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When’s the beer stop?

[Los Angeles, CA]

This morning, we had the perfect excuse to succumb to American consumerism – American Airlines managed to lose my mom’s suitcase on a non-stop domestic flight from Chicago to Las Vegas, so we had to go get her some basics.So where do we go? Old Navy! Odd choice, I know! But mom remembered it from her last visit to US ten years ago, and she was not disappointed! I was glad she was finally able to find some stuff she liked, because she had previously gone to other stores and couldn’t find anything!

Then, we got on with the schedule their tour guide – me – carefully put together. We went to Culver City to get on the Expo Line and got off at the California Science Center, where the shuttle Endeavour has been on display since last Fall. The exhibit we went through before we got to see the shuttle was awesome! We got to see a space toilet, and a movie to go with it, which explained in excruciating detail what exactly the challenges are with pooping and peeing in zero gravity. We also saw a similar movie to do with food, which was a quite a bit more… palatable. 🙂 Then we got on the shuttle simulator, which was pretty awesome – not as bumpy as I expected, but still pretty interesting. Our final stop before the shuttle itself was a movie that chronicled moving the shuttle from LAX to the Science Center. It took 3 days for the shuttle to go 12 miles, and people lined the streets to cheer it along the way. I missed the whole thing because I was out of town then, so it was nice to see Endeavour’s journey through the streets of LA.By the time we got to the shuttle itself, we were pretty pumped up! It was so great to see it in person! It was a humbling and an uplifting experience all in one. I was excited to find out that the Endeavour is in its permanent home at the CA Science Center, and I will definitely be visiting it again!

Afterwards, we got back on the Metro and went downtown. We got off at Pershing square and hit all the highlights – the shortest railway in the world (Angel’s flight), the Grand Central Market (where my dad was absolutely appalled by the fact that you couldn’t have a beer there), the Bradbury building, which has been in many movies, LA City Hall, Olvera street where LA was first founded, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Central Library and the Biltmore Hotel. All along, my parents were like “Is there a beer stop in the schedule?” They were pleasantly surprised when I took them to the 15th floor of the Pershing Square building for a bird’s eye view of LA from The Perch. We enjoyed some downtime at this rooftop restaurant immensely, and our beers were the perfect end to a day full of activities.

After a brief stop at home, we headed to Hermosa Beach for a joint graduation dinner with my friend Megan’s family. Megan and I started the program together 3.5 years ago, and during that time we’d grown close. Megan was so helpful when I trained for my half marathon and I don’t know that I would have gotten through my two longest training runs without her by my side. We had 11 people at the table between my family and hers, and conversations at the table took place in 3 different languages at one point. It was a wonderful ending to our day. Now on to the event that all this fuss is all about in the first place – graduation!!!! OWEEEE!!!!

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