Chelsea and the US Open of Surfing

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First things first... Chelsea is here!!! We picked her up from the airport here in Irvine on Saturday afternoon and excitedly helped her get her bags into her new room. We followed that by an evening trip to Laguna Beach, where I finally watched the sun set over the ocean.

Sunday morning we woke up and immediately showed Chelsea the most "California" things you can imagine: the beach, palm trees, surfers, skateboarders, and a billion bikinis... at the Vans US Open of Surfing. I was incredibly excited to attend for the first time after watching the event on TV several times as a teenager. I was really into skateboarding culture in my mid-teens and was really excited to be in the midst of it. We parked at our friends James and Laura's house and we all walked to Downtown Huntington as a big group.

Everything was super crowded. People were barely dressed and the party was in full force. We walked the pier for a chance to see the surf competition because the beach was packed. I was able to watch a few rounds of the women's finals before we headed down to the sand towards the skating section of the event.

We managed to watch about an hour of the Van Doren skate competition finals. I was steadily watching Greyson Fletcher and Chris Gregson, and then we actually ran into (read: crossed paths with) Greyson Fletcher on the street on our way back to James and Laura's. Apparently he won 2nd place, but we didn't stay for the results.

After hearing the news about the riots in Huntington Beach after the event was over, I'm glad we didn't stick around! How crazy! And how awful that things like this end up happening when things like this are offered. This is why we can't have nice things! Anyway, we had a great weekend!

I'm Sort of Employed!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

You read that right! Semi-employed, as in not quite employed yet but not completely unemployed. The company I interviewed with a couple of weeks ago is so swamped that they haven't had time to make a decision about a permanent hire. Instead they called three of us, "their top candidates," and hired us all on a freelance basis to help them tackle the rising pile of work around them. I'll work about 20 hours a week. This works well for me for three reasons: 1) I need the paycheck, 2) I will have some free time to hang with Chelsea while she settles in, 3) I'm hoping this will prove my abilities even further and possibly help me land the job.

Chelsea will be here on Saturday afternoon! Dan and I only have a couple of days left to run around this place in our underwear and after that I'll have to start at least putting on a bra in the morning. We are planning to take her straight to the beach after unloading her suitcases and then we have a fun few days ahead of us to show her around.

Boxes keep showing up at our door! And not only are Chelsea's belongings arriving, but beautiful new things to liven up our apartment are as well. Our super-talented friend Vince gave Chels this beautiful painting (about 4.5'x4') and she took the frame off and mailed it in a tube. It literally just arrived (while typing this) and I couldn't be more excited to re-stretch it and hang it on the wall!

The US Open of Surfing is happening right now in Huntington Beach. What better thing to take Chels to on her first weekend here!? This just screams "California Living:" beach+ Vans+ surfers + bikinis + skateboarders + music, and everything else I'd only ever seen in this combo from my TV screen growing up. This was once just something that I watched from far away; on Sunday we will be in the middle of it. (I'm also pretty psyched that Modest Mouse is playing there tomorrow night. I may have to make an early trip down.)

As busy as I've been, I've also been finding a lot of time to read this week. I had been told to read the Divergent series over a year ago; Friday night I randomly ordered the first book, Divergent, on Amazon. It arrived on Saturday. I was finished by Monday mid-day. I will write a review soon, but let's just say that I was pretty sure that knock at the door was my newest order, Insurgent, arriving instead of a painting. Hurry up FedEx!

Independence Day

Friday, July 5, 2013

We had a wonderful 4th of July - our first one celebrating near the beach! After lunch we headed to Huntington Beach to James and Laura's house. They were outside lounging around with their neighbors while the kids all ran around together and drew all over the street with sidewalk chalk. Two smokers/grills were going and smelling delicious and we sat around and enjoyed everyone's company and a few ciders and/or beers while the food cooked. (Insta-video here!)

 James & Laura's oldest daughter, Brooklyn. My little buddy.

Austin and Lindsey showed up while we were eating and hung out for a while before we headed out for the second part of our day. Our friend Kyle lives in Newport Beach and had invited us to join in on the festivities that night.

We borrowed bikes from Lindsey's uncle and then biked from Huntington Beach down to the Newport Beach peninsula. Note that this was my first time on a bike since my trip to Miami! I was struggling for a while (especially nervous around oncoming bikes and pedestrians on narrow sidewalks!) but once I raised my seat and was more comfortable I was really enjoying our ride.

Dan took this of us riding along the Santa Ana River.
I was too afraid to take photos, aka, let go of my handlebars!
Newport Beach on the 4th of July is quite infamous around here, apparently. The streets had been shut down and police were out on bikes and horses; locals wandered the streets in bikinis, yelled down from balconies, and were cooking, drinking, and dancing all over the place. It was sort of straight out of a college party movie. (Here's a good photo for reference, but we were there after dark and people were much more drunk/wild by then.) Very interesting!

Ok, so now I officially want a bike so I can ride all over town!