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Christmas in California

Instead of having me do the fun redeye-to-East-Coast-then-back-to-Indianapolis Christmas series of flights, the family decided this year to leave the snowy depths of the Midwest and fly out to California for some non-freezing weather. Despite winter storms forecast for both Indianapolis and Minneapolis, they managed to make it through both airports without delays. My flight, on the other hand, that went through San Francisco, was delayed by almost an hour. Go figure.

A long time ago, we took a road trip to San Antonio around Christmas time. Then along came dinner time, either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, I don't remember. We searched the city for food. McDonald's - closed. Even 24-hour Denny's - closed. Finally we found a pizza place or something that was open, but everyone else was there, too, so there was an additional two hour wait. I'm certain that Daniel and I did not react favorably to this experience, and my mom was so traumatized that to this day, despite the fact that things seem to be open more often now than 10 years ago, she always ensures that we have guaranteed meal plans when traveling on a holiday.

This year's guarantee was Universal Studios. There was a deal for getting two days for the price of one, so we made a quick visit of a few hours on the 24th after we arrived, then another half day on the 25th. I've been to that Universal Studios before, so most of the rides weren't new to me. The live shows were more interesting, and the best was probably the studio tour that took us to a bunch of movie sets, including Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives.

You can usually count on eating at a Chinese restaurant for Christmas (something that we were unable to find in San Antonio), and we had a great big dinner with my great aunt at a Chinese seafood restaurant. Lobster, clams, honey walnut shrimp, Peking duck, etc. Nom nom nom! Unfortunately, her children and their families were all spending this holiday season with their in-laws, so we didn't get to see them. But there's talk of organizing a big Tang reunion...

The next day, we went to the Getty Villa, which my mom thought would just be a quick stop to look at a house. But after doing a short orientation tour, we spent a lot more time browsing through all of the galleries of Greek and Roman antiquities. The Getty Villa was modeled after an ancient Roman villa, so the design of the building was very interesting to see, perhaps more interesting than a lot of the stuff inside. (After awhile, all of the vases begin to look very similar...) I was dropped off in the City of Industry to attend Ke's wedding, and the rest of the family ran off to the Griffith Observatory.

We spent our last few days in the San Diego area, taking advantage of their city card to pay one price for lots of attractions, including LegoLand, the San Diego Zoo, biking around La Jolla, and a whale watching tour. I had to leave a day before everyone else because I'm still hoarding vacation time, so they got an extra day in San Diego.

And that's it for this time! Next trip: Twins' graduation trip?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 30, 2009 8:47 AM.

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