(I feel like our road trip from Florida to California was so long ago now that I don’t remember much. Although in Fort Stockton, Texas, Michael took a bunch of pictures of me playing in the snow/soft ice at a gas station and I’d like to make an animation out of that, once I figure out how to do it.)
Michael and I absolutely love living in the Los Angeles area so far. Even the area we live in, away from the main city is so pretty. Even the Interstates have nice landscape scenery. We like our house a lot. It’s a very cozy 826 square feet that has gotten down to 52 degrees in the mornings when we forgot to turn the gas heater on! But I was told that we were having a record low in our area those first few weeks. The house also heats up to 76 degrees inside during the middle parts of the day. We have an orange tree in the front yard and I did squeeze five oranges one night to make juice for myself. I had Michael taste it too. It was very tart, but tasted better after being watered down, with a few Equals added.
With the help of Michael’s mom who stayed with us for five extra days after we finished our drive to California, we got everything unpacked within three days. There are a few boxes with expensive plates, etc. that we will leave taped up until we move to our next (own) house in a couple years. Right now we’re just renting- from a really great guy, also a special effects make up artist- who spent a lot of December and the first week of January flying back and forth between Orlando and North Hollywood, fixing up the house. At no charge to us! We have fresh paint on the walls, marble linoleum in the kitchen and carpet in the bedrooms. Michael likes that the floors creak. He says it adds character. I’m not sure if my body has completely adjusted to the time change yet because I usually automatically wake up around 8am and go to sleep by 10:30pm- well, that’s about normal, right?
One week after we moved in, our very good friend, Dawson, settled into an apartment in a nearby city: Glendale. (We met him during our time at Full Sail and he had been living with his family in Texas since graduation. Can’t wait for Julie to join us this summer!) We have spent a few days with him so far. Michael bought a fire pit and a grill at Home Depot, where I am 75% sure that I saw Jim Carrey, but didn’t realize until after then it was too late to be sure.. *Sigh* But Michael apparently has “famous” recipes and grilled us the most delicious hamburgers and then lemon pepper chicken drumsticks a couple days later. Both meals were so yummy! My Shake-and-Bake with mashed potatoes, green beans and corn is pretty tasty too and I finally bought a crock-pot to attempt pulled pork tomorrow.
Last Wednesday (January 16th) was Dawson’s 22nd birthday and he wanted to get his picture under the Hollywood sign earlier in the morning. We left at 8am, then parked at the Griffith Observatory and took a new trail that lead to a big opening. Dawson was huffing and puffing during the tougher climbs, but soon we’ll all be in great shape! The views were incredible and I didn’t mind at all every time he asked us to stop for pictures. Hopefully I can get those from him soon to post- most likely in Instagram form? (I haven’t been taking any pictures lately, aside from our neighbor’s various cats that sleep on our back deck during the day.) We walked around the Observatory, but it was closed until Noon, so we left and took Dawson to FroyoLife. Surprisingly the Maple Bacon Donut frozen yogurt was my favorite flavor. Carrot Cake is second.. My favorite part of his birthday when he said we should go back to our own places and take naps! Haha, and we did. Then he came over again a few hours later so we could go out to eat at Casa Vega. The hostess there was very friendly and told us about celebrities who have come into the restaurant. Unfortunately she said Bruce Willis and Seth Rogan aren’t very nice, even to the waiters in general. While I was texting my mom, Dawson tapped me on the arm and told me that singer, Nick Lachey had just walked in and sat down at a table! I didn’t see him, but after we were seated, Dawson pep-talked himself into getting an autograph and a picture with Nick Lachey! I was so proud of him.
Dawson didn’t recognize the four other guys sitting with him, but scoffed when he sat back down with us because he Googled the 98 Degrees band and realized those were the other band members with him! I told Dawson that it probably happens a lot. Nick Lachey is more well known because he had a solo album after the band broke up and he was married to Jessica Simpson from 2002 to 2005 when they had their own “Newlyweds” reality show.
This past weekend, Michael attended IMATS – International Makeup Artist Trade Show – for free because he was helping Michael Burnett (the guy we are renting the house from) with a Grinch application demonstrations. He told me about how he got to meet Howard Berger, a very successful make up artist who has worked on movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Hitchcock (which we still want to see) & The Walking Dead!! Michael has actually exchanged multiple emails with Howard over the past few years. He bought an IMATS shirt as a souvenir.
Some days when we didn’t have plans, we just ran errands like getting a crack in my windshield repaired, car washes, passing our tests for our California drivers licenses and running to Target and Ralph’s grocery store multiple times. On Saturday I did see This is 40 at our dollar theater, a few minutes down the road, for only three bucks! Other than that I have been watching a lot of Glee, random movies, eating salads and putting together early Valentine’s Day cards. I’ll start taking pictures soon.