Craig in the OC
Welcome to Orange County. UPDATED
Well with KBC picking up extra offices in Irvine and San Diego, California I am out here to look at the infrastructure and to help out. Equiped with a rental car it has also meant that I have been able to catch up with Geoff, Matt and Nicky as they cruised down the Pacific Highway from San Francisco.
We met up in Long Beach on Friday night and had a great meal at a local micro brewery. On the Saturday morning we walked around Long Beach and the marina before going for a look over the Queen Mary which is now a museum, hotel and entertainment venue. After lunch at Islands burgers (Nicky is a bit of a fan and critic of the hamburger) we jumped in the Chevy Malibu V6 and headed south on Pacific Highway number 1.
We stopped at Huntingdon beach for a walk, watched the beach volleyball and surfing from the peir before driving through Newport Beach (very expensive part of the OC) and onto Laguna Beach. Its a nice town away from the big freeways with nice shops, houses and beach front. We enjoyed watching the Winter Sunset over the beach around 5pm in the evening.
We then headed to the Spectrum Mall near the office here for dinner and had a wander round. It is an outdoor mall for that lovely South California weather and even has a Merry-go-round and Ferris Wheel for the kids.
I took the others back to Long Beach after dinner as they were off to Las Vegas in the morning. I should catch up with Matt and Nicky in New York next week.
If you are interested in finding Irvine click on this link to Google Maps: Irvine Map
More photos from my cruising around the area. Went looking at the areas around Irvine, what housing and schooling is like. Facilities are good and all the public schools in the Irvine area have a high standard but this of course pushes up house prices. The average price for a 3 bedroom house around this area is generally between 600 and 900 thousand US dollars, which is quite a lot.
On Saturday evening I was invited to a house warming at Lara's house. She is one of the admin staff at the office here in Irvine and is married to an retired marine gunnery sargeant. There were interesting stories and we watched the NFL playoffs (Saints vs Eagles) – it was nice to be invited in.
On Sunday I went for a tiki tour out into the dessert ending up in the Palm Springs area. California is truely a desert but makes for interesting landscape. The weather has been very cold in the US, including California, so there was even a bit of snow on the higher mountains.
It was the 15th in NZ so I celebrated Veronica and my wedding aniversary with a nice Italian dinner by myself 🙁 at Laguna Beach. Off to San Diego and Seaworld tomorrow I think.