I signed up to take an exam. That’s right, I voluntarily chose to take the SOCRA clinical research professional certification. Crazy huh? Though I don’t get anything immediately for passing this exam, I am hoping that it will help me with my clinical research experience in the future. It’s one of those, good for me-good for my career, kind of exams. Basically, it included a lot of federal regulations, how clinical trials are run, and how to maintain patient safety. Fun stuff! I don’t get results for another 2-3 weeks. So, keep your fingers crossed for me!
On the up side, I signed up to take this lovely exam in Irvine, CA. So after all the cramming and late night study sessions surrounded by my highlighters/notepads, at least I got a nice weekend with my parents!
For a short amount of time, we still got to see plenty of stuff! After my test, we headed for La Jolla Beach Cove. It was a beautiful sunshine filled California day to be out strolling on the beach amongst all the sea lions. That’s right, sea lions! Awesome! I have found a new fascination of sea lion watching. They’re hilariously awkward and never cease to entertain me.
I know these look like dead blobs of sea lions. But I promise you, they were definitely still schlumping around and barking loudly, like a happy sunbathing sea lion should! (And yes, “schlump” is the best word to use when describing how a sea lion moves on land)
Gosh, doesn’t it just make you want to join them and take a nice nap in the sunshine? They look so content! Though…as a human, you probably need to include a little SPF into your sea lion-like sunbathing nap time.
Hey look, it’s us! Despite the fact that we did take a lot of sea lion pictures, we also managed to enjoy the gorgeous La Jolla scenery.
And the next day? Still plenty of activities! First off, a nice walk around my parents’ neighborhood. They have beautiful facilities in their complex and it connects to a pretty little walking trail. They even have real orange trees in the park! And since the orange blossoms just opened, the entire park smelled wonderful!
A morning walk with Aunt Jackie. Believe it or not, this little pavilion/garden area is just part of my parents’ neighborhood. They have several gardens, multiple pools, playgrounds, grill areas, a gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, and club houses. I think it means we will be visiting more often… :)
No lunch until walk has been completed! Thank goodness the weather was gorgeous (again) and there were plenty of pretty flowers/plants to see and even prettier houses to gawk at. I think my phrase for this trip is, “gosh, how much do you think that house costs?!?” (This is another view of the same pavilion above, pretty huh?)
After our morning exercise, we headed to the City of Orange. It’s a charming little town with plenty of antique shops, fantastic sounding restaurants, and perfect for an afternoon of window shopping!
Andy and me standing in front of the Orange County Fruit Exchange building. Back in the day when there was more citrus and less Swarovski, oranges really did grow in Orange County!
And since we obediently completed our morning walk, we were rewarded with a delicious Cuban lunch at the Felix Continental Cafe.
I got seafood crepes with fried plantains, creamed spinach, and rice. Yum!!
Andy couldn’t resist the temptation of getting the Cuban sandwich. As you can see from the stuffing of sandwich in his face, he was pleased with his choice!
But dad definitely won the lunch ordering competition. His plate came with grilled…everything! Shrimp, fish, chicken, steak, scallops, really everything you could possibly want grilled!
After so much food, we wandered around the main square checking out all the little stores and shops.
Sigh…what a beautiful vintage inspired stove. Vintage inspired = brand new but looks old fashioned. Love! Too bad it was so expensive, and there would be no fitting that in my carry on baggage. (our general rule of thumb for souvenirs)
And once we got back to Irvine, I finally got to visit the Japanese dollar store, Daiso! I’ve been wanting to shop at the Daiso the last couple times we’ve been in California but we never had enough time. (FYI: the Japanese dollar store is not a dollar, it’s $1.50) But what fun! You can find the most random, hilarious, and superbly cute things inside the Daiso! Packs of disposable travel underwear? $1.50! Bowls/plates/platters of every size, shape, and color? Mostly $1.50!! (some of the bigger items were a little more) An inflatable plastic dead crow that you hang from your trees to keep away actual crows? $1.50!!! Really anything you can think of and plenty that you can’t imagine all available for the most part at $1.50 inside a Daiso. I really wish we had one in DFW for party planning purposes alone!
Case in point, why would you want a boring old white out tape dispenser when you could have one in the shape of a duck?? Score! They also come in pink bunny and blue penguin. But Plucky the White Out Duck caught my eye.
I also snagged these cute little sauce dishes in the shape of lotus and chrysanthemum flowers. What am I going to do with them? I have absolutely no idea, but I had to have them! (AND they fit in my carry on luggage…)
Okay, I know you’re all enthralled by what I had for lunch and the fascinating purchases I made at the Daiso. But I’m going to have to blog the rest of our California trip tomorrow. It’s getting late and this post is getting too long. I still have many more food…yeah, really just food pictures to share with you! So, until tomorrow!