I know it’s been a while, but… CA continued!

I haven’t been updating as much as I want to. We got back from vacation and it was absolutely insane at school for the past two weeks (more on that to come). I really wanted to finish my blog entries from CA, though, so before I write about what I’ve been doing these past couple of weeks, here’s what we did after our first day:

Day 2 (Monday)

We spent a lot of time in the morning outside. Here is a lizard in the backyard. They were everywhere!

Here I am standing in front of the lemon tree. Today we made fresh lemonade (the recipe will be on here soon!)

Here I am standing in front of the lemon tree. We picked lemons and made fresh lemonade (the recipe will be on here soon!)

For lunch, we went out with Bruce & Randy, and the rest of their office. We ate at an Italian place called Giorgio’s that you can walk to from their office. I got the Vegetarian Trio — three different types of pasta (so good!). Afterwards, David and I went back to the house to change into our bathing suits so we could take advantage of the 95 degree day (a dry, nice 95 degrees…not like a 95 degree day in humid New England.)

We went to Redondo Beach. There were tons of dolphins playing in the water, pretty close to shore. It was hard to capture them jumping, but you can see a fin in this photo…

Here we are on the beach after getting out of the water. The waves were huge, but David says, “They were not big.”

After drying off, we walked to the Redondo Beach pier. There are tons of fishermen, ice cream shops, and pelicans.

Here’s a view of the pier.

Day 3 (Tuesday)

We spent more time outside in the morning. Here I am on the deck, looking out at the ocean.

We headed to Venice Beach because it was another 90-something degree day. We walked along the Ocean Front walk, which is filled with artists, hippies, t-shirt shops, and lots of locals trying to sell stuff (incense, art, bongs, CDs, etc.).

What amazes me so much about the beaches there is that you can have a whole strip of beach to yourself, even when you’re in a popular area–there is so much beach. While it wasn’t isolated, we walked for a long time without seeing too many people (they all congregate near the piers).

Here’s David in the water, with a large pelican behind him.

We walked from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica pier, which is about a three-mile walk. We walked along the Third Street Promenade where we got falafel for lunch. We got yogurt-like ice cream with fresh fruitĀ  (Pinkberry esque) at Citrus Valley before heading back to Venice Beach, where the car was parked.

We went and visited David’s grandmother, and then headed home.

Day 4 (Wednesday)

We left early in the morning and drove to San Diego. We walked around Old Town, downtown and the Gaslamp quarter. We ate lunch at an excellent Mexican restaurant, and for dinner we headed to an all-vegetarian restaurant that we found on Happy Cow. Sipz is one of the best vegetarian restaurants we’ve been to. If it weren’t for Happy Cow, we never would have found it; it was in the middle of a strip mall outside of downtown. It was a large restaurant, but was crowded and the customers kept flowing in the whole time we were eating.

Day 5 (Thursday)

On Thursday we went to the San Diego zoo!

I could have watched the gorillas (& especially this baby) for hours…

That night, we met David’s parents and some friends of theirs for dinner in Manhattan Beach. We got there early and watched the surfers. Dinner was delicious!

Day 6 (Friday)

Friday is a blur… We think that we didn’t do much of anything because we can’t really remember it. David went to the bank…. That night, David’s grandparents came over for Shabbat dinner. We had cookies for dessert that I’m still thinking about.

Day 7 (Saturday)

We drove to Burbank to have breakfast with Abby, my friend from high school who works for the Disney Channel. It was so good to catch up!

We then headed to the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA. It was nice to see so many people excited about books, though it was disappointing that a lot of the tents were devoted to religious texts and self-help books.

We had ordered tickets to hear Kate DiCamillo, the children’s author who wrote Because of Winn Dixie and Tiger Rising speak. It was set up like an interview of sorts, with an LA Times reporter asking her questions…it felt kind of like a conversation. Then she took a lot of questions from the audience. It was awesome, and I was really impressed with her ability to be both entertaining and informative.

We stopped at Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza for a late lunch, and headed back home. We left that evening on a redeye flight.

I wish Bruce & Randy lived closer (or that we lived closer to them). It was so nice seeing them, eating lots of food, and just talking… Hopefully we’ll be back this summer.

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