Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

April 2013, Part I

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:37 pm, April 28th, 2013

April has been a relatively eventful month so far, with everything from fancy resorts to insect invasions to barfing to rock and roll. Given that there have been so many adventures, and since I need two journal entries in the next three days to meet the three-a-month goal, here’s part one.

At the beginning of the month Audrey had a rare Sunday off from her weekly singing gig at All Saints’ Parish, and I was a bit burned out from work, so we scheduled a four day weekend that was evenly split between nature and relaxation. Unfortunately after spending the night in Ventura and arriving early for our boat ride out to Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park we were told the trip had been cancelled due to weather – despite the calm morning, forecasts for the afternoon called for 40-50 mph winds, and they apparently don’t take people when they can’t guarantee a return trip, which is probably a good policy to have even if we were bummed not to be able to go.

The following day we enjoyed a barbecue with Audrey’s friend in Santa Barbara, then made our way a bit further up the coast to the mighty fancy Bacara Resort. After being the lucky recipients of an upgrade to a suite we checked into our giant room next to the ocean, and while Audrey did some reading I curled up into the fetal position before eventually refunding all of the day’s meals. Whatever sickness I had prevented us from fully appreciating the pillow-top, high thread count sleeping options available as Audrey was forced to spend the night on the couch while I prayed for relief from the host of demons that were madly shoveling things out of my stomach.

Monday morning I rallied, and by “rallied” I mean got a massage (yep, Ryan is pampered) and a very fancy dinner overlooking the sea coast; the life of this programmer is not filled with an inordinate amount of hardship.

After returning home and surviving a short work week we made a pilgrimage to the La Brea tar pits (“La Brea” means tar, so “the tar tar pits”). I’d never visited the world’s largest known deposit of Ice Age fossils, a spot where (according the the Page Museum’s web site):

Since 1906, more than one million bones have been recovered representing over 231 species of vertebrates. In addition, 159 species of plants and 234 species of invertebrates have been identified. It is estimated that the collections at the Page Museum contain about three million items. Our current Project 23 excavation may, when completed, double this number.

Living a few miles away from such a weird spot, home to a massive cache of pre-historic animals, is another point in the plus column for LA. AND there’s a really good build-your-own burger place next door, which may not be a reason to move here but is a nice bonus when you’re hungry after a long day of looking at mastodons and giant sloths.

Mastodon skeleton at the Page Museum

The mastodon was a prehistoric animal that was very similar to modern day elephants, but with 50% more awesomeness.

Ryan and mastodons at the La Brea Tar Pits

I might have been excited about the giant mastodons and pools of tar. Photo by Audrey.

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