Saturday was partitioned on my schedule to be a day I spent with my brother. We left LA really early to get out to Riverside around 8:45... pretty good time considering the traffic. My brother has lived out here almost a decade already, owns a beautiful house, a few cars, a social life.. he's doing quite well for himself. And he offered to make us breakfast.. which in and of itself is enough to make up if anything else was lacking. We put in our order the previous night over text message, and headed there in the AM.
We caught up with them for a few hours, ate our breakfast, and then headed to the nearby Mission Inn to do some exploring, sightseeing, and to get some lunch. The Mission Inn is this place that used to be some kind of Catholic facility housing monks and missionaries hundreds of years ago for the local tribes. Well, it's been turned into a hotel/resort, but it's still kept in the old style. We spent a good hour walking around the FIVE main floors and taking tons of pictures. The place is beautiful.
We headed to Spaghetti Warehouse down the street and really enjoyed a huge meal of meatballs, pasta, salads and ice cream in a beautiful building with huge tables. I've been to SF once before, and didn't remember it being this ornate. It was delicious and wonderful and great to catch up with Aaron again. It's funny. He usually mentions how nice it is that someone else has the memories he has growing up so it's not just him recalling the little tidbits about living in a kitchen for a couple winters, or the fact that our father butchered a cow in our front yard one Thanksgiving.
But we had to leave, as we needed to catch a boat out to Catalina Island to do some whale watching. It was about an hour away, we got there no problem, on time, and on the boat... for free. Cindy has connections *everywhere* around this city, and she knows one of the deck hands. We got on, settled, and then I got extremely seasick as our boat headed out into open water in the roughest water I've ever boated through.
But I held my guts in, and we finally settled in an area of water with FIVE whales, which was simply amazing. We saw them feeding, rolling, jumping and circling. The Captain said the one thing they did, which was flip over and show their underside as they dove.. was very rare and he could count on one hand how many times he's seen it in 30 years. It was to put no other way... astounding and mind blowing. The whales got really close to the boat, and I was busy snapping pictures.
But man oh man was I ill. I finally went inside where it was warm (since it was friggin COLD outside in the wind) and laid down on a bench and closed my eyes. Wasn't exactly a pleasant ride home.. but I felt immediately better when I got back on land. We headed back home, got some El Pollo Loco for dinner, and I got ready for go back out.
Cindy stayed in, as she didn't feel good, and I headed to a friend's house to play some party board games for the next few hours. I got there in this gigantic mansion.. just huge.. like 50 rooms huge. I thought I was trespassing this place was so amazing. But it was the right house, I went in, and got to know the ladies and my friend Gabe for the next few hours as we played games and had a good time laughing and eating. Well, I started rudely falling asleep... and insisted I leave.. only to submit and stay longer.
But after a group picture, one last game, I headed back to Cindy's place around midnight (3am NY time), and got into bed. I'm exhausted.. but it's been quite the wild ride so far.