June 30, 2011
California in May: part three
Part three (the final installment) of California in May represents our time in Southern California, before and after Lindsey's wedding. We spent our first night in Irvine where Steve's grandmother, Nanuka, lives. I wish I had taken more photos of our dinner with Steve's aunt and uncle, because it was delicious.
The next morning's meal was probably Steve's favorite. Nanuka prepared an egg and sausage dish, some fruit, coffee and toast...and we were stuffed. But before we could clear the table, she said, "Now wait just a minute, I have one more surprise." I watched Steve's eyes light up as she brought out the palacsinta, a traditional Hungarian dish. The closest thing I'd had to palacsinta was Swedish pancakes, but this is much better. Layers and layers of cakes with a sweet, nutty walnut spread in between each. I don't how we managed to fit it into our stomachs but we did. Of course Nanuka sent us off with leftovers.
We met up with my mom and Ron at the Orange county airport, and drove to our hotel in Santa Monica. We spent the afternoon before the wedding cruising the Santa Monica pier like true tourists.
Spending time in Southern California reminded me so much of my college days in San Diego. They feel so far away to me now, especially after living in two very different places since graduation. Beach life is so carefree, so fun--it just sucks you in. I remember walking along the boardwalk in Mission Beach (which has a similar feel to Santa Monica) with my mom after visiting USD for the first time. She took one look at my face and knew she had lost me to SoCal--at least for awhile.
The next morning we met up with Josh and Robin and did a bit more wandering. My mom suggested--subtly at first--that we ride the Ferris Wheel. Robin and I have a running joke that my mom always has to do the most touristy things on vacation. Once in New York City, she insisted that we ride a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park. We refused (I know, we're too cool). But this time, she kept bringing it up, so we agreed. Plus, it gave us a chance to capture a round of couples shots. :)
The funny thing is, after the Ferris Wheel, all of the attractions suddenly seemed like fun. We took 4 out 5 spots at the water gun race, but not one of us won. Then Robin, Josh, Steve and I stepped up to the plate and rode the roller coaster. It was pretty wimpy, but still fun.
I think from now on I'll let my mom participate in her touristy activities. Hey, maybe I'll even join her!
Until next time, California!