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#44 & #45 Hopped Off A Plane @ LAX

I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream to hit #44 & #45…
Shannon, Sean and I are here for Trojan Family Weekend 2013! 
Courtney stayed at home this trip because of her important roles in her Treasures of Weston play. We miss her. We spent our first night at the Georgian Grand Hotel in Santa Monica. After a long day of travel and some biking down Venice Beach a nice dinner we went to bed not too late to prepare for pool #44.
The pool was the Santa Monica Swim Center at Santa Monica College. It was a big outdoor facility with a 25x50m pool with and in addition a separate 25 yard pool. I got there late around 6:45 and it busy with an age group practice, masters practice and other lap swimmers. Outdoor pools are awesome! 3000 meters in an outdoor pool followed by Starbucks is a great way to start the day,

We had some time before we could meet Ryan at USC so we took a leisurely drive down Sunset from PCH to Hollywood. We drove through the Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills before we decided to be tourist in Hollywood. Walking down Hollywood Blvd in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is quite entertaining. It was fun!
Eventually we made it to USC with Shannon waiting to see her boy and Sean chomping at the bit. The big excitement of the day “seeing Ryan” happened around 2:00 after class. With his long hair, blazer, tie and longboard he clearly looked like a pledge at SC. We had a great time catching up for a bit, meeting bros’ on campoos and checking out his dorm. It was then back to class. We all had dinner at the Lab Gastropub with roommate Joe’s family. Sean then went for a sleepover with Ryan.

Friday morning I got up early and walked around Alumni Park and then Shannon and I ate at the parents breakfast and bumped into a friend of hers she hasn’t seen since college whose daughter goes to school here. Eventually, we caught up with the boys and very happy but tired Sean. 
#45 came at a welcome time in mid-afternoon at the old USC Physical Ed pool. It’s an indoor vintage pool with big tiles and high gutters. It’s the pool that Olympians; John Naber, Joe Bottom and Bruce Furniss use to train in. Today the water is very warm and it seems to be the teaching pool for international students. Swam only 1500 yards but that was all I needed.

We then had an early dinner at LA Live and then the Beach Boys at Bovard Auditorium. Ryan didn’t go but we met up later to drop Sean for another sleepover. A great way to end the evening for game day tomorrow.
Game day USC vs Utah started with a trip to The Row for a brunch at the ATO house. It was great to meet Ryan’s friends and to see where he hangs out. We then walked to the historic LA Coliseum for the game. SC won 19 to 3. We had the chance to visit with Billy & Janet Willson at half time and I bumped into an old, old friend from elementary school-Billy Ruth.

 

A long day was capped off with dinner at the original El Chollo with Ryan’s friend Otto from Indy.  We are all packed and ready for the flight tomorrow. All in all, it was a great weekend. We really enjoyed seeing Ryan in his new environment and knowing he thriving. It was also fun to see how excited Sean was to hang with his bro.

Looking forward to the family being together at Thanksgiving and onward to pool #46!
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