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If LA Is Hell, Then Solvang Is Heaven!
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My Lungs Hurt and I Have A Headache

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Thursday night when Rob got home from work we packed up and did some things around the house. Around 7pm or so we headed out and I drove us up to Solvang. The drive there was pretty uneventful. We were able to make good time and got up there with only a brief stop at a local grocery store to get some supplies. Around 9:30 we checked in at The Chimney Sweep Inn. This time we stayed in Cottage 3. We liked this Cottage much better than the one (Cottage 1) we stayed in for our honeymoon. Both are nice, but number three was way more our style (and had a huge shower that coudl easily fit two people in). We hadn't had dinner yet when we got there and almost everything was closed, so we ordered in from the one restaurant that was still open - a Chinese place. They delivered to our cottage and the food was wonderful. We watched some TV, talked, and went to bed. Rob fell asleep immediatly. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fall asleep until after 5am. I'm not too good the first night in a new bed.

Friday morning we got up early because we wanted to be able to do a lot in town. We made good use of the large shower and when I was drying my hair Rob ran out and got us ice blended chai's at a coffee shop that was nearby to the cottage. After getting caffeinated we headed out. The weather was unseasonably warm. Last year when we were in Solvang for my birthday weekend the weather was wonderful - mid 60's during the day. This time the temp got to be over 100. So not cool. We went out into the blazing temperatures anyway because we wanted to walk around the town. We looked in some shops and got some little things, but nothing major. I bought a pair of slippers and a little stained glass fish for our living room window. We also did some wine tasting in a place called Royal Oaks (they had some very good semi-sweet wines). However, most of the day was spent looking around in shops. In the mid-afternoon we started getting way too warm and so we decided to head back to the cottage for awhile. We cooled off there for a bit and then went back out to check out some other nearby shops. When we yet again overheated we decided to head into the cottage and cool off until we needed to head out for dinner. We freshened up and changed into new clothes in the cottage and headed out to a really good French bistro that was across the street from the cottage. We had fois gras for an appetizer, duck for dinner, and creme brulee for desert. That place is so yummy! We had been there during our honeymoon and knew we needed to go back. They have the best duck I have ever had. They also had something a bit weirder on the menu - the special was sweetbreads. I wasn't up for eating cow brains and neither was Rob so we both skipped on that. The people at the table next to us tried it as their appetizer and seemed to like it. Ew. After dinner we walked around the town a bit to work off some of the food and then headed back to our cottage and chilled out. We watched some TV and opened a bottle of wine that we had brought up with us. It was a very nice and relaxing evening.

On Saturday we decided to sleep in a bit. I was exhuasted and wasn't getting very good sleep and we were both a bit fuzzy headed from drinking a whole bottle of wine the night before. When we did get up we showered, got some chai (this time iced and not ice blended), and headed out. Saturday was even hotter than Sunday and there were many times when we needed to go into stores to cool down. We looked around more of the town and stopped in many stores. Rob wanted to check out a beef jerkey place and nearly gagged on their "ass jerky". I didn't try any so I don't know if it was really as bad as Rob said. When we were sitting on a bench in the shade drinking some water, we noticed what we thought was a kitty curled up on a chair in a store. Rob went in to pet the kitty, but it didn't move. We wondered if it was fake or dead. We lost it laughing when people kept trying to pet it - and then nearly fell off the bench in hysterical laughter when someone picked it up. I think it was half a cat taxidermied. The heat apparently did weird things to our brains because we couldn't stop laughing. After this we walked around town some more. In a jewelry shop I saw a ring that I LOVED, but it was a total rip off, so I didn't get it. I spent a good amount of time pondering whether to get it or not, but it was WAY too much of a rip off. After wandering around town some more we headed back to the cottage to cool off. Later that night we headed back into town and stopped at a little restaurant that has the best sausage platters in the world. We munched on various kinds of sausages and had ableskivver for desert. We then spent awhile walking around the town because we both knew that eating this kind of foods would put us up a bit on the scale when we got back home. While walking around my Mom called us to let us know that the Marlins (may they get crabs, then syphalis, and the have their genetalia fall off) won the World Series. Oh well, at least the Cubs lost to the best. And the Cubs fared better against them than the Yankees. When we got back to the cottage after our post dinner walk we watched some TV and opened a bottle of sparkling apple cider.

Sunday morning (my birthday) we had to get up fairly early. Once again Rob grabbed some iced chai's while I was finished getting ready. We then packed up everything and started loading the car. Neither of us wanted to leave. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was that apparently this was spider season in Solvang. I think Rob killed about 20-some daddy long legs during our three days there. Anyway, we checked out of the hotel, grabbed some breakfast in town, and then headed out. Sunday morning was the first time we used the car since our arrival on Thursday night. We walked *everywhere* during the weekend. The drive back to LA was not in any way uneventful. Everything was going good until we hit Camarillo. Rob saw a fire and a lot of smoke in the air. I needed to go to the bathroom desperately and so we stopped off at the Camarillo outlets. The area looked like hell. There were fires in the distance and smoke everywhere. The air smelled like a cross between burning and sulfur. Ash was snowing from the sky and the sun was a bright red color. We were just waiting for demons to start running around. It was seriousluy like being in hell. We headed out of there pretty quickly because my lungs were burning. Our drive out of Camarillo sucked. There were fires and acrid smoke all the way from Camarillo to the Calabasis area. The 101 didn't move and it took us awhile to get home. When we did we were very happy to be out of the worst of the smoke. We unpacked and made a quick run to a game store in Pasadena because Rob found out that they had a stuffed Godzilla in stock. I didn't end up getting it cause it looked kind of crappy, but I did get a book on Dragons and Rob picked up some D&D books. When we got home we ordered in Jerry's for my birthday dinner. I wasn't feeling well and my lungs hurt so I wasn't able to eat all that much. We watched a bit of TV before going to bed. So, I got to spend my birthday doing the one thing I hate the most (driving). And not just driving, but driving through fire and smoke ridden areas which did a number on my asthma. Ugh.

I really wish we didn't have to be back in LA. The smoke in the air is messing with me something fierce. Even today my chest feels like something heavy is sitting on it and my lungs burn when I breathe in. This is not a good place for a severe asthmatic like myself to be right now.

Yesterday after Rob got back home from work we went to a local Halloween shop. He got a really cool costume that looks spiffy on him. I won't say what it is just in case he wants to keep it a secret until Halloween, but I will post what it was after he has worn it for Halloween.

You know, I've realized something from my trip last weekend. I don't hate California. I will freely admit that I was wrong when I said I hated California. I don't. There are some places, such as Solvang, that are wonderful. Being in Solvang was like being in heaven. I just hate LA. Living in LA is like living in hell. And with every passing day I'm hating it here more and more. I think I might stop sending resumes to LA law firms. I don't want to live here anymore. Instead, I think I'll send them out to firms in Chicago and maybe some in the Santa Barbara area. Just not LA. Something like the central coast area would be wonderful to move to. It would be the best of both worlds - I would be out of a place which I hate and makes me unhappy (LA) and would still be somewhat close to my friends. Though, to be honest, I still am somewhat partial to Chicago. We'll see what happens. Anything having to do with jobs hinges on how I do on the bar.

Ugh, my headache is getting worse. I think I had better head off and stop staring at a computer screen.


There are NO chickens in your basement. Do you even
have a basement? If there is a chicken in your
basement he is dead. Go give him mouth-to-
mouth. Dead chicken=bad karma.

How many chickens live in your basement?
brought to you by Quizilla

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