After flying in to Los Angeles the night before, Joe and I headed down to Oceanside to meet up with Arianne. I’d been hoping to do some adventuring my first morning in California, but unfortunately the weather decided otherwise. (On the other hand, it’s probably better that the rain forced me to sleep in considering how little sleep I’d gotten the week leading up to spring break.) My first reaction to Los Angeles centered on bewilderment of the huge highways. Urban sprawl has much greater meaning now. Los Angeles reminded me of a mix between Florida, with all the palm trees lining the roads, and Ecuador. Perhaps Ecuador isn’t a perfect fit, but it’s hard to draw upon many other experiences where massive mountains border cities so closely.
The drive down to Oceanside along the Coast Highway is said to be gorgeous. The lousy weather, however, obscured the view. Despite the weather annoyance, the highlight of the day was not to be ruined: San Diego’s ShamRock Celebration 2012 in the Gaslamp Quarter for St. Patrick’s Day. Large public, drunken celebrations are normally not my scene, but the experience promised quite a bit more.
The beginnings of the concerts
We made it to the Coaster in the nick of time, and rode it into San Diego in favor of driving. Another double take induced by California was the presence of alcohol being consumed publicly, and alcohol sales even in convenicence stores. Not in Kansas anymore…
Anyway. I didn’t bring along my DSLR, and so while I didn’t capture the atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter photographically, I was also freed from seeing the world through a lens. San Diego, particularly the Gaslamp District, oozes with a respectable historical and cultural atmosphere. The ability to arrive via public transportation and walk the streets to arrive at our destination definitely endeared the city to me. Once at ShamRock 2012, the light intermittent sprinkling worked in our favor and reduced the crowds to a reasonable, pleasant volume. The slightly chilly weather also prevented too many outfits from crossing the lines of decent into scandalous. All in all, I have to say, I couldn’t have picked a better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day then frolicking around to Irish music surrounded by a crowd of green with two of my favorite people.
Best friends reunited after too long
Oh, and, he’s pretty cool too
We were fortunate that the Coaster had opened a later departure in the schedule to return to Oceanside, just to accommodate the event. While hanging around the station until 2am proved the most frustrating part of the evening, we were all perfectly happy once we found a warmer location to pass the time. We even made new friends! Success all around.