In the afternoon after the group meeting Erdem drove us around with his Subaru Impreza WRX he just bought - brand new! Here is the documentation of the first gas he put in the tank:
Theodore from Caltech and his friend Giota (who is way above average for Caltech phds!) came along and we sat home for about an hour, then with Dimitri we visited my favorite Spearmint Rhino. I had forgotten how good the girls look there! It was also the first time that a girl joined us in such a place, which is a unique experience on its own.
Alexandra came from Berkeley, and we did a speed tour of LA (after watching the losing game from Denmark with Stayros and sia): Downtown, The Grove, H0llywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica. One of the performers there was truly unique: I witnessed for the first time in front of my own eyes the Escape: escaping through chains, handcuffs and other stuff.
It seemed almost impossible, yet they guy did it. I just couldn't believe it even with my own eyes... well done dude!
Then we headed towards Disneyland to pick up her friend Ivan from Colombia (the fireworks were truly spectaculat btw), and the on to Long Beach. That was my first time there, but wow! They have Pine Street, with dozens of restaurants and bars lying around, and one of the most spectacular things I've seen: green visible laser beams crossing above the street! It's hard to describe, yet it's so cool.
The pier there was simply amazing. The feeling you get cannot be put into words or pictures. We went there after midnight, and it was 100% empty, with no winds, no seas waves, and everything felt so calm and peaceful... It quickly ranked among the top 3 places to visit in LA.
Then we witnessed the absolutely most laughable thing I've seen in the US:
This is parking paying spot! You read the spot # that your car is, and then you go and you physically insert bills or coins or checks (after you use your key to clean the slot). In the land of the internet and convenience, that was the last thing I was expected to se. What happened to the online paying machines, which accept credit cards and can return change? Not only that, but I pulled out a dollar bill from one of the slots to see if I could do it, and indeed it happened. America, america...