Instead of staying in San Francisco for Easter this year, I decided to travel south to the other part of California that San Franciscans have dubbed SoCal.
The only encounters I have had with SoCal are a couple of trips to San Diego and one night in L.A. in a hotel on a layover. I have been to San Diego, but from what I’ve heard L.A. County is a completely different animal.
My brother moved to the promised land for New Englanders, Huntington Beach, California. New Englanders love to complain, especially about the weather, but there is little to complain about in Orange County.
As I descended into John Wayne Airport I must have passed over at least 15 baseball fields and five golf courses in a matter of minutes. Jealousy ran over me as I realized that baseball can be played all year round and any kind of precipitation is a foreign concept to these Orange County residents.
Another wave of jealousy came over me when I saw that my brother lives one mile from surfers’ heaven on earth, Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, USA.
USF is close to Ocean Beach, but there are not many days that are sunny or warm enough to lie on the beach and enjoy it.
Once I got settled in my brother’s new digs, it was off to Anaheim Stadium to see the Angels play the Boston Red Sox, of course. I was happy to see that these ball fans were passionate and did not let me get away with wearing Red Sox gear without hearing about it.
The stadium itself was one of the nicer ones I have been in and reminded me a lot of AT&T Park.
With the water fountains out in center field and fireworks after the game, Anaheim Stadium satisfied this baseball fan even though the Red Sox lost.
The next day I was able to see the parts of SoCal that I have only heard about from my friends and have seen in movies: Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
As we drove up Hollywood Blvd. with the top down on my brother’s convertible, I was definitely seeing how the other half of the state lived. Instead of seeing actual historical landmarks like Paul Revere’s house in Boston or Alcatraz in San Francisco, I got to see the original Fredrick’s of Hollywood store, the walk of fame, the Capitol Records building and National Lampoon’s Headquarters.
The culture in this area was like nothing else I have experienced. People were dressed in costumes of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and even a Transformer for tourists to take pictures with them and hopefully get tips in front of the Kodak theater, the home of the Oscars.
The panhandlers on Haight St. asking for booze money should take a lesson from those characters to make more cash.
After seeing the Hollywood sign it was time to see where all of these Hollywood people like to call home.
Beverly Hills is the fantasy land of California. Every house is like a dream home complete with a $50,000 car in the driveway. Designers like Roberto Cavali, Dolce and Gabana, and Valentino have their own stores and are at the fingertips of shoppers on Rodeo Dr.
Everything about this area was fancy; even the Mel’s Drive-In had valet parking for all customers.
Although you can hear things about a place it isn’t exactly real until you see it yourself. After my first experience with L.A. and Orange County, I wouldn’t mind living in Orange County after graduation next spring.
I love the sun, surfing, and being able to have some remnants of a tan all year round. And if I can find a baseball game at any point during the year, count me in.
Erika Heyer is a senior politics major.