I made it! I'm here in San Diego. . and the past few days since I last wrote have been crazy, of course. I was glad to be able to . . have dinner with my aunt and uncle, lunch with AG, time with BF, a stop by to see the twins & their brother, and a chance to visit my friends & their new baby boy before I left.
Packing ended up being a bit harder than I thought. Yes, I did have the basics laid out (thanks to the Lucky manual), but then I kept throwing extras in and thinking of things I'd need over the next 4 months. Toward the end of the night before, I started to feel overwhelmed. My mom thought it was because I didn't know how to fit everything into 2 suitcases and a big carry-on. But it was more because I kept thinking of things that I might wish I'd have brought once I got there. Maybe in two weeks I'd really want to wear a shirt I didn't bring along. Still, I feel I made good choices as to what I packed.
My plane ride to Denver was pretty interesting. I sat next to a Latino who didn't speak a word of English . . ok, maybe five words . . seriously, he really didn't know any English. I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice my Espanol, so I asked him once we took off, "Hablas Espanol?" This began a 3 hour conversation in Spanish. I'm not fluent, so it was hard at times to communicate certain things . . mainly because of verb tenses. We'd have a few lulls in conversation because we couldn't think of what to say next . . and it was a bit of a workout for my brain. Once we got off the plane, he offered to walk me to my next gate, and even bought me lunch (geez, I felt bad). Then, he sat there with me til my next flight. It was so fun talking to him - we learned a lot about each other. He said that even though he's an American (born in LA, but moved to Mexico for 26 years), he always has to prove it to people. But I was thinking, "Well, guy, you don't speak English so perhaps that is why people don't automatically think you're American." Just a thought.
I bought a movie on my flight to San Diego, which was a treat. Once in San Diego, I got so excited seeing the palm trees outside. My first encounter wasn't friendly. Some guy at the airport got annoyed because I asked him where I could get a cart. He told me where I could get a car. I should've been the one annoyed. It was quite an ordeal pushing the cart around with 150 lbs of luggage and a bad wheel . . up one elevator, over the crosswalk, down another elevator, down the sidewalk to the Hertz bus. Once at Hertz, I couldn't find my ID and started to sweat because I didn't know what I'd do if I lost it. After searching through 3 carry-ons at least, I kid you not, 5 times, I found it! This is what prayer will do. I have learned my lesson, too - Put things back where they belong. Don't just throw them in your purse.
The drive on the freeway wasn't bad. . except that because of all the cars getting on the freeway, I almost missed my exit having trouble getting over. On the drive, I was just loving all the palm trees and . . everything, really. I've been here before, but I'm so glad I have the opportunity to live here for a bit. My apartment is great. Though my roommate is out of town til Tuesday, just from walking through the place I can tell a few things about her . . . she likes video/computer games (DDR and SimCity Civilization), is taking some hard classes in grad school, isn't very fashionable, and is a big fan of potatoes (the crisper is full of them). Most importantly, she's very nice. She left me a note on my bed that was very sweet.
I felt like total crap when I unloaded and it was all I could do to even take my pajamas out of my suitcase and eat a granola bar (since I was starving). Wait - I did force myself to go to the grocery store across the street to get the granola bar and a few other basic food items. I went to bed at 8:30 and slept 10 hours.
Today, I met some of my co-workers and we went to Disneyland. They're from all over the country - Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, D.C., Virginia, Minnesota. A fun and interesting bunch of people. One guy is a bigger clothes horse than I am and appears to have a very strong love for alcohol. He brought SEVEN suitcases/chests with him . . and was talking about getting a "real drink" at 11 a.m. before we even started exploring the park. Mind you, he'd already had a few Bloody Marys that morning. One of the girls is looouuud and veeery talkative, yet so far it seems more entertaining than annoying . . let's hope it stays that way. Today - "Ohmygosh you guys, I just had my first star-sighting! I saw Brian Austin Green and I was like, 'Ohmygosh, are you Brian Austin Green?' and he said, 'Yes' and looked really annoyed. Then I realized he was fighting with his girlfriend." I'm wondering what some of these people will be like in the office on Monday.
Anyway, Disney was fun and I went on some great rides. I was glad to meet everyone. To be honest, it's kinda hard already, because everyone is talking about going out drinking and sure, I'll go out every once in awhile, but I don't drink much. In fact, I've really considered not drinking at all anymore. And I know I'm the only one interested in going to church, yet it's a bit scary to try to find the place all by myself. We shall see. . . I hope that I can get to know everyone more and enjoy hanging out with them.