Archives for May 2011

Vacation: Graduation

Today was graduation day, the main reason for our trip to California. My sister, Ashley, now has a Master’s degree! It was so exciting to be there for this very special day. She still has more school to go before she is done, but it’s such a huge accomplishment to have come this far. Next she will have two more years of classes then a year of internship before she gets her Doctoral degree.

Since this is the first Master’s graduation I’ve been to, I really had no idea what to expect. It was really an all day event. We got to the Biola campus just before 11 a.m. to get seat for her hooding ceremony. That ceremony took place in a small chapel on campus. There were a couple of speakers who were very entertaining gave great messages to the graduates. Then each of the Master’s students went up on stage to get their hood put on by the Dean. They were followed by the Doctoral students who went up to get their hoods.

Hooding Ashley

When the ceremony was over we went over to Rose Hall for lunch. Rose Hall is where Ashley has most of her classes. It was cool to see where she has been hanging out the last couple of years. We also got to meet lots of her friends. It was kinda funny because I see them in her facebook pictures all the time, and hear stories about them so I felt like I already knew them. A couple of them said hi and started talking to us because they recognized us from pictures too. Fam ’14 (the name for Ashley’s class) is such a nice group of people. I’m glad she’s got such great friends with her on her journey.

Ashley walking

After touring around the campus a little, it was time to claim our seats for the main graduation event. We were, of course, right in the front row. It was so awesome to watch her walk across the stage to get her diploma. I’m so proud of her and all that she has accomplished this far. Way to go Ash!!

AshleyAshley with parentsAshley with siblings

Vacation: Tourists

Today we did the tourist thing and drove around seeing some of the famous California sites. First we drove through some of downtown Los Angeles for a view of the Nokia theatre. They were still cleaning up from the American Idol finale last night. Across the street is the Staples Center, where the Lakers play.

Nokia theater

Then we drove to Rodeo Drive. We drove down the street and back admiring all the fancy shops and fancy cars. We did a quick drive through Beverly Hills on our way to lunch. After lunch we drove through Hollywood and got to see the big letters on the side of the mountain. That was pretty fun. We all got pretty excited when we first saw the letters, Dad thought something bad had happened in the back of the van. We all annoyed the locals by getting out and standing in the middle of the road to get a good picture.

Rodeo driveBeverly HillsHollywood

We kept driving up the mountain to Griffith Observatory. There was great views from up there. The weather was so absolutely perfect again. It is exactly the right temperature and there is always a constant breeze, with no humidity. I so miss this weather! We’re all getting a little sunburn since you don’t even realize that you’re hot.

Jesse and me in HollywoodGriffith ObservatoryCity view

The part I don’t remember about living here is how much traffic there is all the time. It takes forever to get anywhere. Even though we were out in the middle of the day on a weekday, the freeway is still completely jammed. There is just so many people.

We were also able to swing by Ashley’s apartment to see how she lives. We’ve seen lots of pictures, but I was imagining the whole floor plan wrong. It’s nice to finally see it in person. She and her roomies have a great set up that’s all nicely decorated. It’s a cozy apartment!

Ashley's apartment

The day ended with playing games while eating snacks until we were all too tired to concentrate on the game anymore. I love when we are all able to spend fun times together like this.

Vacation: Time Travel

Today was a great first day of vacation. After breakfast we checked out of our San Diego hotel to head toward our next hotel in La Mirada, about an hour away.

On our way to La Mirada we passed through Rancho Santa Margarita, which is where I grew up. We drove past my old school and then headed to our old house. It was like time has stood still. Everything is exactly as I remember. It was fun to show Jesse what our old house looked like. While we were checking out the house, the owner came home and parked his car in the garage and all the old cabinets that Dad and Pa (Dad’s dad) had built were still there! We thought about asking the guy if we could come in, but we didn’t.

Our house

Ashley was able to meet up with us for lunch. We ate at Rubino’s, a pizza place we used to eat at almost every week. It was just like old times, nothing has changed. We also met up with a couple church friends for lunch too.

Then we drove up to the lake. We used to ride our bikes or roller blade up to the lake every day during the summers. The weather was absolutely beautiful and perfect. We walked around the lake just enjoying the fabulous view. When we lived here, we used to tease Mom because she was always telling us to appreciate the mountain view. It’s just hard to truly appreciate something when you don’t know any different. Now that we don’t ever see that kind of view anymore, we definitely appreciated them today. They are just completely awesome to look at.


Later we were able to check into our La Mirada hotel, where we will stay until Ashley’s graduation ceremony. Her apartment is just down the street from our hotel so she was able to join us for our idol party after she finished with her client meeting.

Idol party

I am so tired from another great day. Plus my body is still trying to figure out what time it is. I kept being hungry all day because my meal times our all confused.