Back.

The end of the trip was fun, fun, fun! I guess I’ll post from where I left off. Forgot to say that on Monday, I bought a Hybrid album, “Additional Remixes and Productions by…” It’s a continual mix of some popular electronica songs put together by Hybrid. It’s rather freakin’ sweet.

Tuesday:
We took a tour of UC Santa Barbara. It’s a nice campus. The main mode of transportation is by bicycle. We saw the dorms, cafeterias, DDR MACHINES~! and whatnot. Daimn, was there a lot of DDR on this trip.
And finally, we made it to Los Angeles! The traffic was pretty bad, but we expected it.
We made our way to the Santa Monica Shopping Center and ate at Stage Deli, a New York restaurant. I almost made myself sick by chowing down on their Philly Cheese Steak. I stopped off at a bookstore and got “Steal This Computer Book,” a book explaining how to create or invade privacy on the internet. It came with a lot of nifty tools on a CD. I think I’ll equip my computer with, oh, ALL of them.
We walked around Santa Monica Pier, where, you guessed it, I played DDR. And this time I passed a 5-footer. But unfortunately, this 12-year old kid jumped on right after me and did Afronova on Maniac almost perfectly. :(
We arrived back at our campsite so late that we were locked out! A “no parking” sign was hung on the closed entrance gate, and the exit gate had those one-way tire-puncturing spikes. Fortunately, this guy appeared out of nowhere, said he was learned in the way of spike-crossing-over, and guided our car over the spikes with the help of some flat tools he had in the back of his car. Isn’t that a great coincidence?

Wednesday:
Last day of the trip. We went to UCLA and had a tour. I thought that I’d like it least of the campuses when we started this trip, and then I saw Cal Poly (ugh), and then I actually saw UCLA. Great, great campus! The tour guide emphasized that you won’t notice you’re in LA. That’s a good thing, because despite the DDR machines, I didn’t really enjoy walking around LA late at night.
While waiting for the tour to start, I actually saw some classmates from TL! One of them, Jonathan, is in my English and History classes. That was pretty cool, seeing them there.
After the tour, we zoomed over to Genghis Cohen’s, a Jewish-Chinese restaurant, for a quick lunch. We stuck with the Chinese stuff and had some great General Beef, shrimp chow mein, and Kung Pow~! Chicken.
We drove over to Burbank, where we waited on line for an hour or two to get into the Tonight Show with Jay Leno! We got pretty good seats, and could see everything that went on. Jay introduced himself before the show to the audience, told a few jokes, took some pictures with fans, and before we knew it, the show started. Even though it’s filmed at 4:30 PM and isn’t live, it’s not cut at any point, so it’s just one solid hour. During commercials, Kevin Eubanks’s band performs, and Jay gets ready for the next section. That was pretty fun to watch. And we got to see Ashley Judd, Zxccv Vrmrmnr, (or something like that, he’s from Wales), and Tweet, my sister’s role model.
Our vacation was over, and we wanted to get home, so that’s what we did. We left the studio at 6:00 and drove straight home, through the ultimately boring Highway 5, for seven hours straight. (Well, that’s not true, we had to stop about 4 times for gas because of the van’s crappy mileage.) We arrived home and, without unpacking anything, went straight to bed.

Thursday:
The day was spent unpacking and settling down. It went by pretty fast, since I slept ’till noon. I spent an hour replying to all my email and deleting all of the spam, and had a nice read through my computer book.

Friday:
Why am I still listing the days? It’s the end of the vacation! Erhm. Anyway, today, my mom got the dog she’s been wanting to get for a while. Yup! She’s a half black lab, half collie from Taiwan, named (I did NOT make this name up) Chocobo.

Reminds me of my late fish Magus, who I named after Magus’ black magic because he was a black goldfish. Well, Chocobo is black too… but he can’t fly. He CAN run really, really fast, though.

I’m at the Santa Barbara Public Library right now… there’s this long line to use the computers with internet access, but I GOT ONE! WOO!

I might as well recap the Southern California trip so far so I don’t post some short inaccurate CRAP writeup when I get home. I’ll do the day-by-day recap-o-rama.

Friday:
My mom and I drove over to Mountain View in the south SF Bay Area, and we picked up our Volkswagen Vanagon, in which we would sleep for the next 5 nights.
We drove our pretty selves down to Santa Cruz, where we stopped off at the boardwalk. Santa Cruz’s boardwalk KICKS THE MOTHER OF ASS. Unfortunately, while we were there, all the rides and restaurants were closed. The arcade, though, was open, and my mom let me show her the magic of DDR! She even tried a game out, and after the third one-footer, she started to get the hang of it. Me, on the other hand, I was having a bad DDR day and I couldn’t even pass a four-footer. James, please don’t kill me.
We arrived at the Graham Hill campgrounds and set up our Vanagon for “SLEEP MODE.” In sleep mode, the cute little “Westfalia” top is raised to reveal a hidden bed, where I would sleep. HOORAY!

Sat’day:
We found ourselves in UC Santa Cruz, one freakin’ beautiful campus. We missed the scheduled tour because of crappy directions on the signs around the campus, but we ended up just driving around ourselves. Wowee.

INTERMISSION: I just noticed that there’s some bird crap on my jacket. GOD DAMN IT!

We saw some signs around the campus, inviting us to challenge “JOE,” the master of Super Smash Brothers Melee. I was actually allowed to go to this tournament, and I found myself in the midst of about 30 college geeks. Holy crap was it fun. And for someone who hadn’t ever played Super Smash Brothers Melee before, I did rather well. I mean, I wasn’t the first player to be defeated in a 4-man brawl. Using Kirby. :D
After having seen enough, we drove over to our next campground, a parking lot for RVs and trailer homes (um, I hope that wasn’t redundant). We walked along the beach, watched some Friends (as the main office had a TV) and… SLEPT!

Sunday: Bleah. It was Easter, and almost ALL of Monterey was in Church. So we were able to walk around the city without THAT many awkward looks, as we were about the only people not in formal clothes. Boo hoo, Jesus died. I’d been to Monterey a few times, but we visited the same places anyway… the Dennis the Menace play park, a Chinese-Japanese Antiques shop which had closed shop since the last time we were there, and the Cannery, where the Monterey Bay Aquarium is.
We drove to Point Lobos, where I explained to my mom the wonder of Final Fantasy X (I still can’t believe she’s letting me do all this video game stuff), and I compared our race’s relation to nature to the Al Bhed… or something. I just felt like talking about FFX.
We stopped in Carmel, where we had camped out before, and tried to look for a restaurant that was open (ugh, I hate Easter.) Well, we found one, ATE~!, and drove to Big Sur, where I beat Sonic Advance a few times, and went to t3h b3d.

Monday: Big ol’ driving day. No video games, but a few pretty awesome sights. We drove along Highway 1 and saw the coastline. Although it was foggy and I had to concentrate on the road with the big, sluggish Vanagon, it was a sight to behold or something. We stopped at a few beaches, and one was cluttered with elephant seals. Pretty awesome animals.
We drove through San Luis Obispo, and stopped to look at Cal Poly. Buh, I didn’t know that a college could be so agricultural. And to think it was at the top of my list of prospective colleges. Not only do all the alumni look like horses (hey… those WERE horses!), but San Luis Obispo itself is a pretty ugly town.
Driving driving driving! Odometer hits 350 miles. WOW!
And we arrive in Santa Barbara, which is by far my favorite city on this trip. Beautiful harbor, great shoppin’ (I finally got to use up some gift certificates from the holidays), and nice atmosphere… it seemed like everyone was smiling, or had some bounce in their step.
We found a motel since we were sick of camping out.

And that brings us to today. Yup. I have to go to UC Santa Barbara now. I’ll be back to haunt you all again on Thursday.

HI HO Ag, AWAY!!!