Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Southern California

She's the reason we went to California in the first place. It was never a state I was really dying to visit but I am always open for an adventure.
She started her second year at Azusa Pacific University.
She moved into a campus apartment with 4 other girls.
She had stayed all summer in California, far away from the flat state of Florida she maybe still calls home.
I heard she had a hammock that needed to be hung, who would hang it?
We had to go.

Here is our niece Dani on her first day of school.
It's kind of fun having a niece who doesn't mind first day pictures; while we once called her a girl who is like our niece, we now just call her our niece.

We drove off in her car, Oliver I think is his name (I know who names a car a boys name?), after dropping her off at her first class.
The campus is beautiful,
and the chapel service we attended was just as beautiful.
A spirit filled school, lead by a spirit filled President.

What trip to California would be complete without a burger from In-N-Out.
I get the double, double with grilled onions.

Before school started Dani had a day in LA planned for us. Being a travel junkie I was excited, we loaded up into Oliver and headed out to places unknown to me!
I can't help take pictures of Freeway signs, something about seeing LA and San Francisco on that big green sign makes me smile.

 Our first stop was downtown LA , the LA Rescue Mission and Skid Row. Knowing my heart for the city of Detroit and the Rescue Mission there, this was a good place to start our LA day.

Next stop was lunch.
Californians can eat and they like to do it in fresh style.
We made our way to China town and ate at Homegirl Cafe, a cafe run by Homeboy Industries an organization that helps get people out of gangs and helps with a fresh start after prison. The food is all homegrown, the employees stepping up from a life that wants to drag them down.

Next on the agenda was a trip to the Griffith Observatory, sitting high in the Hollywood Hills.

After a hot and relaxing visit to the observatory we traveled westward toward Beverly Hills via Hollywood Blvd. Dani got us out of a parking ticket while Steve and I made a not so quick trip into Starbucks for an afternoon pick me up. 
We saw a few stars on the sidewalk and did a drive by the Chinese Theatre.

 Whiskey A Go Go was an added bonus drive by, not only because of it's music history but because our friend Phillip played there not too long ago.

The one part of the trip that was "open" was the time in Beverly Hills. None of us are shopping fans, not that we could afford the stores, and walking among the famous has no appeal so we decided on the city park Greystone Mansion. What an amazing home with beautiful gardens.

What a great time we had in SoCal, even though I can't believe we leave our niece there to breath in all the yucky air :)
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to participate in this time in her life, I so wish I could visit her more often but instead hoping to send her a sweet care package. 
I also am so happy that she gets to attend Azusa Pacific University. What an amazing school, the students, the faculty and the campus are top notch and it has been pure joy to see Dani growing up into the young women God created her to be.
Anyone else been to LA area and have any recommendations for our next visit, we like the outdoors, as well s cultural and historic places.

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