20 March 2008

California Dreamin'

Over Washington Break ("Feb. break"), I finally made it out to California to visit a close friend from high school who attends school at Pepperdine University. We've talked about a trip either to the East coast for her or out West for me, and it finally came to fruition this past February. My total itinerary over the break covered about 5,300 miles, eight states, and 30 hours worth of travel. Whew!

California was beautiful, and the weather was a wonderful departure from the Virginia winter. The Pepperdine campus is situated on the hills along the coast, which drop precipitously down the beach which is only a very short distance away across the Pacific Coast Highway. Remnants of the wildfires from last fall still remained in many places in Malibu, but the scenery remained breathtaking. Of course, no trip to California would be complete without some sightseeing, and my friend served as a wondeful tour guide (despite her notoriously bad driving, which in California is only exacerbated by her Texas-sized truck!). We visited Santa Monica the first night I visited, and ate and a wonderful Thai restaurant located in what appeared to be a shack along the beach. The next day, we went into LA proper and browsed along Rodeo Drive:

I, of course, was thrilled by the giant Brooks Brothers store located prominently at the head of the street.
This is Zuma beach, up the coast from Pepperdine, but the scenery is pretty much the same all through Malibu. Baywatch was filmed at this particular bit.
On the last night afternoon of my visit, we drove to Hollywood where I got a pretty fantastic shot of the eponymous sign.
Then we went did some shopping along Hollywood Boulevard and saw Cloverfield at the Chinese Theater. The Kodak Theater, where the Academy Awards are held, is just down the street, and while we were there, they were setting up for this year's awards ceremony.

All in all, a wonderful trip!