It Never Rains In Southern California
Ronnie Aldrich

Welcome to my blog, updated whenever something of interest happens in my life (for the most part). Complete with pictures and video, you're sure to have a great time (although I can't promise you that). Anyway, thanks for visiting!

Click here for the Hawaii Trip

The California Adventure
November 15, 2005

Wow! I think 23 days is the longest I've been away from home ... 23 days at age 23. Not too impressive, huh? :-) Anyway, to say the least, I had an eventful, fun-filled time in California and Hawaii, with memories made that will never be forgotten. At least, I don't think they will. Anyway, let's begin, shall we?

Sitting in the Springfield airport. You can already tell I'm spilling over with excitement.

Goodbye green fields of Missouri.

Ok, I hear this loud chewing of gum from behind me, and I'm thinking, "What kind of person could possibly chew so loud and with such ferocity?" I turn around, and my question is quickly answered.

While in Dallas I noticed this guy on the skylink who worked for some government intelligence agency, as the logo on his shirt revealed. So guess what I did? I took his picture without him knowing it! Hah! Some secret agent he is! Pathetic!

I always make it a point to be as productive and time-efficient as possible during my layovers.

Nathan, my friend I went to stay with, did the unthinkable ... showed up as a limousine driver with a "Brad Steele" sign! Needless to say, I was shocked. He endured the glares of travelers and the suspicious looks of security guards to make me feel welcome. Thanks Nate!

Dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant on the night of my arrival.

In the studio recording Brad Steele and Kyle Shield's exclusive commentary on "The Fellowship." Click

That's not a dog. That's a sad, but cute, excuse for a dog.

I take that back. This thing, which the Daher's cleaners brought, is a sad excuse for a dog.

View of the Daher's quaint abode as we head off for PF Chang's for dinner. *salivating*

Apparently their dog, Scratch, wanted to come too. Took like 10 minutes to coax him out!

The Dahers host a daycare at their house, and one of the little girls, Kaleana I believe (sp?), is always so stoic ... except when she got her cheeks pinched in this picture.

Off with Nathan to do some trolley sight-seeing in downtown San Diego. Feel free to save this beautiful photo for your desktop wallpaper.

On the trolley. The sun is shining and everyone's happy and we've got our cool shades (even the lady).

I had never really been downtown, and was surprised, for the most part, at how beautiful it was.

I know what you're thinking ... "Big boat, big celebrity." Oh, you weren't thinking that?

I was thrilled to discover the HMS Surprise, the boat used in the movie Master & Commander, docked in San Diego harbor, and we gladly paid to go aboard.

Yours truly at the wheel above, and Billy Boyd at the wheel below.

Nathan takes acting a little too seriously.

Yours truly again in front of the M&C dinner table. "Jordan, you think you're so cool cause you're standing next to all these movie props. Get a life." Yeah, well so what?

Also had the pleasure of going on an old Russian submarine. Not good for claustrophobics.

Nathan doing the reverse limbo.

Uhh ... turn the red one.

Mishap On The Submarine

Another look.

And if you'll look out the right-hand side of the aircraft you will notice Jordan's lunch ... an uncommonly elongated barbeque chicken pizza of mammoth proportions.

As we fly in closer you can see Mt. Cheese, Parsley Peak, and Chicken Breast Bay. Tragically, this beautiful area will soon disappear with the forecasted onslaught of Hurricane Jordan's Appetite.

Nathan's lunch isn't too shabby either.

That following Friday, Nate took me to Disneyland and California Adventure, which sit side by side. It was most grand. We made a terrible mistake, though. We tried two theme parts in two days ... that is, the next day we went to Knott's Berry Farm. It was a ton of fun, but as you'll see, we got pretty wiped. :-)

After securing hotel accommodations for the night, we were off to the Magic Kingdom.

In front of the new and improved castle (for Disney's 50th Anniversary).

Space Mountain entrance. They redid the track and some other stuff, and it was a blast.

Nathan inside Space Mountain.

Our official Space Mountain photograph. Yes we purposely made those faces.

Good ol' C-3PO at Star Tours.

Ok, for those of you who have been on Star Tours, can you believe how long this lady has been on the welcoming TV? It's been like over 20 years! Get someone a little less 80s!

Not the healthiest meal ... but hey, I'm on vacation.

Nice big band music while we ate.

Nathan in the entrance of Indiana Jones.

Us two. I turned into the typical tourist and purchased one of those glow-in-the-dark necklaces.

Can you guess the ride? I'll give you a hint, Splash Mountain.

What commentary does this picture need?

Crammed in the back of Alice In Wonderland, my favorite ride to go on at night.

On the shuttle back to our hotel room at around midnight. What a trooper.

I'd lie and say that I was sleeping, but then you'd ask who took the picture.

That's what you look like after having spent the previous day at Disneyland, gone to bed at 1, and then having just ridden Ghost Rider, a very intense roller coaster.

Silver Bullet, one of the first rides we went on that next morning at Knott's. Not necessarily the best choice after having eaten a strawberry waffle breakfast.

Excelerator: Goes 0 to 82 in like 2.5 seconds

The next video shows Riptide, a ride Nathan and I went on last year but wouldn't go on this year. To put it lightly, it's crazy. I almost threw up, and had I flipped just ONE more time, it would have been the end of me.

Riptide: The most ridiculous ride on planet earth

Mr. and Mrs. Shields ... err ... Daher.

Me, Nathan, Jamesy's friend Carol, and Jamesy.

With the stars of the show. The guy next to me on the right was hilarious.

Gigantic swing that went like 10-15 stories up. Insane!

The Dahers kindly took me and a nice fellow by the name of Walter out to lunch.

Oh man, nothing beats Panda Express! So good! (this was on a different day)

Food for the gods.

Retro bowling alley: A throwback to the 80s

Brad Steele and Kyle Shields giving their "don't mess with us" glares.

Well, it had been a spectacular time in California, and it was now time to head for what Captain Cook called the Sandwich Islands.

Click here for the Hawaii Trip