Well, today we returned home from our week and a half of travel in California. We were sad to leave my parents, but we had such a fun trip!
FYI, I’ll be filling in my daily posts from the trip over the next few days, so they will be out of chronological order for a week or so as I publish them alongside the current daily posts.
Today’s photos were taken with my iPhone 12 Mini, which I used quite a lot during this trip. The photos that produces look really nice when viewed on the small screen, but when I edit them in Lightroom, you can quickly see the limitations of the small sensor/lens combination. Still, it’s fast and convenient. Definitely usable!
Today’s running destination was Torrance High School, where I attended from 1982-1986. It’s still pretty much unchanged from when I went there, except now there’s a fence encircling the campus. It’s really sad that we live in a society where gun violence is so pervasive that we have to do this. The 80s seem like such an innocent time, when we just had to worry about nuclear war. I’ll never forget the worry I felt as I waited with other parents outside my son’s school while the police swept the area for a gunman… I hate guns.
Anyways, while I was running through the main student parking lot at THS, I saw the band and color guard truck. It looked so tiny! I live in Texas now, where high school marching band is a BIG deal and the band trucks are sized accordingly: 18-wheelers, with professional full-blown graphics. It’s pretty amazing and I am still in awe of the band programs here. Seeing the small THS truck was a huge contrast, but I’m glad that at least they offer band and color guard.
Later that day, we took a drive up to Palos Verdes to check out the views and enjoy the beautiful weather. Lovely!
Today was “Los Angeles Day” for us, starting with a trip up the 405 to check out UCLA. Just like UCI was a nostalgic for me since that is where I spent four years, UCLA brought back many memories since I worked there for a couple of years. It didn’t have quite the magical feeling of my UCI visit though. I guess it’s because my UCLA days were when I was a working adult, whereas my UCI days were from a much different time of my life.
We walked around for a while, and Koa liked the campus (the weather in California is so nice as compared to Texas!). It’s so fun to go to each campus and imagine the different versions of the future for him.
And being a graphic designer, I had to admire and photograph a poster that I really liked:
In the early evening, we headed east to Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers host the Cubs. It was the first time for Koa to see a game at Dodger Stadium (Bay has been a couple of times before). We sat in the right field pavilion, where we could see Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. It was not a good day for the Dodgers as they were no-hit by the Cubs, but it was a beautiful evening at an awesome stadium, rooting for our team along with a capacity crowd. Super fun!!!
I haven’t sat in the bleachers since 1988, but it was awesome – definitely a different vibe from sitting closer to the plate. Although farther from the action, the energy is higher (most waves start out here) and you feel more connected to your fellow fans. I recommend it!
Let’s see… a trip to Costco, Nijiya Market, the Locksmith, Mitsuwa, and Barnes & Noble. Those count as errands, right? But they were fun because we’re on vacation and with my Mom. 😀
After a bit of lunch, my brother and his daughter came up for the afternoon to help with doing a bit of yardwork for our parents, and then we went to the park to throw the baseball. It’s so nostalgic to spend time in the same park where we played so much growing up. A good feeling!
That evening, we watched The Rock to relive our visit to Alcatraz. I am happy to say that the movie still holds up!
Another fun day, with a beautiful evening moon as a bonus.
Today we spent time down in Orange County with my brother and his family. First on the agenda was a stop at Moulin for a nice, fancy breakfast. The bakery/café was busy, and rightfully so because the food was scrumptious! We enjoyed a Niçoise salad, eggs with crepes, toast, French onion soup, and pastries. Yum!
Next, we went to UC Irvine, where my nephew will be a freshman later this year, and where I graduated from in 1990. A lot has changed on campus, but the old buildings still remain. I was filled with nostalgia as I peeked in the painting and drawing studios where I spent most of my time at university. So fun!
Along with the new buildings and fancy dorms, they also have these cute little delivery robots. How cool is that?!
After a stop at the student store (where I bought a hat), we went to my brother’s house to relax a bit before going to the “Big A” to watch the Angels, led by Shohei Ohtani, take on the San Francisco Giants. We were hoping to see Shotime hit a home run or two and defeat the Giants, but alas, he struck out three times and the Giants won. 😥
Still, it was fun to be back at a baseball stadium with my family.
On the way home, we passed by a donut shop and Mariko saw the words “mochi donuts” in the window, so we had to stop and get a few to take back to Torrance. The donuts were just okay…