Hawaii for the Holidays, Again

After my first semester as real film student at USC, I needed a bit of a break and visiting my family in Hawaii for Christmas sounded like a good place to get it – even if it was going to be a working break. We only visited the beach a couple of times, but I really enjoyed being able to just sit around baking things, watching movies, playing card/board games, and chatting with my brother and parents at least some of the time before re-entering the frey of Los Angeles filmmaking.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

The trip back was a little more relaxed than I had expected. When I got to the airport nice and early, the lady at the counter put me on an earlier island-hop flight, which gave me about a 2 1/2 hour layover in the Honolulu airport. The first leg of the flight was right around sunset, so it was extremely gorgeous.DSCN5910

I spent the layover shopping around in the little tourist stuff stores, getting ice cream, and reading one of the textbooks for the next semester. The flight back had terrible movies showing and it was very bumpy, but it was relaxed and I had a fine enough time and stayed hydrated. I got back about 5am. L.A was cold and totally socked in with fog. My freezer had somehow got open and everything was a horrible moldy melted mess on the floor that I had to clean up. After that, I took a nap for 7 hours and then bought some food to replace the melted mess.


Je suis de Paris!

Well, yesterday I finally gave in to the Frenchness of things. After I took my final exam for the French practicum course, decided to go shopping around the Republic/rue Temple area. I came in search of a bag to replace my backpack, but I ended up I buying myself a pair of black leggings instead. All the women around here seem to wear them, under skirts, shorts, even pants. Sometimes as pants. So, I figured what the heck.

When I got off the metro back a t Ledru-rollin, I went to this place called Ble Sucre that’s supposed to have the best madelines in Paris and got myself a 4-pack to eat at the little tables out front while watching kids playing across the street at a park. They concept of sugar glazing madelines was a slight improvement over the ones I used to get from a Monterey bakery that were sold in the Cornucopia grocery store, but they weren’t worth the more than $1 a piece I paid for them. They did have some interesting looking shiny fruit pastries/tortes that I intend to try later on though.

The price list at Ble Sucre. Click to see the bigger (more readable) version.

There’s a patisserie on almost every other corner here, so I actually have a lot of choices.

Here’s a Caramel Royal (chocolate pastry cream on a pastry crust layer) that I got just a couple blocks down the street (on Rue Traverserie) from my apartment.

On the way back, I noticed an used book store (livres anciens) across the street from the Pimlico (health food store) and bought one of Simenon’s Les Vacances de Maigret in the original French to read. Actually, I got the idea of buying the book from that Horatio Hornblower story wherein he learns French by reading a copy of Don Quixote. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but at least it’s a mystery book so I’ll be unraveling two mysteries at once in translating it.


Let’s Go Shopping! – Santa Monica

I was invited to my cousin’s wedding (which happened on July 28th), so on the 24th I decided to go shopping for a new dress, shoes, etc. Since I’m of rather limited means, I decided to visit one of Santa Monica’s Goodwill stores first. There was an interesting display out front in the form of some birds perched on a bike.

Parrots in front of Santa Monica Goodwill store.

Blouse and gown.

I found a nice pink, frilly blouse, but just about everything else was was size 12 – four sizes to small – and the nicer dresses (which were also too small) were about $29 minimum. Awfully overpriced for that place. Fortunately, a lady in the store told me there was a mall nearby and gave me walking directions. I didn’t know it, but all those stores were on the famous 3rd Street Promenade. I got a really nice $24 gown at the Sears to use with the blouse. It’s funny that a brand new gown cost me less than a used one would have.







After that, I wandered around a Bloomingdale’s and the rest of the mall.

Note the unusual fountain on the right.

A short distance down another street was a strange dinosaur-ish fountain and some stores with rather outlandish window displays.

A flag made entirely of shoes that filled a store window.

When I got back to Westwood, there were a couple of funny things I noticed. I didn’t get a photo of it, but someone was stuffing copies of the book The Da Vinci Code under the windshield wipers of all the cars on Weyburn Avenue. Also, there was a huge number of stereotypically snooty guys out wearing polo shirts and driving around in Porsches. I assume they came for the Farmer’s Classic (tennis competition at UCLA).

Shopping and display area behind tennis stadium.

My new shoes.

A couple days later, I got some shoes for the wedding (and some non-sneakers to wear in Paris, so I wouldn’t look like such a tourist) at a Ross that’s a fairly long, but manageable, walk from UCLA for about $10 and $14, respectively.