Back from our quick jaunt down to Southern California. It was really a fact finding mission, as Deanne wanted to check out some of the universities down there for future reference. The drive down was very easy, and we got to Valencia in under three and a half hours. We arrived with Tricia a little after 10:30pm and she greeted us with red wine and halloween candy. We spent most of Saturday driving around the greater Los Angeles area, stopping at UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach and UCLA. Irvine, both the university and city, was beautiful. We stopped at John Wayne Airport where my camera let me down, as always. We also stopped at LAX and ate at the famous In n' Out that sits right next to the airport perimeter fence. Saturday night was spent with Tricia's sister Nikki and her husband Michael. They were kind enough to have us over for drinks and Michael whipped up some of his famous Mai Tai's after returning from an unsuccesful search for Curacao. Nikki and Michael live in Newport Beach which is now my favorite town in California. We had dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the water. Afterwards, we took a stroll through the charming town, looking at the ridiculously expensive homes that lined the waterfront. The day's endeavours had left us rather exhausted so we collapsed pathetically early on Saturday night to prepare for the following day's journey home. Sunday morning gave us an hour extra to sleep, thanks to Daylight Savings. We packed up our things, said our thank yous and goodbyes to Tricia and her parents and hit the road. Part of the bargaining that resulted in our trip to LA was that we got to stop at Mojave on the way home. It's actually not that far out of the way, and only added about an hour to the journey. We ate at the fantastic restaurant underneath the old tour which has amazing views out over the field and the storage areas beyond. We took the car across the brush to the edge of the storage area to get a better view. There was not a soul to be seen anywhere. The number of aircraft has certainly increased since we were last there earlier in the year. This is probably due to the high price of oil. After snapping some photos, we hit the 58 and headed home. Deanne promptly fell asleep for most of the journey until her bladder woke her up in Fresno..........we didn't stop until Turlock. We made it from Mojave to Tracy in 4 hours, which isn't half bad. So a successful trip all around and our thanks to Tricia and her parents for allowing us to stay with them, and to Nikki and Michael for the excellent Mai Tai's. And yes........I got a new car.