Tuesday, September 10, 2013

California Road Trip '13 (Part 1)

Yume's been in the States now two months. Last month, we went on something of a road trip down the valley to L.A. and back again—Yume's first. It was less of a jaunty sojourn than is deserving the term (it had premeditated written all over it), but I'm still calling it a "road trip," and there's nothing you can do about it!

Here is the first serving of the many sights and sounds we encountered along the way.

Yume and I paused overnight at my buddy Jeff's place about an hour fifteen from home. We spent that afternoon touring Jeff's old stomping grounds: California State University, Stanislaus.
Jeff's an old high school friend of mine—one of the few good ones. He's got a steady hand at painting pewter minis and a diehard love for his Oakland A's.
Here Yume sits with Alyssa, Jeff's fiancée. They seemed to hit it off great, but…
…nothing distracts Yume like a good old fashioned wild goose chase!
At another location on campus, I found a cozy little nook by a brook to rest in the shade.
Back at Jeff's place, I'm greeted by another wee bit of nature.
There, we were introduced to the rambunctious Snuggits…
…and the far more staid Lola.
Don't they make a snuggly couple? (Snuggits is like, "Help! She's trying to eat my liver!")
Jeff distracts the voracious Lola with a carrot. How typical. ;)
The next day we were off…
…and well on our way to sunny SoCal!
Ultimately, we made it to town, switched cars, and rounded up the troops for a visit to Nana's (my mom's mother).
My brother, Trevor, now an old pro at L.A. traffic, handled the driving.
At Nana's, the family assembled, some of whom were being reacquainted for the first time in years. Visible from left to right is Dad, Mom (obscured), Nana, my aunt Carmen, and Trevor.
Pan to the right and you see me, my youngest nephew Justyn, then Trevor, and Aunt Carmen again. Justyn was schooling me on the latest editions of Magic: The Gathering.
After dinner together, we gathered inside to chat, snap a few more pictures, and heap more love on Nana. This was Yume's first time meeting a grandparent of mine, though I pray it isn't her last. Nana is 87 years young!
On the way back, we enjoyed the multicolored L.A. sunset.
The following day it was time to hit Universal Studios. Cue the music.
Trevor gave us the hook-up…
…and we were in like Flynn! (My eldest nephew, Dylen, and I hurry to catch up with the rest of the gang.)
Betcha can't tell which one isn't a statue!
How 'bout now? (Yume and Jessie, my sister, grin alongside the "statue".)
Around lunchtime, we found a couple Universal cast members cruising for a bite to eat.
Then we saw a cast member that we definitely recognized.
A view of the live-action Waterworld show set before…
…and during!
We made sure to get good seats for the pre-show as well:

Yume and Justyn were certainly enjoying it.
Afterward, we took pictures with various cast members. Here, Yume and Mom pose with the heroine.
Bald baddie, "The Deacon."
"The Mariner," as played by an Aussie.
And the Deacon's toady.

Next time we'll take you with us into the Universal backlot! See ya then!