Thursday, June 11, 2009

Road Trip(s)

I have been terribly bad about blogging lately, but I have been super busy. My company transferred me to ghetto Tacoma to try and turn business around there. It has been an extremely hard transition because of my lack of desire to be commuting. I have taken trips to Pomeroy, the Tri-Cities, Portland, and LA. I needed the vacations, so I'm very happy to have gotten the chance. Unfortunately, right when I returned home, I had to report to my new location...Tacoma.

I am really hoping that Tacoma is a short stay for me. I really do like my management team. Kyla and Alex are great. It's also a lot of fun to be in a mall with multiple brands...feels more like a community. It's a much bigger volume area, so that also helps. Still, I am praying for temporary stationing.

My trip home to Pomeroy was rather hilarious. I did get a chance to see a lot of friends from high school that I haven't seen for years!
Nikki Utke, Melissa and Jon Borley, Colin, Justin, Nick and Craig, Courtney, Corrie and Crystal, Clint and Jess, Brandon and Megan...and their cute daughter Olivia. Visiting my hometown is always a comical experience for me simply because I have changed so much, and it has not. Everyone still lives exactly where they always have. The majority of people still use dial-up internet. My visit was announced weeks before I got there, so my arrival was expected. I got a chance to go back to my high school and see some of my favorite teachers...and some of my least favorites. Haha. It was a surreal experience to sit in the teachers' lounge listening to them all talk about how great my graduating class was. I swear they have thought more about it than any of us have.

After Pomeroy, I got a chance to go to the Tri-Cities and see my grandparent's house. It was so much fun to spend time with them! We went and saw an amazing movie, "the Soloist". What an amazing story! My uncle Jeff has actually had the chance to interact with Steve Lopez from the LA Times. After the movie, grandad, grandma, and I went home and had a couple mini sandwiches. I don't know if I can really describe it, but the sandwiches somehow took on an overwhelming nostalgic attribute. I'm pretty sure it is the rolls and the sweet cucumber pickles.

Quickly after that, I went to spend a couple days in Portland. I got to see my friends Dane, Charles, Spicer, Katie, Becky, and my mom. After a dance party, a new introduction to a coffee shop off MLK, and the Deschutes' Brewery trip was rounded out. Spending that time with my mom was so refreshing! I had an amazing time, and long for the days when those sorts of visits can be more frequent.

I had a quick few days of work back in Olympia, then off to LA I went. The first day I got to LA, my aunt Wendy picked me up from the airport. We went to this great little place simply named "Home". It was a great restaurant with an array of delightful dishes. We also got to go pick up my cousins Caleb and Maggie at their school on Mt. Los Angeles. Caleb had no idea that I was coming to visit, so his face was priceless! Later that night I hooked up with Brian Gould and hung out at his place in Pasadena. I kid you not...the dinner Mike made for us...I would've paid good money for! Brian is lucky to have Mike. Marc later met up with us and we explored the wonderful Pasadena strip. I wouldn't mind living there at all. Marc and I spent the next few days around Hollywood. We hiked to the Observatory, went to the art museum, the Getty, checked out the greatest music store this side of the Mississippi, and got to experience Glendale, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and many other places.

Here's Marc at the Observatory.

After walking the Promenade out at Santa Monica, we took a night view of the pier.

Marc's Bailey's pancakes at the Griddle.

Glendale...right after watching Star Trek and eating out...but we passed a really hilarious taco shack, if only we would've known.

Marc and I spotted David Hasselhoff on our way to get music and coffee. He was shopping in Urban Outfitters of all places.

Brian, Marc, and I spotted this on Venice Beach...right by Muscle Beach ironically enough.

One of my favorite things about LA and its surrounding areas is that there is literally art everywhere you look. This is right by a bus stop in WeHo.

Had to get me some new glasses for the LA look.

Visiting Andrew at Red Bull in Santa Monica was such a turning point for me. That structure above their heads is a huge skate ramp. Behind them is a huge gaming room and to the left of them is a mini-theatre...what you don't see is people riding from office to office on their bright orange cruisers and pit-stopping at one of the many freezers full of Red Bull (which doesn't really have cocaine in it). Thanks for the Red Bull Cola, Gomez.

So, there are way too many stories to tell you about my time in California, but there were a few pictures from my time there. If you want to hear some crazy stories, hit me up, and we'll chat.