We came back from California on Sunday, and our bodies are still unsure what time zone to be in. We had a wonderful time visiting with my mom and sister (and Kameron). Instead of trying to write a coherent dialogue with the list of “fun facts” from our trip that I would like to share, I will simply list these aforementioned facts:
• On one of our first days in California, my sister and Kameron took us to the beach at Point Dume. I was able to learn the basic tenants of spear fishing (which I casually wondered if I could do in the North Sea of Scotland), and see a gigantic sand flea. Kameron snorkeled around and found 4 starfish and a sea urchin, all of which we were able to hold. But the highlight for me came when Kameron poked an octopus with his spear-fishing spear and it shot ink at him.
• I had a dietary first while in California: a squid steak sandwich. I would guess that the circumference of the steak would be similar to that of my hand (closed fingered) and about .5 inch thick. I had no idea that the kind of squid that human’s readily eat got so large! Perhaps it was a different species. Regardless, it was delicious.
• My sister took us to Venice Beach (which Kameron described as a Mexican circus, but we didn’t find it to be such), and we are able to see all sorts of sights in addition to the shops that a down-home Indianaian doesn’t usually see: a guy offering to jump on a pile of broken glass for money, a hobo asking for money for the expressed purpose of getting drunk (he sang the song “jingle bells jingle bells time to get drunk” over and over again), to name a few.
• Tim Hunter flew to San Diego to visit with Juliana, and on Thursday they both drove up to Malibu to visit with us. We went out to eat at Malibu Seafood and afterwards hung out at Pepperdine’s Hero’s Garden. Juliana gave me a Scotland pin, which I now treasure.
• Alexandra (aka Alex), one of our very good friends from Taylor University, flew down from San José to visit as well. She came with us to the Getty Museum (see below) and generally rocked the west coast with us.
• The Getty: a very nice museum. It has free admission and some really fantastic and famous works. I personally enjoyed the pre-1600s work and the ridiculously old stuff. They had ornate medieval psalters that had little headsets you use to listen to the specific psalm being sung. They also had a bust of a bust of a roman emperor that was dated c150 B.C. (if I remember correctly), and some Greek pottery from the 4th century B.C.
• Our trip was particularly providential/well-timed in regard to the fact that it corresponded to my mom’s birthday. Katy, Corrie, Alex, and I stayed up late one night, after my mom went to bed, to bake her a surprise birthday cake. While as a general rule I get a kick out of such sneaky behavior, the real joy came in being able to spend that time with my mom and sister.
• The final fun-fact I’ll mention here is that the airplane we rode home on was built in 1986. Now, I am a little bit of a skittish flier, so this fact reduced my comfort level a bit. The plane had tube styled TVs in it and big ol’ 80’s style buttons in it.
On all accounts, our pilgrimage to the west coast was a wonderful experience. As we prepare to leave for Scotland these kinds of visits with friends and family are quite dear.
And naturally, we had to include a picture of our little house that went with us to California.