Californiaaa… Californiaaa… here we coooooooome…

February 8, 2008

Getting my cast off warrants a much-needed vacation, and by God, I’m taking one. February 28 through March 3 I’ll be enjoying some L.A. sun (assuming the weather improves after this week).

Northwest Airlines gave me a $200 flight credit from a DC-Minneapolis ticket I had canceled last year (long story), and the credit has to be used before March 11 for it not to go bye-bye. Hmmm… where best to celebrate, I thought. The prime candidates were New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Fransisco, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. Eliminating four of them was easy. First up, I wanted somewhere car-friendly and not requiring a huge amount of walking. Sayonara, NYC, walking with a boot/cane combo would be a nightmare. Next, somewhere I hadn’t visited in a while. Hit the road, Jonesboro, we had fun over Christmas. After that, somewhere warm. Adios, Minneapolis, your subzero temperatures won’t react well with my still-healing foot or my proclivity to slip on ice. Finally, somewhere I wouldn’t be visiting anytime soon. See ya later, San Fran, I’ll stop by in August after returning from China. So, from a wholly selfish standpoint, the city of angels was the remaining, easy choice (come to think of it, New York came in dead last insofar as it failed all four criteria: too many stairs, went there in December, freezing cold, and visiting in May for a trial and probably in late March to see friends).

Hell, the warmth factor alone was nearly enough to sell me. For being so close to the Mason-Dixon line, DC gets quite cold in the winter. Before getting the walking cast, not a day went by without a passerby glimpsing me hobbling through the crisp January air and saying, “Your toes must be cold!” Stupid open-toed cast… I mean, what else was I supposed to do? Wear a Christmas stocking? They just don’t make socks big enough to cover a leg cast without also being festively-colored or adorned with pom-poms. Besides, on cold enough days, I took my scarf from my neck and wrapped it around my toes instead. A close encounter with frostbite on my middle toe (better known as “roast beef”) taught me that the little piggies shouldn’t be left in freezing temperatures for long. On most days, though, I much preferred that the blood bound for the brain be given warmth priority over blood bound for phalanges, so most of the time, scarf around the neck it was.

Process of elimination and icicles on toes aside, the real reason for the trip is my little sister and current Claremont McKenna student Lauren (AKA Durf, the Durfster, Durfee, Lurfee, and the name that started it all, Lurfen). She had a particularly rough time last semester and, especially after the roughness continued through winter break and even into this semester, could use some cheering up. Everyone needs something to look forward to. I know I do.

My expedition to L.A. in September was quite fun. I hung out with Lauren, played video games involving lightsabers, caught up with a few friends, and discovered a new favorite beer which, true to my word, is stocked in my fridge even as I type. Having chosen to brave four Minnesota winters in seeking a bachelor’s degree, the visit did have one drawback: becoming green with envy toward the Claremont colleges’ students with their relaxed lifestyles and sunny, palm tree- laden campuses. Getting to study by a pool in the middle of March… that just doesn’t seem right! Not when my brethren and I would spend the month locked in the library as snowfall barricaded the exits, dashing any hope of escape. Experiencing a Claremont kid’s life firsthand made it tough to avoid the conclusion that I sure had bet on the wrong horse…

The trip should be packed with perks. Provided she’s not busy with Classics geektressing, it’d be good to see Libby’s awesome former roommate Kathy again. I’m also hoping to catch up my long-lost friend Kirby, whom I’ve known since first grade and I last saw in Dallas several summers ago. She’s a film student at the AFI in Hollywood and thus bound to know how best to live it up in hills. Also on the list of things to do: spend a Disneyland day with the Durf, eat my weight in In-N-Out burgers, bask on a sandy-yet-slightly-sketchy SoCal beach, enjoy “free” dining hall cuisine, and enjoy me some glitzy L.A. nightlife. Necessary armaments: a Mickey Mouse hat, pregnancy-paneled pants, board shorts, Lauren’s student ID, and my sharpest navy blazer and fashionable $100-but-got-for-$30 jeans.

Everyone needs something to look forward to.

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One Response to “Californiaaa… Californiaaa… here we coooooooome…”

  1. Nicole said

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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