Posts Tagged ‘westmont college’

Great Friends, Great Town, Great Food, Great Times

May 10th, 2010

A disjointed recap of my weekend in Santa Barbara, in a nut-shell, with a few pictures, which I randomly decided to put just at the bottom.  Keep in mind that these pictures were all taken with my old crappy cell-phone:

I had a class on Friday (adobe illustrator) that starts really early, and because of this gets out early in the afternoon.  I always feel like I have missed an opportunity if I don’t take advantage of the earlier release, and beat traffic heading out of town.

I thought about going to one of my 2 favorite stand-by destinations, Las Vegas or Santa Barbara, and packed a bag on Thursday night, just in case I had the courage for a long drive on Friday.

Friday came, and I hit the road.  Four hours later I was in beautiful Santa Barbara.  I love this town.  It is very relaxed, easy going, the people are mostly really nice, and it has sweet views, and fabulous restaurants and bars.  Other than its political slant, seedy underbelly, and oil rigs, what’s not to love?  And best of all, some of my best friends still live there.  It is always a blessing to go to Santa Barbara, and always wonderful to be with my friends.

I had a lot of fun, but as usual, could have used more sleep and more time there.  I wish my trips to SB could be longer, as I never get enough or any time with some of my friends there.  But every trip is cherished.

I got up there, and was super tired.  So I went to East beach and napped (or tried to) for an hour.  I love doing that at East Beach because you have an option of watching people play volleyball (they have like 30 nets setup, and last week had the pro tour there) and also, the beach has an incline about 20 yards from the water.  So if you lie there, its really comfortable, and not really “flat” on your back.

I then went downtown, to Borders/Barnes and Noble, and bought the highly recommended book, Predictably Irrational, in case i found myself lying on the beach again this weekend.  I have many fond memories of this Borders.  I can’t imagine however, it surviving much longer.

Following that I met Ryan who had been golfing, at the golf course for a drink.  Ryan, Chase, and their friends whom Ryan had just golfed with, for a drink at the bar that lines the course while watching people play the 10th hole.  Ryan is an easy going guy that I met towards the end of college.  We love to laugh, talk sports, and play golf together.  I had the privlege of being in his wedding, and will always have a special place in my heart for him.

Went home (to the Throops’), showered and changed, and then went downtown for dinner to a steak house.  We went to Holdren’s and there was an hour wait.  Ryan name-dropped the owners name, and we went to sit at the bar for appetizers and wine.  About 5 minutes later, we miraculously had a table.  Great work Ryan!  Boy was this meal yummy, large and filling.   Cajun-fried calimari, bacon-wrapped shrimp, fried jalepenos, twice-stuffed baked potato and a 24 oz. bone-in ribeye.  As we were leaving there, some random foreigners was asking Chase, and then me, if we’d buy them tequila.  I told them we were going down the street to Joe’s for a drink, and if they  showed up there id get them some,.

At Joe’s for a drink, eventually the foreigners arrived and the four of us had a tequila shot (4 patron shots–$40).  Met some people that worked for someone I knew back in college (Maury Hayashida), and one of them knew my sister and had lived on the same floor as her.

At about 11:30 we left Joe’s to go home to bed.  I didn’t sleep great, and woke up tired.

Ryan was going outta town (to see his mom/family), around 7am.  So when I got up around 9am,  Chase and I went to a breakfast place that I had never known of.  This place was right on the beach therefore it was breathtaking, and the food was delicious.

Following breakfast, I packed up my things from the Throop’s and went over to be with Kevin and the Sturm’s (sounds like a singing quartet).  Kevin and I sat around on his recently swept, awesomely self-made patio and talked about life and business and the challenges and joy’s of both.  Kevin was my college roommate for 2 years, and we ran college cross country with each other and have had years of shared experiences, the highs and the lows.

Kevin had some great, fortuitous news that the Wold’s were driving down from the Bay area, to take their children to Disneyland, and were gonna stop by for a couple hours for lunch.  What an added bonus to my trip!.  Although David is a phd, chemical engineer, and a country music loving fan, we will always be close.  I value his insight, his levels of sensitivity, and his deep loyalty.  We had homemade margaritas and sandwiches.  I loved having time with everyone.

After they left, I was pooped so my afternoon was spent half falling asleep, half playing wii with Brody, Kevin’s 5 year old son.

That evening, we went out to dinner where I got the chance to celebrate Kevin’s wife, Chrystal’s birthday.   Following dinner, we returned the two children home, had a baby-sitter arrive, and then went downtown to see the movie, Iron Man 2.  We were about an hour early to the movie, so we walked around downtown and into some of the shops.  One of the stores we walked through, I just recently reviewed on yelp, called Random.  This store name completely fits, as everything in it is RANDOM!  From old doorways and hinges, to neat ceramic olive plates, this store has it all covered.  Iron fencing, leather chairs, old signs, knickknacks.  One of the coolest stores to just walk through and look at things.

We went to the movie at the Arlington Theater.  This theater was built in 1931 and seats over 2,000 people.  It has an old style marquee, and an old ticket booth that leads down a large foye into the building.  I would occasionally attend church in this building back in college, and it hosts film festivals, concerts and movies now.

The movie got out around 12:15 and went back to bed at the Sturm’s.  They had put their 2 year-old (Mianna) in Brody’s room and I had the bed in the Mia’s room. Well, apparently Mia had been causing a stir since 4am.  So at about 7:30 or 8, Kevin woke me saying he had to kick me out of the room–cause they needed for her try her own crib/room.

With Chrystal back in bed, Brody me and Kevin were now up, and off to breakfast at a lil bagel place.

Then around 9:45 am, I started my drive home.  The overall trip in my car was about 440 miles, with about 125 songs played, not to mention the few I kept hitting repeat on.  The drive home was relatively easy, taking me barely over 3 hours.  I didn’t take a lot of pictures on the trip, but the ones I included in here were mainly the ones I had tweeted.

I love my friends.  I love Santa Barbara.

(click on an image for a larger view)

Arreviderchi Italia

May 28th, 2009

May 28

goodbyes_smGot up at 5am and left our place at 6:05.  We walked a few blocks to the taxi stand outside of Piazza Navona.  Goodbyes were said, and tears were cried.  Ciao Rome.

Ending trips is always sad.  Especially if you’re traveling with someone and you don’t get to sit next to them on the airplane.  You feel disjointed, alone.

Trips ending suck.  There is no more excitement, just finality’s.  Going back unhappy that life is moving on, life is getting older, quickly fading away.

I assess that I have about 30 years of able travel left in my life, before bones and knees ache and travel is difficult.  Lately I have gone on big trips every couple of years (London/Paris in 2007, Rome in 2009), so that would leave 15 years left of able worldwide travel.  I better make every trip count.

It is sad leaving Rome, ending this trip.  Where will I be in life next time I come to Rome?  The last time I came to Rome I was about to be a senior in college.  How much different is my life now from what I expected and hoped?  Will this have been my last time to Rome?  Did I just say goodbye to the Trevi Fountain?  Even more, will this be my last trip to Europe?

I just got on the plane and I am sad–as you can tell.  I hope the person that will be sitting next to me is small in size, not grotesque, doesn’t smell badly, and is a nice person.

This flying stuff has been a lot easier than I remember.  I could almost get used to it.  I have been on the plane for 7 hours now, taken  little naps, and watched 1.5 movies.  I have put on Coconut Records 21 tracks on my ipod and I have not made it to song 11 awake, multiple times.  I think i have done this play-list 4 times now and I sleep till it finishes, then the engine noise wakes me up.

I watched the movie Marley and Me and I must admit that I cried numerous times.  Why do they advertise these movies as comedies and then draw the rain?

One part that got me was when Owen Wilson said “He gets to come home” and then of course the other moments towards the end, and the sudden end (which reminds me of a scene in the movie Fletch).

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, he was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but… the end was really… very sudden.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks!

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

I woke up from one of those naps to see that Get Smart was on and about 75% done.  Darn.  I feel that I need to take advantage of the things that make time go fast:  the movies, the sleeping…

They just showed the chart of where the plane is.  I love those things.  They show a picture of where in the world the plane is and the course it has taken.  Right now we are nearing Newfoundland and the edges of Canada.  It says we have 3:03 left till NY.  Oops, maybe I spoke too soon about getting used to this.

When I get into NY, there is customs and then a 2 hour layover before another 6.5 hour flight.

It’s been 10 hours since I caught the cab in Rome and an exact 12 hours till we arrive in San Diego.  Add that up, plus the hour earlier than that that I woke up this morning in Rome…travelling is tough.

And if I haven’t mentioned it, let me make sure I do here:  My last 3 meals in Italy regretfully sucked!

We are currently flying 841 Km/hr.  It’s 4:30 pm in Italy, I wonder what Debbie, Steve, Kathie and Jeane are doing.

I am now writing this the next day, after getting home.

I shouldn’t have mentioned during our layover in NYC that the 3 flights of the this trip had been relatively easy compared to flights in the past.  Well, 3 out of 4 now.

We were delayed at first boarding our plane, and then when I boarded, they were frantically still cleaning the plane.  We taxied out and sat for 30 minutes due to rain and busy-ness and then they announced that they heard a funny noise and we had to go back and get maintenance done.

As we were heading back, they said that they think it was just too much air conditioning and that they were gonna head back out and get in line again.

We waited 2 hours on the runway.

We took off and I was sitting near a cougher, a baby crying, a lady interrupting me asking random questions (Is the ocean cold in San Diego?), and next to a guy that had zero spacial sensitivity as he had his legs spread wide, was shaking and singing out loud to his death metal music and who was often reaching down and up his shorts to itch himself.

The movie sucked.  I watched 15 minutes of it and then read 400 pages of the Angels and Demons book that I bought at the airport in JFK, and then I took a nap.

During my nap, I pulled my hood over my head and put my earphones on.  The Itcher next to me wanted to go to the bathroom, but didn’t realize I was asleep.  When he tapped me, I jumped and let out a startled yelp.  It was funny.

26 or 27 or…hours after leaving Rome, we arrived in San Diego and Robbie picked us up.

Got home and talked to Adam for awhile, gave him his arsenal jersey, did a few random things and went to bed.

It’s odd being “home.”  I am afraid of falling back into habits of becoming lazy again, and not challenging myself.

I also am stressing about all I need to do to be responsible, to catch up on things, to eat, to see…I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do it all in one day.

It was a fun trip.  Much different mentally than 11 years ago.  I wonder if that was because I was in charge this time and had responsibility to think and worry about other people?  Maybe it’s cause I’m older?  Maybe I had less enstranglement of thoughts and worries of life last time?

Seasons of life are strange.

I write this on the 29th now.  I woke up in the middle of the night with strange dreams, not sure where I was, quickly throwing on my shorts.  I realized shortly that it was 2 am and I had been asleep for 90 minutes only.

Got up eventually and went and ate pancakes for my first meal back.  I still can’t believe that my last meal in Italy was a hot dog.

Now I am going to try and have a lazy afternoon, finishing hopefully the last 300 pages of that book.

Sad.

Longing.

Grateful.

Arreviderchi Italia!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVYpL5Mky5w

This Week I'm Thinking About: Bill McCreery