Posted by: RaeAn | 10 June 2011

Welcome to LA-LA-Land…

I know I went off the grid for a bit, but exams and moving are hectic things… but I’ve now made it out to the next stop on my journey: Los Angeles!

I successfully took all my exams (haven’t checked my grades yet), had some free time to enjoy Israel, and hopped on a plane back to Atlanta, where I spent a week with my family, cleaning out/organizing my childhood room (parents want it to become a guest room now), and seeing the few friends I still have left there… and repacked all my crap to get out to LA. I then hopped onto yet another plane out to San Francisco with my dad, 4 checked bags, 1 carry-on, a guitar, a violin, and a cat. (Guess which one was the hardest to deal with during the flight? I’ll give you a hint — the one that whines the whole time while sitting under the seat. Adorable but also annoying.) Thanks to all the traveling my dad does for work, he’s a Delta Gold Medallion member, so all that stuff (except the cat — there’s a pet fee) was free to take with me.

We made it to San Francisco and to the hotel in Oakland on Sunday night, promptly passing out… in the morning, we had breakfast with my friend Brandon, who was nice enough to stick around after a night shift at the hospital to help us load up the U-Haul with stuff to take to LA. We had a storage unit for my grandmother’s car and furniture and other items that my family decided I should have, since I’ll be the only family member living in California. We then had lunch with Brandon and Don, my grandmother’s boyfriend at the home, which was lovely… and then we hit the road. Driving with the cat was far more pleasant than flying with her — at least I could let her out of the carrier, which Delta didn’t permit at all during the flight. (I had to let her out for a little while in flight to re-dose her with her sedative pills, and she managed to slip out of my hands and jump onto the head of the poor woman sitting in front of me… I apologized profusely, she said it was okay, but still — I was mortified!) But Zuli snuggled on my lap most of the drive down to LA, sleeping or looking out the window at all the strange new sights whizzing by on the highway, which was adorable.

We arrived in LA safe and sound, I met up with the girl I’m subleasing my apartment from and started getting settled in. Zuli promptly hid under the bed for a little while, of course, but she eventually ventured out to explore the new place and to play with the new toy I just bought for her. We spent Tuesday getting logistical things done — offloading the U-Haul into the storage unit here, picking up my packages that were waiting for me at school (a box I’d sent from Israel and some of my books for the semester), etc. Then we went to Glendale to Temple Sinai with Iah for Shavuot services and got my fill of Jewiness and cheesecake. (Cheesecake holiday = favorite holiday! Yummy.)

Zuli gets comfy and takes a nap on my bed after all the trauma of moving. Poor kitty... but she's adjusting and being super-adorable now!

On Wednesday, my dad and I decided to have some fun: we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain for some roller coasters! I hadn’t been to Six Flags in almost two years, and we had a blast. We of course spent far more time waiting in line than on rides — we waited over an hour for X2… it was definitely a fun ride, but not sure it was worth that much of a wait… the design of the coaster is fascinating, though: the seats can rotate 360 degrees, and there were some flame effects which were kinda neat. I liked the Riddler and Goliath better, though — pure thrills without nearly as long of a wait. My dad and I left after 5 rides — it seems we have 5-Coaster Stomachs now, which must mean I’m getting older. Ha. But it was a fantastic day trip, and we left the park when it closed at 6. We had a delicious dinner at Red Lobster (blackened tilapia — so good!) and went to Target to get some apartment basics like cat food, chairs for the balcony, toiletries, and so on, then headed back to the apartment. (Where we discovered that finding parking after 10 pm is not nearly as easy as we’d hoped… but I’ll either learn to get home early or be okay with walking several blocks to my car, I suppose!)

And yesterday, we had a relaxed morning — went to Starbucks for some coffee and reading (my dad read his novel, I started my book for my history class since we need to read about 100 pages of it before the first day of class), then to Radio Shack and back home where my dad taught me how to solder as we fixed my grandmother’s floor lamp, since one of the wires had come loose from the switch. Then I drove my dad to the airport… and I got rear-ended on the way. By a guy driving a rental car. Everyone was okay, none of my grandmother’s things that were in the trunk were broken (including the good china and glasses, so thank goodness for that), and the damage to the car isn’t too bad — I need a new tail light and some body work on the rear bumper — but it’s still annoying. Now I get to deal with Avis to make a claim. Not how I wanted to be spending my free time right when I got here, but welcome to LA, I suppose!

Today is orientation for the summer session at HUC; I’ll be meeting my “big sister,” Natalie, who will be picking me up, and we’ll be doing some community service and getting information we need for the summer and then having shabbat dinner together. That starts at 2, so I’ll probably try to get some grocery shopping done before that, and I’ll have the weekend off before classes start on Monday!

I’ve decided to continue blogging on here for a while — I’m not sure how often I’ll post, but I think the title is still appropriate, especially considering where I’m living for the summer. It’s definitely Jewville around here — I’m in the Pico-Robertson area, and I’ve seen tons of religious Jews walking around to go to Shavuot services, and 90% of the businesses within 3 blocks of my apartment are kosher. I couldn’t get groceries yesterday because all of the markets were closed for Shavuot! It’ll be a nice way to transition back to America, after living in Jerusalem for a year. I doubt I’ll be able to afford living in this area for the rest of the year, but I’ll figure out where I’ll be once I find a roommate and we can discuss neighborhoods. (Any suggestions, either for roommates or locations to look, will be more than welcome! I can stay in this apartment until August 1, but then I need to be in my own place.)

That’s all for now — life is moving on, LA is my home for the next two years, and I’m adjusting to it slowly but I’ll get there.

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

~ Rae

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