Not Quite Hawaii Birthday Weekend

As we all know, Karma can be a b*%&h. Well, but I have to admit, she most often is right. I had been bragging about going to Hawaii for my birthday. I would rub it in the face of absolutely everyone who would listen (or not). So, it seems that I have to eat my words, as the ticket was way too expensive just to go for the 5 days we had time for.

So instead we went to the much closer Catalina Island. It also helped that they had a special offer going on that allowed me to go there for free on my birthday. I also got to wear a spiffy ribbon:

Early Morning Pictures Are The Worst!

Early Morning Pictures Are The Worst!

Everywhere you went on the island you saw people wearing ribbons like that and everybody greeted you with a “Happy Birthday!”. After I got over the initial embarrassment and “Fremdscham” I had a lot of fun greeting others like that as well.

Approaching The Island

Approaching The Island

Apart from yelling “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” every 10 minutes, we went for an extremely relaxing whole body massage. Then we gorged on all the food that was available (which, this being the US, was a LOT!). Also some shopping, with a not as reluctant as usual PB. All of which thankfully there aren’t any pictures.

The next day we spent doing absolutely nothing at the beach. And a short ride in and on a semi-submersible:

We All Live... - Though we didn't take this one, obviously

We All Live… – Though we didn’t take this one, obviously

We saw a lot of fish. A LOT:

Fishy fishy

A Lot!

The Californian State Fish - The grumpy orange one

The Californian State Fish – The grumpy orange one

However, I got motion sick and had to go up for air. After a while everybody inside came up too and I didn’t feel so bad anymore.

Going Up For Air - With everybody else

Going Up For Air – With everybody else

Well, that’s pretty much all there was to my birthday weekend.

The Colourful Couple

The Colourful Couple

But, also: I got tagged by keassanlin in a blog tag! My first, yay! It’s the 5 random things tag, and what better occasion than my birthday blog post to tell you random facts about me?! So here goes:

1. I’m the eldest of 3 siblings and therefore rather bossy and know-it-all sometimes. On the other hand I can be very protective and nourishing (literally).

2. While I love traveling, I’m not very easy to travel with, as I get cranky on trips. I only ever enjoy trips after they’re over. But then I really like remembering them. I guess I just need time to absorb everything I see.

3. I’m a librarian. However, I don’t particularly enjoy reading. Not more than any regular person anyway. I LOVED it as a child, and I even studied English literature at University, but right now I prefer to spend my time creating through handicrafts, rather than consuming.

4. I’m both a cat and a dog person. Heck, I’m a tarantula person! If we stayed put for long enough, I guess we’d get a zoo of animals.

5. My favourite ice cream flavour is coconut with lemongrass. There was a Mövenpick special edition some years ago that I just can’t get out of my head. *sigh*

I will have to think about whom to nominate for the tag, so will post it some time later.

EDIT: Just as I was finishing with this post, PB gave me an envelope that contained this:

I guess I Will Go To Hawaii - 3does the happy dance*

I guess I Will Go To Hawaii – *does the happy dance*

And there you have one of the reasons why I call him PB. On top of spoiling me rotten (as evidenced above) he is the kindest and most patient person I know. So THANK YOU PB!

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What We Did on Easter

Road Trip! - 3 mathematicians and 1 librarian

Road Trip! – 3 mathematicians and 1 librarian

In the time we’re in Los Angeles PB and I are sharing a house with the two Finns in the  picture above. Meet Sensei (on the left) and Snowboarder (our driver). They are both also attending the same series of workshops that brought PB and me here. Snowboarder is also our neighbour in Finland. So at the moment I am providing nourishment for three grown men. They are eating machines, which is awesome! I love to cook for them. I took it as a challenge to cook more than they can eat, but so far I’m losing most of the time.

On Friday we all decided to go on a short trip to:

Joshua Tree - In Joshua Tree National Prak

Joshua Tree – In Joshua Tree National Park

Someone had told PB that the Joshua trees were blooming, so we thought this was a pretty good time to go. On Saturday morning we rented a car and went off to the desert! I just love places like this:

Big, Flat, Empty - Even though there were lots of plants and other life

Big, Flat, Empty – Even though there were lots of plants and other life

The vastness and high sky are so soothing to me. I grew up right beside a mountain that went straight up in a wall about 300m high, so no views from there, and only half a sky. Therefore I enjoy having not a lot to look at for miles and miles. However, we did see a lot during our two day trip. For one, as I said, the Joshua trees were blooming:

Joshua Tree Flower - Quite yet spectacular

Joshua Tree Flower – Quiet yet spectacular

The trees were not the only ones displaying flowers. Everywhere you looked Spring was quietly going on:

Cactus Flowering - Don't ask me which type it is...

Cactus Flowers – Kind of odd but beautiful

Flowers in the Desert - Beautifully minimalistic

Flowers in the Desert – Beautifully minimalistic

I'd Call It Firebush - But that's just me

I’d Call It Firebush – But that’s just me

Not Blooming Yet Clolourful

Not Blooming Yet Clolourful

But we didn’t only look at flowers, we also had some sporty fun. All throughout the park there are those huge granite boulders that were calling out to the (rather sporty) Finns to be climbed. The granite had a great surface that was easy to climb even for me! Later we found out that the park is famous for bouldering and climbing.

View From Below - PB didn't climb up with us

View From Below – PB didn’t climb up with us

View From Above - Can you find PB?

View From Above – Can you find PB?

Apart from that we hiked to both Ryan Mountain and the Lost Horse Mine, as well as taking strolls through the Hidden Valley (excellent spot for serious climbing) and to Barker Dam.

Let Me Present to You: The Altitude of Mount Ryan!

Let Me Present to You: The Altitude of Mount Ryan!

What's Left of Lost Horse Mine

What’s Left of Lost Horse Mine

View From Barker Dam - Where's PB now?

View From Barker Dam – Where’s PB now?

Key's View - Easy to reach

Key’s View – Easy to reach by car

So the trend of doing outdoor physical activity seems to continue. And I’m not even in Finland! Maybe it’s being around Finns that is the cause of this strange behaviour… However, Sensei and Snowboarder seem to be very relaxed and easygoing, so we had a relaxed and easygoing week-end, just great for Easter! Even though we didn’t do the Easter beer hunt, I enjoyed myself immensely!

On a completely different note: I got lent a sewing machine! Yay! It’s a vintage Singer Featherweight and it sews beautifully. Finally I get what all the fuss is about! I am very tempted to take one home to Europe (If only it were compatible with the European voltage…)