Wednesday, November 01, 2006


James and I spent this past weekend visiting family and interviewing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. (James interviewed, not me =) He really liked the neurosurgery department out there, and he was impressed with how they run their program. They seem to allow the residents an unusually large level of responsibility and experience, which James really liked...basically, you spend the final two years of your residency as a "junior attending" with your own patients and no call (which is awesome, even though you're not being paid more for it). We also visited lots of family in the city. First, we went to Uncle Jim and Aunt Sherry's house to see all of their crew. All four of their kids came out to see us, and we had a great time hanging out with them. Scott's kids, Kyle and Troy, were SO cute, and they were so much fun to play with! Then we drove into Venice to spend some time with (my) Uncle Mike and Aunt Crystal and Joe. They took us out to this GREAT mexican restaurant that they love, and we ate fajitas. On Saturday, while James was at his interview, Aunt Crystal and I went to the Getty Villa, which is an art gallery near the beach in Malibu. It was AMAZING. They had beautiful mosaics, sculptures, and artifacts there. Then we went to lunch at Gladstones, which is a restaurant on the beach just down the street. It was so beautiful to sit and look out at the ocean, which was right beside our table out the window! The food was great, too.

Saturday night, James and I went out to eat at Villa Sorriso, an Italian restaurant in Pasadena, with the residents and other applicants from USC. The food was good, and we sat across from some really nice people. It was funny because it was halloween weekend, so they had a costume party at the restaurant and all the wait staff were wearing these crazy costumes. By the time that we left, most of the people in the restaurant were dressed in wild costumes (some of them looked pretty skanky). It was fun to watch them, though!

On Sunday afternoon, we drove out to El Monte to see (James's) Uncle Mike and Aunt Jenny. We visited with James's grandmother, who was so sweet to us. She seems so cheerful - every time she says something, she sort of chuckles. We showed her our wedding album, and I think that she enjoyed looking at the pictures. That evening, Jeff and Tracy (Mike and Jenny's kids) came out with their families, and we had a fun dinner with all of them. Jeff and his wife Jackie have two cute little boys with the most beautiful eyes, and David and Tracy have such an adorable, sweet little guy named Tyler. We played with the kids and hung out and watched the Chargers game - it was a fun, relaxing night. It was great for me to meet all these people who are now in my family - I'm so blessed to have such great people in my family!

We spent most of the day on Monday travelling back to St. Louis, and by the time we got home, we were worn out. All the driving, flying, carrying luggage, time change, etc. took lots of energy, but it was definitely worth it. We are planning another trip back to LA to visit the family again soon.