My last few days in California were spent waiting for the phone to ring with the call that the title for the car we wanted to buy was ready to be picked up, eating at our favorite spots, having doughnut shop runs with my dad, shopping with my mom, driving the coast, and seeing old friends! I spent the whole afternoon with my old College RD, mentor, and close friend, Amanda...
... at Vanguard University, where I spent 4 years of my life and 1 year as an RA!
The place looked just like I remembered it, which isn't saying much, considering I graduated 10 years ago, but in a way, I loved that I came back and all my favorite hang out spots were just like they were then... one of which is the cafeteria, which is where we went for lunch, per my request! Everyone thought I was crazy to wanna eat there, but it's just about as good as it gets!
The next day, Aaron and I headed to The Block, which is now an outlet mall, where we did a little H&M run (surprise, surprise) and hit up the Vans Skate Park, where I used to hang out in college, making skateboarding videos... yep, skateboarding videos! "Go VUSC Digital Media Production Majors!" (instagram pic)
I joke that after spending 4 years in Korea, I'm part Korean, but it's no joke when it comes to my appetite! I've been craving Korean food since we left... So when I found out there was a Korea Town less than 10 miles from my parents house, I had to go! Aaron and I were the only caucasions in the restaurant, so we spoke Korean the whole time. They got the biggest kick out of us, and we were just thrilled to be eating bi-bim-bap and getting to practice Korean again! (instagram pic)
Timing is a funny thing sometimes! The timing for seeing my old college roommate Lynzi, her husband Beau, and their 3 ADORABLE kids couldn't have been better. They've been living in Australia for the past 2 years and moved home to CA just a couple days ago! We were able to connect, and had the BEST 4 hours, catching up and sharing travel and life stories before we headed off to Arizona! (instagram pic)
The next morning, we decided to take a bike ride down to the boardwalk on the beach and over to Main Street for lunch! 17 miles later, most of which were riding straight into the wind (UGH!!!), we returned to my parents house with shaky legs, sore buts and head colds! Luckily, we were happy to have had the workout, and my pancakes at Sugar Shack on Main St were DEFINITELY worth the workout!
We weren't sure we were EVER going to buy a car! We were being REALLY picky because we only wanted a 4runner and preferably a white one. Sadly, there aren't many for sale and when they are, they go within days! Without boring you with all the details, I'll just say we found one, bought it and returned it to the dealership 2 minutes after we left the lot. :( The check engine light came on right away and we had that gut feeling that while it was perfect inside and out, the mechanics were probably LEMON material! Luckily the dealership realized it too and gave us our money back, which happens to be nearly unheard of!! So, we found another 4runner that was better than we had even hoped for and we patiently (yeah right!) waited 2 weeks for the title to be sent to the bank so we could pick it up in person and get the car registered. I'm proud to say that we paid cash, Dave Ramsey style, for our very first car together! Woot Woot! (instagram pic)
The morning after we brought the car home, we had one last doughnut shop run with my parents, then packed the 4runner to the brim and stopped at the park nearby to get some updated family shots. :)
Then we reluctantly said goodbye to my sweet and VERY accommodating parents! If they had their way we would have stayed another 2 and a half weeks at their house, or more, which would have been super nice!! Miss them already!
We jumped on the road around 2:00pm and stopped off an hour away in Riverside, to have an early dinner with Ashley, who's back from Korea and living in Canyon Lake, CA! It was sssooooo nice to see her again and to be reunited in our home state of Cali! Weird that we had to go all the way to Asia to meet each other, but it was worth it! She's one that'll be around for a long, long, long time in my life!
We took a little spin around the parking lot in her adorable VW convertible before saying goodbye for an indefinite period of time. Ugh. I really hope our trip back to Cali is soon!
And just like that, we bid farewell to California and began our road trip to our first stop; Arizona! After stopping at the Flying J, a couple other random gas stations, and my 2nd house in AZ, we made it to my best friend Sarah's house just in time for the clock to strike midnight! We're so happy to be in Arizona and I'm excited to see some old friends and show Aaron my old stomping grounds for the next couple days!