Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Sunny Shores of LA

It's Thursday afternoon, 1:55 pm, Cherisa sits anxiously on a small Delta airplane at Salt Lake City airport staring nervously down the aisle toward the entrance. "Where is he??" she wonders, "the plane takes off in 1 minute! Why won't he answer my messages?!"
It's Thursday morning, 11:45 am, Jordan mouse-clicking furiously. He takes a short break to massage his mouse-clicking finger, then in a mad panic slams his laptop shut, shoves it into the bag and takes off for the train station. After TWO HOURS (actually 15 minutes) the train finally comes, Jordan and his mom rendezvous and get to the airport by 1:00 pm. Jordan goes through security and customs in 20 minutes (he was later contacted by guiness book of world records to officially record the fastest trip from airport door to gate for an international flight). Somehow, by some miracle he is on time! The plane however, is not. Cherisa watches as her plane door closes and the taxis onto the runway. “All by myself” by Celine Dion is playing in the background as her plane takes off to Long Beach California…

So our trip to Long Beach for Mark’s wedding didn’t start off perfectly but it wasn’t the end of the world. I caught the next flight and met Cherisa a few hours later. Oddly enough Cherisa was pleasantly and patiently waiting at Long Beach airport partially hypnotized by Palm Trees and California air. She has a theory that seeing palm trees releases endorphins, which we later scientifically proved. We finally met in Long Beach in a glorious and Celestial manner. After a 14 minute hug we went to pick up our rental car. Assuming I wouldn’t want it, the rental car guy in a monotone, after a long day type voice says “we have a special going on, blah blah blah, for an extra 10 dollars per day you can get a 2012 must…” I immediately interrupted him and said with a sly grin “I’ll take it.” Haha.
That night we drove around, or more accurately, raced around Long Beach looking at stuff and trying to find some place to eat. After passing 9 Jack in the Box’s we found a place that looked like Boston Pizza, felt like Boston Pizza, had the same building and inside decor as Boston Pizza but strangely was only called “Boston’s” haha. When our platter came all conversation ceased as we demolished our midnight meal (food is serious business in our family). Full of pizza and potato wedges we drove back to our ocean front, five-star, all-inclusive Super 8 motel for the night. We actually really liked our room (it was bigger than the Banff Springs Hotel room haha) and especially liked the continental breakfast.

Friday I reunited with my long lost roommates from BYU-Idaho and we went to the beach. It was so awesome to see them again, it was like nothing had changed, we just picked up right where we left off. We all hung out at the beach for the afternoon and basked in the magnificent California sun and sand. We played a ridiculous game of beach volleyball and tossed the Frisbee around a bit. Dave and I fumbled into the ocean and to my shock and surprise the water was ICE cold. This water even put Sundance Lake to shame for how cold it was. After plowing face first into a wave with my mouth open in a failed boogie boarding attempt I was quickly reminded that the ocean is salt water, not fresh water. As we were leaving Mark decided to mention to me that he wanted me to give a toast at the wedding the NEXT DAY. Thanks for the notice Mark. We went out to eat that night at the Cheescake factory and when we drove up I noticed they had valet parking. I thought “sweet we won’t have to find a parking spot or walk far.” I gave the guy the keys and he literally parks the car 5 feet from where we are standing. Yeah, that was REALLY worth the money haha. The food was delicious but our appetites did grow significantly as we waited an hour for our table (another group of people that were done but just sitting there talking, remember Cactus Club!)

On Saturday morning I ironed my shirt and pants with the iron I brought from home and we put on our wedding outfits we planned two weeks earlier. The LA temple is HUGE and beautiful. The sealing was very nice and had a wonderful spirit. Mark and Mandy both seemed a little like deer in the headlights and were doing kind of a “speak when spoken to” type of thing which seemed to carry on most of the day haha. When Mark and Mandy were looking in the opposing mirrors that reflect forever I realized that they reflect two ways, not just one. Marriage for time and eternity is not only forever into the future but also forever into the past. Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. down through the generations all prepared the way so we could continue on in eternal covenants. So much time and effort has been invested so we can have these blessings. I’m so happy that I get to enjoy them with a beautiful and special person like Cherisa.

After the sealing we made our way to Mandy’s parent’s house in Monrovia for the reception that night. If you ever meet people from California they go on and on about how good In ‘n Out Burger is. It’s like they think they’re better than every other state just because of this one fast food place. Anyways, we stopped there for lunch and it was a few notches above average, NOT THAT GREAT. Five Guys blows it out of the water any day of the week! We continued driving and Cherisa put on some music and I asked who the artist was. She said it was a Jose Gonzales. We listened to some songs and then some other bands and about 20 minutes later I turn to her and say “I didn’t really like that George Lopez guy” hahaha. I have no idea how that name got in my head!

The reception was really cool, they had a photo booth at the entrance, tables set up around the yard and a full dinner that we ate around the pool. I gave my toast and told a few stories about Mark and said that he was a great friend and Mandy is really lucky to have a great guy like Mark.

That night all of us (except Mark of course) drove to Hollywood Blvd to see all of the cool stuff there. Right when we got there we pulled into the first parking lot we saw and it just so happened that we were right next to the theatre where the premier of Cars 2 had just taken place and a bunch of famous people were walking by. Cherisa got her camera out and did her best paparazzi impression snapping pictures of anyone who might have been famous haha. You can see Alex Dunphy from Modern Family in the picture below. We finally left and met up with everyone else and started walking down Hollywood Blvd looking at all of the Famous names on the sidewalk. After a few minutes of walking we stopped for a minute. Cherisa and I look down at the sidewalk and see none other than the name George Lopez! Hahaha, the guy who I randomly thought was Jose Gonzales, we thought it was pretty hilarious. After a little more touring around it was sadly time to end our little vacation. It was like the end of an epic movie. We all hugged, said our goodbyes, and drove quietly home (aka Super 8 motel).

Cherisa and I both agreed that the whole trip was so fun and full of so many great moments. You know, the thing about great moments is that you wish they could go on forever. Although I suppose the thing that makes moments great is that they are in fact moments in time with beginnings and ends. Fond memories are special segments that stand out as distinct experiences compared with day to day business as usual. If every moment was great, would any moment be great? Anyways, until next time!

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