Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lakers Game up the Pacific Coast Hwy

The drive between San Diego and Los Angeles takes you along one of the most historic routes in the country. You can take the 4oo+ mile, scenic Pacific Coast Highway (US-101 & California State Route 1) all the way to LA and up the coast to Monterey, CA. Voted one of the best sites to see in the state, the PCH boasts breathtaking views of California coastline. It's marked with wooded hillsides and powerful surf crashing into the rocky cliffs.


After a drive up the PCH there's no more California way to end your day than a Los Angeles Lakers game! The defending champs played at home last week and one of our family Christmas presents was tickets to the game. It was great seeing the Staples Center, one of the most famous venues in the country, in person.
(camera phone pics, sorry)
After all of the hype surrounding the team it's always fun to see some of the best players in the country battle it out on the court.

Found a few little tastes of home in Southern California!

(Hot dog stand in the Staples Center, apparently they like to "Let the Big Dawg Eat" in LA too!)

(An Old Navy store outside of San Diego had this Georgia shirt for sale. I almost bought it just to support the Bulldog Nation!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Paradise!

My aunt from the Windy City, which is covered in snow right now, poised a question the other day that got me thinking: "What does Christmas look like in paradise?!"

Truthfully winter in San Diego looks exactly the same as it does anywhere else. The biggest difference is that you can walk around in shorts and a t-shirt during the day! Besides the 65 degree sunny weather the California Christmas it is not unlike any other season.

Coming from the Bible Belt, it's not unusual to see every house on a street deck out from driveway to rooftop in decorations and lights carefully and beautifully executed. In San Diego the lights seem to be thrown on the houses in a very hasty Cali fashion. Something else I noticed is that none of the houses here are symmetrical! Every house has an weird, uneven shape and no two are alike. So most of the sloppy lights look odd either way!

But no matter your location, Christmas is what you make of it. It's not about lights on houses, presents under trees, or a reef on the door. Christmas is about time spent fellowshiping with family, friends, and Christ.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pomp & (Wintery) Circumstance in the Carolinas

On the eve of one of the biggest storms to hit the east coast in a long time my cousin and I made a risky trip northbound for our cousins graduation from North Carolina State University. After going back and forth all day with wether or not to brave the weather we finally decided to be adventurous and departed ATL around 9pm. Following some research of radar weather maps and some clever navigating we successfully avoided the brunt of the tempest.

Since we arrived in Raleigh at 3:30am we were justifiably a little late to the ceremony that began at 9am at the Wolfpack's basketball arena. Nobel Prize winner and NC State alumnus, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri was slated to be the keynote speaker but fell ill at the last minute. The Chancellor, who was blinged out like T-Pain (see below), said a few words instead.

(The Chancellors chain looked like some of the bling that rapper, T-pain wore in this music video.)

After the ceremony and convocation ceremony for the College of Design my cousin took us on a short tour of the campus and we posed for dozens of the traditional graduation groups photos.

Coming from warm Georgia I spent the entire time hoping to see some snow that was promised by every weatherman on the east coast. Unfortunately I left a little disappointed on the snow front but overall it was great to see my cousin become an alumnus.

(Fun Fact: the Bell Tower @ NC State doesn't actually have a bell inside. It's just a recording played over a speaker system.)