Wednesday, August 11, 2010

(Maddie) Parents' Week - Part 1

I am now back in the world of the living...jetlag no longer has any power over me. But, alas, Pacific Standard Time still does. Damn time zones. Meh. I am back in America's High-Five (the Mitten); but, I am still going to recount my amazing adventures over the last week of my internship. I had been following a mostly-routine schedule in the days after my last post. Nothing special. I'm sure I could have churned out something witty and sarcastic, but, I'll be honest - I was just too damn lazy;)

My parents arrived in LAX late Friday evening and picked up a rental car. I had told them to take the 405 at their own peril. You see, L.A. traffic never ends. It is somewhat akin to the Energizer Bunny. Although it would take longer, the Pacific Coast Highway would have been far less stressful. They took the 405 at 11pm on Friday night. As my Mother said, "The GPS paid for itself that night." My poor Father, worn down Spirit Airlines, had to take his life into his own hands and enter the hell that is California's highway system. Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive! Since everyone is from somewhere else in L.A., there is no established road ettiquette. Turn signals are optional equipment, horns are near-constant backround noise, weaving in and out of lanes is a normal way to get into the next lane, and illegal texting is still a common past-time. Fortunately, they arrived in one piece. Poor Dad had to drive around in this crap for the rest of the week. (Traffic is one of the major negatives in L.A.). Let's just say I appreciate the public bus system more after this.

Early Saturday morning, I took Mom and Down down to Santa Monica Beach, the place I frequented on my free days. It was a foggy, nippy morning with barely a soul on the beach. We walked barefoot in the wet sand. Dad got his ankles (and the bottom of his jeans) nailed by a particularly wiley wave, prompting him to yell a benign expletive and giving me a great photo-op. We walked down toward the Pier, picking up a sandwich-bag-full of seashells along the way. We walked up and down the Pier, laughing at the strange, New-Jersey-esque people we saw. When the sun came out, we shrank away like vampires toward the Third Street Promenade, protecting out pastiness. Burgers, Pinkberry, a walk down the Promenade, and we were on our way back home. It was a wonderful day and deserved a siesta in the afternoon.

I took my parents to the OPC Church I had attended while in L.A. They got to meet everyone I had gotten to know over the 10 weeks I was there. In the evening, we noticed that it was going to be a crystal clear night sky. Apparently, so did everyone other frickin' person in L.A. Since Dad and I are astronomy nerds, we all decided to go to the Griffith Observatory. Our stressful journey took us through the narrow streets of Korea Town, whose signs were mostly in Korean. Ironically, I saw more Hispanics there than Koreans. Oh well. After driving through hills of old Hollywood homes, we arrived at the Observatory Road, only to find the parking lot full and the overflow parking streching down the hillside. Not tonight. Double damn! I think most people were there because it was free, not because they were astro-nuts. Whenever something is free, I always feel more inclined to use/take it, even if I don't need or want it. For instance, I have a collection of bus maps and L.A. Weekly's in my room. I don't need or particularly want them. I just feel like taking one anyway. Maybe I have a mild, subconscious form of kelptomania.

Now, you must wait in suspense for part 2. Mwahaha!

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