Goodbye again, California

… But not for long, because I’m pretty sure I have to go back in mid-February again.

Anyway, the Redondo Beach team house shut-down process that I mentioned just under two weeks ago was a surprising success—so much so that we finished everything up early, and Ed got to leave early on January 24 to make it back to the Chicagoland suburbs in time to spend Chinese New Year with his family.

Upon first arriving at the team house, the task in front of me looked next to impossible, but along with Ed’s help and the assistance of maids and other Tempo Storm employees and contractors, we were able to overcome the house full of garbage that was the PUBG team house.

I also took advantage of the fact that I was in California with a rental vehicle (I got a RAM 1500 Classic this time) by meeting up with various business partners and employees who I don’t regularly see. One of which was our branding and merchandising manager, with whom I met at the Spectrum Center in Irvine.

Irvine, CA

My home city of Las Vegas is obviously very artificial-feeling with very little green, and even Redondo Beach was mostly just misty and gloomy the whole time I was there, so it was quite the sight when I arrived at Irvine and everything was glowingly green and full of life. So much so, that I intentionally went all the way to the rooftop of the parking garage at the Spectrum Center just so I could take this photograph with the nice view.

The restaurant we picked was a Cuban restaurant called the Habana. Although I’m sure I’ve had Cuban food before, I had never been to a restaurant dedicated to Cuban food, so it was somewhat of a new experience for me. I actually don’t remember exactly what dish I ordered, but it was pretty good; the only complaint I had was that the rice was strangely salty, and I would’ve preferred the corn not on the cob.

Cuban food

The following day, I met up with one of my good friends, Doug Wreden, who goes by “DougDoug.” We met up in Beverly Hills so I could give him a tour of Tempo Storm’s new content house, then we headed down to the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains to a nearby sushi restaurant.

Chirashi bowl

One of the final meals of this California trip was an order I put in through Uber Eats while I was at our production studio, where I dropped off the final load of computer and electronics equipment. If you know me, you know that I like trying new and interesting foods, and when I browsed through this Italian restaurant’s menu, I noticed a meat I had never tried before: wild boar.

Wild boar gnocchi

I ordered some wild boar gnocchi. Unfortunately, I could barely even tell what the boar tasted like, because the sauce was way too salty, the seasoning was way too strong, and the gnocchi was a bit strange (it was the first time I ever had gnocchi, and I am not a fan of the texture at all).

I’ve noticed a recurring theme where, when I order some strange and unconventional meat, it’s usually prepared in some extreme way that completely drowns out the true taste of the meat, so I can’t ever actually figure out what it really tastes like. This happened when I tried alligator, where it was breaded so thick and fried so crisply that it just tasted like popcorn chicken, and it also happened when I tried rabbit, where it was drenched in so much strong gravy that I didn’t even realize there was meat underneath.

After handing everything over to the Redondo Beach team house property manager, I concluded another successful trip to California. As expected if you know my affinity towards early flights, I woke up at 4:30 AM to take a 7:00 AM flight back home to Las Vegas. It coincided well with the sunrise, so I tried to capture a photo from the plane, but unfortunately my phone decided to focus on the dirty airplane window instead of the sun.

Sunrise on the Pacific Ocean through a dirty airplane window

The best part of traveling is coming back home.