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Background Info

During my senior year of college, the food people there posted a survey to try and discover how edible their food was. To try and encourage apathetic college students to complete it, they offered to raffle a free round trip airline ticket amongst anyone who bothered to finish the questionnaire. I was bored the day I noticed this inquiry, so I answered their questions, despite having not eaten in the cafeteria for almost two years.

With college life returning to its normal busy self, this minor survey was pushed to the far corner of my mind, and was about ready to go the way of grammar rules and Calculus when I received an email informing me that I was the lucky soul to have won the airline ticket! I probably did not have that bad of odds though. Given the overly indifferent nature of Rose students concerning email surveys, I estimate that approximately three students actually bothered filling out the survey. I guess apathy is not always bad.

By hook or by crook though, I had an airline ticket…now what to do with it. I did not exactly know people all over the country to visit, but it is also hard to take a vacation with others when they would have to buy a plane ticket (at least this applies with poor college students). I attempted to redeem it to participate in a volunteer vacation, but the needed flights were already booked. I contemplated selling the ticket even though it was technically non-transferable, but figured I should not risk being marked as a terrorist. Actually getting a job also severely limited my travel options as well. With the ticket expiring at the end of the year, I finally found Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It was about the only outdoor-type place I located which was in close proximity to an airport so that I need not rent car, could visit over Christmas break, and whose climate would be mild enough during winter to not freeze to death. (Although I would forcibly learn there are other types of weather besides cold which can make things less than fun.)

So I booked my plane ticket, planed my trip, and headed off to L.A.