d seen or talked with her (other than some very basic and generic greetings on the Facebook in the last year). Jayme was one of my very dearest and closest friends in graduate school. I definitely spent most of my time with her as we lived the closest together. I met her about 45 minutes away from Palm Springs in LaQuinta at a fancy little Italian restaurant that was super busy and cute. Afterwards we went to a Piano Bar we could walk to and listened to some music, had an adult beverage, and kept talking. We certainly had plenty to catch up and we talked for just about three hours before I had to part ways to make the drive back to Palm Springs to rest up for the night…. I had a long drive ahead of me the next day so I wanted my beauty sleep J
|Jayme and I|
I got a slow start on Saturday but I was finally up and heading out of town by noon. I stopped at In N Out burger and had me some lunch and then hit the road to Phoenix! The drive was relatively unspectacular but I had great tunes and loved looking at all the rock formations. It was 97 degrees out and blue skies as far as the eye could see.
|My first In N Out burger in 12 years!|
|I-10 East to Phoenix|
I did stop at this Jerky spot just past the border into Arizona to pick up some jerky for my love. It was in a total po-dunk down and the man working at the shop hit on me! Like… blatantly. Not just flirted with me. I almost never get outright picked up on. It was very flattering and totally amusing, even while he helped me pick out hot sauce for my sweetheart. Hahahaha
More on Phoenix adventures to come! J