In the midst of routine, weeks often pass without notice. My last week was not one of those weeks. It was, in fact, extraordinary. But I find myself unable to pinpoint for what reason it was so special, for at face value, it was actually a decently typical one. Friday night after a week's work, I took the midnight flight from Hong Kong to LAX and there my week began.
Jet lag ensued, naturally, and continued for the rest of the week up to the present moment. I find that when flying across time zones every few days, it is best not to even try overcoming the jet lag and to succumb to sleep whenever needed. The first day I woke up early to a cup of my favourite Philz coffee (Tesora - small, hot, sweet, and creamy), and a stroll to Whole Foods the hour they opened. They carried the beloved California donut peaches I often ate in my summers in Toronto, and that we now pay a high price to enjoy in Hong Kong. They overflowed the counter, heaped up so sweetly and so decadently, though a little more disformed than I was used to. The golden Washington Rainier cherries were equally as luscious; I bought a big bag and consumed on the spot.
Shortly after my Downtown walkabouts, I made it to the Getty Center a comfortable 15 minutes before they opened. I've been to the Getty only once before, but fell immediately in love with the spacious walkways, stone corridors, and well-maintained garden. I like to come back just to stroll in its trimmed grounds, and feel the breeze that rushes through its crevices. It so happened that they were displaying Buddhist caves from the Silk Road, a popular exhibition. I myself preferred the French porcelain and furniture exhibit.
If my Saturday was leisurely, Sunday was even more so. The last day of the week is never complete for me without an early morning walk down at Palos Verdes. True to my routine while living here, I made the trip that very Sunday morning. It was as stunning as it always is. I have taken countless pictures of the exact same view from the exact same angle, but the feeling when I'm standing on the edge of that cliff never ceases to fill me up. Afterwards: a trip to Costco, Torrance. I am a newly minted member of one of my favourite childhood stores, and I went a little crazy with the nut purchases.
Seemingly the same day (but rather 2 a.m. the next) I was awake and eating a huge plate of cabbage in preparation for my 5:30am flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the PwC National Elevate conference. I met an astounding number of people, and felt like I had stepped into college for the first time again, briefly. Getting to know my team was a pleasure, especially through the exciting challenges that awaited us every 2 hours. Understandably, I didn't get very much sleep - only a few hours - each day. But every waking hour was so filled, it just made the trip that much more worth it. Below you'll see the Georgia Dome fitted with a RC race course and really a lot of fun inflatables - a highlight for me.
The days in Atlanta were almost excruciatingly long for someone with an intense amount of jet lag, but soon time passed as it always seems to, and I was once again home in LA. As much as I enjoyed Atlanta I was somewhat relieved to be settled back into my LA apartment. Over the course of the next day I met with several of my friends and had a throughly enjoyable time with them. I browsed nearby apartments for fun at lunch and it was thrilling - again for reasons I find even hard to explain to myself. #20 at Pho87 (my favourite - charbroiled pork) and Korean shaved ice at Sul and Beans made it into the day, and Petit Trois of course made it into my last.
On my resume, under interests, I put "driving". People are often curious, confused, or both about this. I'm not sure what there is to be confused about. They consider driving an act that just takes you from point A to point B, and assume I like it because I'm a relatively new driver (though I have almost two years of experience now - maybe this too I should put on my resume). But I truly enjoy every aspect of it, and often drive aimlessly about when I have any amount of spare time. This time I found a gem of a mansion quite on accident. It was absolutely, absolutely gorgeous. I could not stop walking through the seemingly endless gardens and trimmed grounds. The slightly wild flowers were the perfect amount of unkempt, while still lending itself to a sense of grandeur. I loved it, and I can't wait to be back. Perhaps I will make this my Saturday morning routine, but that is to be decided.
Derelict greenhouses, lily-koi ponds, and kids running up the mountain of grass- everything there is to love.
Just yesterday morning I arrived back in Hong Kong to a beautiful sky mismatched with uncompromising heat. In a few short hours I'll be making my way to TST and back to work (and should probably consider getting some additional rest), but the last week will remain a truly unforgettable one. Having two homes is both "a gift and a curse"; I always miss the one I'm not at. But the chance to have two homes, and the memories that follow it, I will always cherish.