I don’t even remember what we did this morning. At some point we walked along the Santa Monica beach promenade (not sure that’s what it’s actually called) and then did some shopping. It’s been more pronounced on this trip than any other how much difference I feel in my brain when I’m surrounded by chaos vs. faced with a wide-open landscape. As with the farm in McMinnville, I felt noticeably calmer, less stressed and worried walking along the beach than I had in the car, or in the cities themselves.
For “lunch” (at like, 2:30) we went to a place called Church and State, which was down a little ally in a kind of sketchy area of downtown. The restaurant itself is pretty cool – exposed ceiling, strung lights, red paint, old mirrors – it had the feel of some place a bit older and rougher. We had a salad, mussels, salmon tarte (our favorite, I think) and a charcuterie plate (different cured meats and pates).
Back on the road again – this time to E’s alma mater, the answer to half his trivia questions (the other half being Kansas) – Pomona. Of course we hit traffic the entire way, but we were rewarded with a relatively peaceful walk around the relatively abandoned campus. It’s hard to say what Pomona is like since they were doing so much construction (much to E’s chagrin), but it was nice to see a place that had shaped and meant so much to E. For dinner we met with a couple of his former advisors and then it was back on the road to Hemet.
Hemet is way the f out there. I had forgotten how far it was and we’d been driving for so long that I felt we should have been almost there. But we weren’t. It was another hour + before we wearily knocked on my sister’s hotel room door.