California sun

The SharePoint Conference, the reason for me to be here in the first place, started today. Have to say that even though the best part of the day is spent inside the air conditioned convention center, it is so awesome to be able to step outside to a warm sunny day on breaks, instead of rain and cold. And go out in the evening without needing coats etc. Even today when it’s a bit more windy than during the weekend, it’s warm. And the sun is nicely hot. I love it. I could so do without the cold and the dark and the snow and whatnot. Summer <3

On saturday we went to a mall in Glendale to do some shopping. I found a gorgeous pair of boots for myself and some stuff for the kids. After shopping, we drove to Santa Monica beach, walked the shoreline to the pier and back to the car, stopping for a moment to wach the hunks at the muscle beach, as the sun started to set over the beach. And then drove back to the hotel in such heavy traffic that it’s just unbelievable! I mean, there’s four to five lanes going each direction and they were packed and jammed on a saturday evening. The guys said it took us like two hours to get back to the hotel. I wouldn’t know, I fell asleep in the car on the way.

Later in the evening we went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House for dinner. I was contemplating on a T-bone, but guessed it would be way beyond my capability of eating all of it, so settled on a rare petite filet with some asparagus. Even that was almost too much. But it was heavenly delicious! Best steak in a while. I do think though that eg. those ostrich steaks we fried at home sometime last spring came quite close if not even. Anyway, it was a fabulous dinner with nice red wine and a strawberry daiquiri for dessert.

Sunday morning we got up and moving relatively early. We had some breakfast at the hotel and had the waiters rolling their eyes when we didn’t care for any pancakes and omelets and whatnot; the buffet in itself was plenty! By 10am we were in the car, picked up a friend from the neighboring hotel, and started off to the desert. We took the highway over the mountains to Barstow, had lunch there and continued to Big Bear Lake through the Mojave desert. All those trailers and shackles and age-old RV’s there, in the middle of nowhere! Even the desert isn’t completely deserted there.

The desert gave way to lush greenery when we started the ascend to the mountains and the San Bernardino National Park where Big Bear Lake is. We stopped for some coffee at Big Bear Starbucks, then continued to drive over the mountains back toward LA. According to the signs along the way, we were somewhere over 7000 feet at the highest, that would be somewhere over 2000 meters above the sea level. The mountains were steep and the scenery just awesome! Amazing how many different landscapes you can find here within an approximately 250km radius. From beach to the flat desert to the steep mountains.

Back in Anaheim we went for a light dinner and a couple drinks and back to the hotel rooms quite early. It wasn’t yet 10pm when I closed my eyes, securing a good 9 hours of sleep before the first conference day. Tonight the plan is pretty much the same, an easy dinner and a few drinks, but no late night partying tonight. That’s on tomorrow’s agenda, what with the attendee party at Disneyland!

[Pics from the trip]

2 thoughts on “California sun

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