Travel diary: The OC (don’t call it that)

Many years ago, I had some choice words to say about California. I had only been once, and it was San Francisco. My band had to play a show outside, and it was like 48 degrees. Fahrenheit! All I had ever imagined of California was surfers, beaches, and sunshine. San Francisco did not deliver.

Huntington Beach did.


On Friday of our extended weekend, we drove down to meet our friends Celeste and PJ, who have a place about a block away from the ocean. I was introducing Celeste to someone at one point and I said she is “my best friend’s sister,” but really she’s one of my oldest friends. We used to live together in a big house with 5 people. After that she left Cleveland and has been a globetrotter for the last few years. I saw her for about 5 minutes when Kerry and I got married, so it was really great to catch up with her and PJ and spend a weekend with them. It certainly helped that the weather was absurdly nice. High 60s in February? Yes, please. Kerry even put her feet in the ocean! The water was cold, but still. Feet in ocean.


Just for the record. I did not put my feet in the ocean. I touched it with my hand but I didn’t take my shoes off at the beach. That’s right. I leave my shoes on at the beach. I know it’s weird, but I don’t like it when you get sand all over your feet and then you have to put your shoes back on and you have sand in your shoes (and socks) and then walking is really uncomfortable. It’s not for me. “But Andy, you could wear flip flops,” you say. I don’t wear flip flops. I don’t like the way they feel. I don’t like all the flipping, nor the flopping, so I wear shoes. At the beach. That’s just how it is. Don’t worry, Celeste, PJ, and Kerry did enough making fun of me for everyone.


*Celeste claims I always post bad pictures of her when I see her. Here’s a great one, as she watches PJ dig for crabs. He didn’t find any.*

One of the best parts of this trip had to be the sun. Oh my goodness the sun. It was hard to leave the sunshine. I don’t think I’ve seen the sun in Cleveland since October. LA was 4 straight days of it.


On Saturday we all went out to eat with two more friends, Eleanor and Mike, who live near LA. We went to A Restaurant. That is the name. A Restaurant. This place is real interesting. It’s very old fashioned. Six of us sat on a long booth, all facing out. It’s got that old timey vibe, which is pretty cool. Sitting in a booth like that sort of hampers conversation. I was in the middle so I could hear everyone fine, but PJ and Mike were at opposite ends and about 8 feet away from each other. It was sort of odd. But if you’re ever in that area, it’s worth checking out.

It was a great weekend and a great time. I can’t wait to go back to LA. We seriously might have to make this an annual birthday trip. February is the perfect time to get out of Cleveland and spend a few days on the beach. Maybe next year I can learn how to surf. PJ did say that he had an extra wet suit for me. Cowabunga.

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