Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home, Sweet Home! - Los Angeles, CA (Part 1)

     I was still very melancholy about leaving Europe; sad yet happy.  It was six days until my birthday and 13 days until Christmas.  No one except my mom knew I was coming home.  What would it be like?  Would I see my home in the same eyes as when I left? Would my friends have forgotten me? Would they be too busy?  My head was filled with all these thoughts.  Maybe I should have canceled my flight so I wouldn't get stuck at home.  If I did cancel my flight what would I have done? Where would I have gone? Was flying home worth it?  Was I really going to be able to leave home in a month and a half as planned?

    I decided it was better if I just tried to nap the whole way and let all those things go. It really doesn't make sense to worry about things when you know you're not going to actually change your mind. The flight ended up being pretty sweet.  It was December 12th and there was no one on the airplane.  I had three seats all to myself!  

     There was an airplane switch in Las Vegas..... where I really contemplated staying for the night, getting a hotel room and a rental car and driving home the next day (or two days later! :P )  I decided to be a well behaved girl and get on the next airplane instead.  To this day i'm really not sure why!

Well, hello Las Vegas! - Dec 13

       I was so happy to be home!  My mom was waiting for me with a big hug and kiss.. and my car! Yay! Freedom! It was warm, the sun was shinning, I didn't need a parka.  We loaded up my backpack into the car and I GOT TO DRIVE!  Haha!! First time in over four months!  My mom was scared silly!  I glanced over just to see her holding the arm rests like a cat trying to avoid a bath; claws out and everything. Haha!
Hello view from mom's porch! - Dec 13

         My mom had pulled out a few items of clothing, my teddy bear (don't hate), my bathrobe, perfume, body washes and now had a "bedroom" for me!

         Wow!!  I had a home.

Pre-decorating the Xmas tree - me, santa, my mom, tank the dog and my brother's feet
Dec 15

         My mom must have been relieved that I was home and in one piece.  My brother seemed happy to see me too.  I was happy I committed that day to tree decorating before I left England. The next few days, few weeks were a blur.  I was every where, all at one time.  This gave me a chance to spend some time with my family.  

         I soon dashed off to this holiday party to start surprising people!  You know,  I do love a surprise!

Alex (ex-coworker), Victor (ex-coworker and great long time friend), me and Walter (a mutual friend an amazing guy)
Victor is so built his chest was popping buttons.  ;)
A holiday party I crashed for two, or technically three, of my employers - Dec 15

         It was an eventful night of seeing many familiar faces!  It was a great feeling.  What feeling?  The feeling of being known, having shared experiences with people and automatically being greeted with a smiling face and a HUGE hug! Their shocked faces were pretty priceless too.  The night was a little climactic but it ended well.  

         I soon woke up in a daze and rushed down the road to meet up with my buddies!
Jeramy and David who integrated Nicoke!  seconds after this photo was taken - Dec 16
         We were off to Joshua Tree for Zack's birthday.  Funny enough, it was my and Jeramy's birthday in two days and Zack's girlfriend, Laura's birthday in three days! Four out of six of us had birthdays.  It was a birthday bonanza!  :D

Sonic with the crew! Notice the lady on skates? ...only in America.
We're almost there! Joshua trees - Dec 15

         We were headed for Joshua Tree, yes.  More specifically we were headed for "Hicksville".  It is a small village of old air streams and campers made into accommodation with activities to keep us busy. 

         Thanks Lilly for the following photos!  :)

Hello Hicksville!

Laura and Lilly!

Zack, David and Jeramy!
Target practice with Laura
Zack's birthday cake!
         It was such a nice time!  There were a few shenanigans that took place that night as you can imagine.  Some one ate the dog treats.  Some one else had a slight fall for no apparent reason.  There was a lot of hugging going on, laughing and smiling.  More than I remember.... I guess that's what photos are for.  :D

         The next day there was a couple football games so the boys wanted to watch it in town.

         We girls went to Palm Springs and had lunch!

Yay! Lilly and me - Dec 16
This is my favorite Mexican restaurants in P.S. - Dec 16
Everything seemed so bright and colorful!
         We soon finished lunch walked around a bit and headed back to Los Angeles.  

         From the gang's house I went straight to meet up with yet more ex co-workers. (I was invited at the holiday party.) This gathering was for Diana's birthday!  Yay Diana!  Happy birthday!  

Diana, Kristy from Paris, Micki from Colorado and me --from Mars - Dec 17
         I hung around with them, chatted and reminisced for a few hours before every one called it a night.  It was lovely to see every them as well as Bridget (not pictured) again!

         From there I was off to one of my closest friend Torrey's!  I went straight to bed.  The next morning I was glad to wake up there on my birthday.  Especially when my favorite breakfast on the planet was on the menu and there was a morning toast! 

Bestie & breakfast! - Dec 18
The essence of Torrey - Dec 18

         Torrey happened to have the day off.  So... what to do?!  Scoop up his friend Tony and... drive around until we found something awesome to do?  Maybe do some christmas shopping at the Glendale Galleria?

We found Santa Claus checking his list on the way - Dec 18
and I scored a new hat!  Thank you Torrey! - Dec 18

         The sun was bigger and brighter.  The clouds had never been so beautiful!  I never saw LA in such a great light. We were rocking out in the car.  Yes.. I was actually singing.  I was happy to be home and overjoyed to be alive!

Random shot of Glendale and the clouds - Dec 18
         What was next?  Drop Tony off and have an Oyster House celebration! It seems all my friends were busy but Torrey was still making my day.  Man, those oysters were good!

Dec 18
         We decided to go back to Torrey's house and invite his friends and my mom.  Of course my mom brought my brother. 

My brother Jacob and me - Dec 18
         It was weird... for the first time in my life my brother bought me a birthday and/or present.  It contained quite a few pairs of thermals so I wouldn't be cold on my travels.  Pretty thoughtful.

         One of those pairs of thermals happened to be these:

They were a bit over sized even though they were a medium and literally fit three people! - Dec 18
They were a great laugh!  Thanks Jake!
(Katie, Cole and me)

         That's basically how that night ended.  The whole week was good fun with people I love.  I really enjoyed myself!

         Stay tuned!  This post is to be continued!

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