Thursday, May 14, 2009

My First Day in L.A.!

Wow, I can't believe I am in L.A.! It was a long trip to get here.

I left for the airport after work and was running behind. I was dropped off at the United terminal, but was at the wrong one! I had to walk nearly 10 minutes to the other side of the airport and go through agriculture - again. Then, I went through security and totally forgot I had a whole bunch of stuff that I shouldn't have had ... I had to toss my sun tan lotion out and dump out the water in my water bottle. I should've been better prepared, but I got out of work late and didn't have the chance to prepare. Oh well ...

After getting through security, I finally had the chance to grab lunch, which cost me nearly $15 bucks for a combo meal. It sure was expensive! I was glad to be eating lunch though since I hadn't eaten all day.

I boarded the plane and flew to Lihue, Kaui to connect to my flight heading to Los Angeles. This morning, I finally arrived. It sure has been quite an adventure!

Before flying to California, our plane had a maintenance issue, so we were an hour behind. People were getting impatient, but for some odd reason I was relaxed. I guess it's because I'd rather have maintenance take their time and resolve the issue, so that we can have a safe flight. Five hours later, I was more than happy to be here!

Once I flew into L.A.,, things got pretty interesting. There are a lot of friendly, interesting people here.

At the airport, I had a good laugh. I was taking a picture of a building, when from a distance I saw a security guard trying to jump into the photo. He was waving to get my attention and then he posed for me because he wanted to be in the picture. He definitely is a character.

When I arrived in L.A., I had to look for the supershuttle station. I eventually found it after walking for forever, since I didn't realize I had passed the first station. I sat at the super shuttle station, waiting for the super shuttle to arrive, which felt like forever. It's a great mode of transportation, although I definitely think you have to be pushy to get on! I was confused by the first guy who stopped because he didn't know where I needed to go, even though I showed him the map and told him. I could've swore he said to "come on in" so I was ready, but the next thing you know, he drove away. I sure was confused! Either I couldn't understand his accent or we had major miscommunication. The second driver, thankfully, stopped and let me in. He used the map I gave him and got me to my destination rather quickly.

I was so happy after I finally arrived at my destination -University of Southern California. It's my first time being in California and I've never seen a school more beautiful than this. Not yet at least! It's an amazingly beautiful school. The buildings are a sight to see, as well as the landscape. There are flowers everywhere and unusual trees I've never seen in my life. They even have a tram that takes students to various parts of the school. The school is HUGE. It took us nearly 25 minutes to get to the Health Services area, which is located farther away than the central campus. I had the chance to take a photo of the USC hospital, which I remember seeing in the movie "SICKO" and I also took a picture of the law building at the central campus, which was suppossedly featured in "Legally Blonde." Besides the school, there are amazingly beautiful churches around the area too!

Although USC is an amazingly beautiful school, the surrounding area seems quite dangerous. You definitely have to be careful walking around! I was pretty paranoid today (still am!) I feel like I need to relax. I love being here, but I definitely feel tense. Maybe I just need to get used to the way things are here ...

There's so much that we did today. I'll have to post some photos later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Gorgeous View of the Alawai Area

Before dance class, my husband and I ate at Genki Sushi. For those of you who haven't been to Genki yet, it's a pretty good place to eat at. A bunch of different types of sushi are placed on a conveyer belt and slowly move along. All you have to do is grab the one you want and eat! If the sushi you want isn't on the belt, you can always order from their menu.

The one below is pretty popular. It's egg sushi. As you can see, there's more than just raw fish ... The egg is slightly sweetened.

I am not sure what "Ko-Ro-Ke" is called in English. Croquette? Anyway, it's made of potato and is crusted with panko bread crumbs. Sometimes, koroke has vegetables in it (just a little) and some meat. It all really depends! The sauce on top is "tonkatsu sauce." It's good!

Salmon collar ... I heard this isn't eaten very often by most people who may feel this is the inferior part of the fish, but they serve it here and it sure is great. I thought it tasted awesome. It's lightly fried on the outside too.

Spicy tuna is always a favorite ...

"Ika" aka squid sushi... It's pretty good, but for newbies, this may be a difficult one to handle since it can be quite chewy.

Nato ... Most people DEFINITELY cannot handle this one! It's fermented beans and it's slimey. In fact, my husband gagged when trying this one, but for some odd reason, he one day started having cravings for it and now seems to enjoy it A LOT. It's definitely an acquired taste!

There are so many different types of sushi ... The salmon, especially garlic salmon is definitely one of my favorite. Ahi is also quite popular. I love sushi. There are so many different types of sushi out there for a variety of people, so give it a try if you haven't already =)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

Happy May day! Where exactly did "May day" even originate from? If someone could enlighten me ...

It seems that many people celebrate May day, but the way one celebrates is quite different depending on the state or country you live in.

Growing up in Hawaii, I remember having to take part in performances on May day. I also had to bring a flower lei, which I creatively made with the plumeria flowers taken from the tree in my back yard. I would use a needle to string all of the plumeria into a lei and prayed that it wouldn't turn brown the following day! =) There are so many beautiful flowers here, but plumeria flowers are so abundant that it's much easier to use them if you plan to make your own (although they definitely aren't popular to sell).

I also ate Hawaiian food today, which I don't eat too often. I had poi, which I've never really liked since I always thought it tasted like paste. However, the one I had today from Youngs was pretty good, including all the other food they serve.

Today, one of my old supervisors also gave me a flower lei for May day. It was pretty cool.

I think May will be such an awesome month! I'll be taking a vacation in two weeks also ... I can't wait!

Ballroom Dancing

Yesterday, my husband and I went ballroom dancing again. We were really late since we had prior obligations elsewhere, but luckily we still had an hour left to learn how to do the Waltz and the Samba.

The teachers are very friendly and patient, so it's awesome. They encourage you to continue and seem to truly enjoy the company.

Since we have been taking the class because of my husband's anthropology project, we questioned some of the younger couples to see why they were interested in ballroom dancing. Most of the couples are much, much older. There were, however, quite a few young couples. They all seemed to be interested in learning ballroom dancing for fun or to have a great activity to do with their partners. I can see why they chose ballroom dancing because it's definitely good for both reasons.

There was one girl, however, who was quite frustrated. Hopefully, she'll feel better next time.

My husband and I are still very terrible at dancing, but with practice I know we can improve. We really love this new place we are at because they go step by step. You practice the moves quite a bit!

I get lost all the time and sometimes my head spins, but I never could've imagined how fun ballroom dancing could be. I definitely would like to continue. I want to learn other forms of dance too, such as Tahitian hula - if time permits!

After dance class, we went to Yogurt Land. It's such an awesome place! Most people may find the plain yogurt disgusting, but I think it's awesome. It has a natural, tart taste to it. You can add tons of different topings too. I also tried the toasted coconut yogurt. It was okay.

I can't wait till next week Thursday!


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