Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Days in LA

Well, we did it. We left the beauty and traffic congestion of Southern California and moved to West Texas. I know it sounds crazy, and trust me, we are aware that on the outside it looks like a crazy decision, but really it's not so crazy. Is it crazy to want a full time job where you can use your spiritual gifts? Is it crazy to want to own a free standing home? Is it crazy to want to live a less chaotic life? I didn't think so either. So, we moved. But before we moved we decided to make the most of our last summer in SoCal and I'd say we succeeded. The following are just a few of the highlights from this summer's farewell tour of SoCal.

It started when my sister came up to visit with her three little boys. We spent the day out at a local farm picking our own berries, playing and watching the goats climb overhead. It was great to spend some more time with them before the big move. We also enjoyed the pool in our complex and the boys showed off their swim moves that they learned at their lessons.

Later in the month we did some hiking around Malibu Creek State Park with some friends. We hiked up to some caves where apparently Jim Morrison used to hang out. It was fun climbing all over the rocks and just enjoying the view.

Chris' last official day at work was on Friday, July 22nd. On Saturday we enjoyed a tour of the Getty Villa in Malibu with some members of our church. The tour was focused on the connections between the art pieces and the New Testament, we really enjoyed it and wish we had gone sooner.

The following day Chris' brother flew in from Kentucky to hang out and help with the move. We began his tour of LA with a stop at Randy's Donuts near the airport. I must say, these were amazing and so worth the 85 cents we paid!
After donuts we ate dinner at In-N-Out burger and then finally saw the last installment of the Harry Potter series. This last movie may have been my favorite and I was more than a little sad that it was all over.

On Monday we started the day by investigating the water that had mysteriously pooled on the floor of my back seat. We found the leak and fixed it but then needed to dry out the car, it would take until we got to Albuquerque to get the carpet and padding completely dry. After the car fiasco we headed to downtown with the goal of going to MOCA to see the street art exhibit. When we finally got parked and over to the museum we were greeted with the most ridiculous line ever for a museum. We didn't have time to wait in line so we decided to head to the Griffith Observatory instead. We got there and walked up towards the Hollywood sign and took a ton of pictures of the cityscape and the sign and walked around the observatory. However, we didn't get to go inside, apparently it is closed on Mondays.
We had tickets for the Dodgers game so we headed to Elysian park where we found a great view of the stadium and then made our way into the park. We got the tickets and went in and I was confused because I thought I knew where we were going but apparently I was wrong. I just never expected to get to sit in the dugout club! This is the view from our seats which included an all-you-can eat buffet with a candy bar and unlimited peanuts and popcorn. Amazing!

After the win we lined up along the dugout and one of the players threw me a ball, what a great souvenir of our time spent living in LA! To top off the spectacular night we saw Pat Sajak as we were leaving, he was seated in the same section as us.
On Tuesday we spent the morning trying to air out my car a bit and then went to Brats Brothers for dinner and enjoyed some great Bavarian cuisine. I need to find a place like this in Texas (not likely). We had tickets to see the LA Phil perform Tzchaikovsky and it was very enjoyable especially sitting outside in the gorgeous California weather. I miss that weather!

On Wednesday we spent the morning drying out the car and then got some sandwiches and headed to the beach where we spent time with my sister, nephews, and some amazing friends. It was so good to get to spend time with some folks before we moved away. The picture below is Eli being terribly adorable. I miss my little guys!
Wednesday night Chris and his brother headed to LAX to pick up his dad who would be helping us move the next day. While they went to the airport I headed to dessert with my friend from church. It was so good to get to spend some time with her and chocolate cake is great for coping with stressful sad times!

On Thursday morning we hosted a load the truck party and were so thankful to have a lot of help on hand, it took only about two hours to get the entire apartment loaded into the truck and two cars. We then loaded one car onto a trailer to tow behind the truck and headed out of the city. We stopped in Barstow for lunch. We stopped outside of Needles so that Chris' brother could jump in our car and we could make a detour through Laughlin, NV so that he could say he'd been there. We found the U-haul cruising through Arizona and stopped at a Denny's outside of Flagstaff. From there the three of us headed to the Grand Canyon while the FIL headed to a hotel in Flagstaff.

Look for my next post on the details of our Grand Canyon adventures and our new home in Texas!

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