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California dreaming


View Nomad life 2020 on Oceansview's travel map.

Oh Cali, how you warm my heart and my skin. Also--long post to include all the fun of Cali through the end of the year.

I arrived in California the week before Thanksgiving and had an enjoyable time with my aunt. After a week, it was back on the road for a quick trip to Monterey. One thing I decided once on this journey was to take advantage of being able to see people in person! Monterey afforded that chance with 2 folks where I had social distance coffee with one and back porch drinks with another. Just seeing people made me feel good. Even if the camping wasn't ideal. I was at a KOA which was perfectly fine--but its basically a parking lot and not near enough green for me. However, they had openings where none of the parks did.

The week of Thanksgiving I headed down to Long Beach to stay with an LSU friend. Now I'm sure at this point you are thinking...wow, you sure are seeing a lot of people during a pandemic. 1--my aunt was the first person I had hugged/physically interacted with since the beginning of my trip. She is retired and doesn't really leave the house except for groceries. 2--grad school buddy lives alone and also doesn't interact with anyone. Judge away if you still think I'm being unsafe.

Being able to be with someone for the week of Thanksgiving was also a good mental break for me. Don't get me wrong I have greatly enjoyed my time alone and all of the places I have seen, but its also nice to be able to have a conversation with someone as mundane as how was work today? Milo provides great listening ability, but doesn't ask questions. His demands are more in a EXCUSE ME bark or sneeze.

We made a nice dinner for two complete with pecan pie martinis instead of a real pie (who knows if its any less calories).
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We also decided to be LA tourists. My friend had lived in the area for several years, but hadn't explored much. We had a great time buying a map (a real physical one!) from a lady on the side of the road who told us that her family had been in that business for 20+ years. She also gave us a great short drive and which houses to see. She even marked where the map was incorrect. We "saw" many houses, well we saw the tops of them or tiny little peeks at weird angles.
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Jennifer Aniston's driveway was my favorite--note the sign!

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Witch's house doesn't actually have anyone that lives in it, but is a maintained prop house. You probably saw it in Clueless.

After touring houses, we decided to head go see other iconic places in the area like Rodeo Drive
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And Beverly Hills
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We also went up to see the Hollywood sign and observatory. There were some folks, but thankfully no crowds and it was very easy to avoid being near anyone.
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The next day we headed back into town and took a walk down Hollywood Blvd. I only captured the really important stars.

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It was also great to see so many big named folks wearing masks.
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We also made a stop in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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I was struck by the sectioned off areas of the cemetery. There was clearly a Jewish area and an even more separate area for Asians. Hoping as we continue to move forward in this country it will become more inclusive and people coming to visit our graveyards won't know of any distinctions.

And of course can't miss the La Brea tar pits.
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Sticks put in the tar for folks to play with....
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People who are jerks and put both ends of the stick in the tar...

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The tar bubbles so forcefully at times, that it sticks on the trees.

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Closed visitor center :(

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Ongoing research finding out items buried in the tar.

Having the LA tourist experience was pretty amazing and I got to see a lot of things normally reserved to the viewing from a TV. But like all fun things, it must come to an end and hit the road.

I headed down to San Diego to house sit for a while and take advantage of being closer to co-workers at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
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I was also able to see a cousin and we realized it was the first time in our lives that we hung out without other family. It was nice to get to know him as an adult and meet his lovely girlfriend.
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After enjoying several nights on the beach, it was time to head back to a camp ground. I had called the day before to make sure everything was fine and was assured it was (at this point Gov. Newsom had announced Southern Cali to go back into lock down). MY LSU buddy was going to meet me at the park for us to walk the pups since it was a place she hadn't been before.

I drive up and hop out of the car to check in at the station, only to be met with confused looks. Why was I there? Didn't I know the park was closed and they were actively trying to get people to leave? UGH. I got a full refund (eventually--had to call the state parks department) and drove over to meet my friend for the walk...and to tell her I was homeless. She of course told me to just come back to Long Beach with her.

So I had stable housing for several weeks for the first time since leaving on my trip. It was nice to have co-workers who only caused trouble occasionally.
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Christmas was another small affair and Milo was happy to get some soft squishy balls for himself that I let him keep. He kept stealing the dryer wool balls and chewing on them until I found him and took them away.
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I was excited to get my Secret Snowman present from work!
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I also got myself a present and it provided a nice distraction in the evening to build it.
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Sadly he is all built now, but back in his box and hopefully won't fall apart too much on the return trip.

At this point was looking forward to 2021, not being 2020...I didn't know how wrong I could be.

Hope you enjoyed the view,
Ocean

Posted by Oceansview 19:23

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