Monday, wolfwings finally picked me up from the airport, took me to where his aunt and uncle were staying in Laguna Woods, I crashed out for 5 hours, we had dinner at his dad's place in Topanga, drove around some parts of L.A. *forgetful*, hit a WalMart for supplies, then went back to Laguna Woods.
Tuesday, picked up WolfWings' mum, went out to T-Mobile to get a sim card for my phone, got caught in a storm which dumped a shitload of rain and issued a tornado warning, spent the afternoon trying to get my damn phone working, took photos of a flooded creek, high-tailed it north towards San Jose to escape the weather (successfully!), had dinner at Wienerschnitzel, and got emergency crashspace thanks to drewkitty.
Wednesday, checked into the Fairmont Hotel (venue for FC2010), wandered around the neighbourhood with batnwolf, went to the Ansel Adams exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art (his photography is incredible), tried to get into the Star Trek exhibition at the Tech Museum but got turned away as it was too late in the day, went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant with warphammer, archai and ______ (didn't catch his name).
So yeah, Monday was a bit of a blur. I got hardly any sleep on the plane, I was zombiefied by the time WolfWings picked me up, my body clock was completely screwed up all day, and I just slept when I got the chance. I think this is important to remember for subsequent trips to the US. Unless I happen to acclimatise in New Zealand or something (haha), pretty much write off the first day of the trip.
Having said that, the highlight of Monday was meeting WolfWings' dad, Val, at his house in Topanga. He's a record producer, apparently. I wish I'd taken my camera (or ANY camera) and taken a few photos, because he had a nice place. He seems like a pretty nice guy too, although a little...well, interesting I guess. Quirky? Although quirky pretty well describes all of WolfWings' relatives. Had a tasty dinner at Val's with a bean stew-soup sorta thing (stewp!), failtacos, a salad and ... corn bean wrap thing that I've never had before (wow, brainfail).
Tried to go for a drive up ... Mt Wilson(?) but the roads were closed because of the heavy rain. We drove through the tunnel from Back to the Future II! *major geek out* Fortunately there were no manure trucks. XD
Got some stuff from WalMart, mostly deodorants and stuff for fursuiting (stinky = bad). Totally forgot what Rose suggested I should get, because I didn't write it down and I've been experiencing memoryfail all week.
If you want to set up the iPhone on the T-Mobile network you need these settings. Took me and WolfWings a couple of hours of futzing around with the phone and T-Mobile tech support to figure these out. Very important, especially when Rose visits next time.
Enable 3G: off
Data Roaming: on
They also recommend turning WiFi off.
Settings->General->Network->Cellular Data Network
MMS Proxy: (blank)
MMS Max Message Size: (blank)
MMS UA Prof URL: (blank)
The T-Mobile account I'm using for the month only cost me $30 and I get unlimited voice, unlimited data, unlimited text ... basically unlimited anything. =D I think I forked out $150 to AT&T last time. Freaking expensive data nonsense. >_<
I managed to nab myself a Google Voice account thanks to WolfWings! My area code is from Alpaugh, CA, which we passed the turnoff for on the I-5 up to San Jose. Yes, it's in the middle of nowhere!
I got soooo twitchy for the first day and a half without a working mobile phone. I'm missing someone back home and it makes it worse being out of contact. Off the grid!! D= Plus I'm so used to being able to tweet anytime.
The storm that hit Los Angeles South was nuts. Although the weather all week has been gloomy and wet, this storm cell just came out of nowhere and dumped a SHITLOAD of water. We were at a shopping centre and got caught in the middle of it. There was a tornado warning in the area for about 45 minutes. There were reports of water spouts being sighted, but no tornado actually touched down as far as I know.
Oh, Laguna Woods is this gated community for people over 55. There's a creek running through it, and before the storm there was barely a trickle, but after the rain dumped its load everywhere, there was this rushing, broiling, muddy, debris-filled river. Great photo opportunity! I have photos, but they're sitting on my SD card. >_>
The first few days I've sorta been forgetting that I'm back in America. All the weird idiosyncrasies that caught me the first time around have been catching me off guard again. I did ask for NOT death-by-sugar cereal, which surprisingly was quite edible (unlike the sugary death CANDY that Americans eat for breakfast...blegh). There's something wrong about eating candy for breakfast. Any other time of the day? Sure! Just. Not. Breakfast!
Also: American plumbing (again) but so far it hasn't wigged me out as much as the first time, coins which I refuse to deal with so I'm going to end up with a buttload at the end of the trip, trying to plug an Aussie phone charger into an American power socket (half awake), uhh and probably some other things that I can't think of right now. Accents take a bit of parsing, so I occasionally drop out of conversations.
WolfWings' mom is cool, by the way.
Didn't get to see Catalina unfortunately. Maybe next trip?
My laptop keeps dropping off the hotel's wifi. Grrrr. I'm going to try to set up tethering to my mobile so that I have a more reliable connection.