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8/24/13: Day 2-A Little Slice Of Paradise

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My Sister’s beautiful home in Orange County!

Despite the fact that I have only been in the country for two days, jet lag is still killing me, and my sleeping and eating patterns are completely messed up, my grandmother decided it would be a good day to take a full day/evening trip into Orange County to visit my sister (and best friend who happens to be her roommate!). I knew I would probably be dead from exhaustion and not my usual spunky self, but I was very excited to both spend some time with my grandma and see Elana and Blair in their GORGEOUS new home!

At around 9 in the morning I was dropped off at my grandparents house where I was able to spend about an hour seeing my grandpa and catching up with two very dear family friends who came to see me, and who happen to be a day away from embarking on a cruise that will take them to Israel… of course while I’m not there, just my luck. Seeing them was really wonderful, and I was able to hear all about their amazing 1 month vacation that will take them to Turkey, Greece, Israel, Italy, France, and Amsterdam. By the end of hearing about this incredible month long cruise/Euro trip I was ready to throw myself in one of their suitcases so that I could go to! After about an hour we said goodbye to the friends and my grandpa, and then my grandma and I were off to see Elana.

Because it was a Saturday my grandmother and I were overly confident that we would be spared the awful LA/OC traffic, which was very important since to get to my sister’s house you have to take every awful freeway southern California has to offer. In the beginning we were making great time, and then, half way down the 60 West, we came to a dead STOP. At first we attributed the lack of movement to “LA traffic”, but something wasn’t right about what was going on. No one was moving in ANY of the 4 lanes that make up the freeway, and we started noticing some debris on the road. After about a minute or so of being at a standstill we saw firetruck, firetruck, police car, ambulance, police car, fire truck, all speed by. In total there were 4 fire trucks, an ambulance, and 4 police cars, so we knew something was very wrong. About 6 cars in front of us there was a horrible accident where a car must have lost control, hit the freeway divide, flipped over, and then exploded, because when traffic started moving again, all we could see were firemen with their hoses, a car flipped on it’s side in pieces and completely blackened from a fire. We were only 6 cars behind the accident… It was a horrific sight to see. I don’t know how anyone survived that crash but I’m hoping they got the people out in time.

Once we passed the accident we had fairly smooth sailing out to Orange County, and we arrived to my sister’s place at around noon. I couldn’t get over how amazing their apartment was. It is a brand new area in Irvine complete with gorgeous 2 room apartments, 6 pools, gyms, walking trails, and more. Elana and Blair really are living in the lap of luxury (which doesn’t come cheap that is for sure!), and after 5 minutes I told them that if there is ever some awful disturbance in the universe that causes me to leave Israel, I was coming to live with them!

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The main pool close to my sisters house

The main pool close to my sisters house

Once we received the grand tour of the apartment, and settled in a bit, my grandma took the three of us to the Irvine spectrum for some lunch and shopping. I was at the spectrum a few years ago with Blair when we took a trip to Irvine with our other best friend Joey, but after so much time away I completely forgot how amazing this place is. Every restaurant you can imagine is there, every store you could want is there, and you need to block out a whole day period just to see everything in this awe inspiring shopping center complete with Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round.

The Irvine Spectrum

The Irvine Spectrum

After lunch at one of my all time favorite restaurants, CPK, we did some much needed shopping. One of my personal favorite stores was a sports store where this was proudly displayed in the window:

MINI CAL HELMET! glad my bears were represented!

MINI CAL HELMET! glad my bears were represented!

GO BEARS!!! really wanted to buy this

GO BEARS!!! really wanted to buy this

I was really tempted to buy all of the CAL memorabilia, and then buy a pair of USC slippers to take back to Israel where I would put them in Jasper’s potty place and tell him to GO TO TOWN! I also wanted to buy a Stanford wallet to aid in his teething, and UCLA isn’t even important enough for me to waste money on regardless of the motive so that was settled šŸ™‚ However, I decided that I might have better things to do with my money than that, so I refrained :-p! We went to all of the other big stores, walked around for about 2 hours, and then it was time to take Blair back to the apartment (she wasn’t feeling so well), and continue the day with just my sister and grandmother.

After we dropped Blair off at home we ventured out to Tanaka Farms, which is a very famous Japanese owned farm that produces amazing organic fruits and vegetables. My father wanted to be sure we stopped there so we could buy him some Maui onions (which were each about as big as my head), and the place was really so fun and adorable, and all of the food looked simply exquisite.

The biggest Onions I have ever seen

The biggest Onions I have ever seen

Adorable little farmer's market

Adorable little farmer’s market

picture perfect fruits and veggies

picture perfect fruits and veggies

Tanaka Farms

Tanaka Farms

After the farm we ventured to Walmart for a bit of bulk shopping, and aside from the fact that I was still getting used to hearing English in every store I went to, and seeing signs and advertisements in English, the idea of stores where you can buy bulk items for the equivalent of 4-5 shekels, was something I really missed about the states! At this point in the day, however, I was fading very fast. My allergies were killing me, my body felt like it was 4 in the morning, I was tired, and the thought of an almost 2 hour drive home, at this point, was quite daunting. After we wrapped up in Walmart we went back to the apartment, spent a bit more time with Blair, and then headed back home. By 8:30pm I was returned to my dad’s house where I couldn’t even eat dinner I was so tired. I took a shower, unpacked, and went right to bed. It was really an amazing day, but next time I go to visit I hope to be a bit more awake.

It was so wonderful to see my best friend Blair, and I think it is so amazing that my sister and she are now roommates. It is so funny how things like that work out. Blair is probably one of the most special, wonderful people I know, and the fact that we have remained so close throughout the years, through high school, and college, and living in different countries, is really amazing. I maybe only stay in touch with 4-5 of my friends from high school, and Blair is someone who will be a very important person in my life forever; no matter how often we see one another or how far apart we live from one another. And now that she is living with my sister we are even more connected! Now I just have to get her to meet (and approve) of Stephane and I’ll be a very happy camper! He must past best friend inspection!

Bubble and me!

Bubble and me!

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Back in the day! an oldie but goodie!

Back in the day! an oldie but goodie!

It was a great, albeit tiring, 2nd day home, and I had a wonderful time. I’m really starting to miss Stephane though and I’m getting very anxious for his arrival. I also increasingly miss Jasper more and more every day, and have now started actively going around and looking for fun dog treats and toys to bring back to him. As he is my grandparents great grand puppy, and the only grandchild my parents will have for quite a while, my family has gotten on board and are looking to help me buy goodies for him as well! I know I gave Ana the option of adopting him, and that is an option I would never take away from her, but I’m still holding out hope he’ll come home to me for good! Either way I’m still going to spoil him rotten! I miss him so much.

Until we meet again <3,

Jordana Simone

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