Daniel’s Visit

My English boyfriend of about eight months came to visit for three weeks this winter break. It was the first time we got to see each other since I left the United Kingdom in June and his first time to the United States.

Monday, 12 December: After working all week, I went home for the day to pick up a car for Dan and I to use (thanks, Dad). He landed in the evening and it was so good to see him again.

Tuesday, 13 December: I took him on a tour of the Arizona State campus and we saw a movie that afternoon, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

Wednesday, 14 December: We hung out and played some mini golf at Golfland Sunsplash.

Thursday, 15 December: We made the long drive from Phoenix to Camarillo, California to visit my dad’s parents. That night, we saw Rogue One opening night. We both enjoyed it, but I think Dan liked The Force Awakens better.

Friday, 16 December: We spent the day exploring Hollywood (Boulevard) and hit all the tourist attractions. My favorite parts were the Museum of Broken Relationships (which displays submitted love mementos from all over the world and what it meant to someone at one point, it was really interesting) and Amoeba record store.

Saturday, 17 December: We went to Six Flags Magic Mountain with my two cousins, Daniel and Hannah. It was a nice day, not too crowded, but it got a bit chilly once the sun went down.

Sunday, 18 December: We met up with my mom’s side of the family, my grandpa, step-grandma and uncle, to chat and play some card games.

Monday, 19 December: I got to show Dan my favorite places in California today: Santa Monica pier and Venice beach. We had a great time enjoying the sunshine and people watching.

Tuesday, 20 December: We were hoping to go kayaking in Ventura Harbor, but nobody came in that day. However, we had a nice time walking around the harbor and nearby beach and enjoying the weather.

Wednesday, 21 December: We went to the California Science Museum for the Pixar exhibit. One of Dan’s favorite movies is Toy Story, but since Disneyland is my personal hell (especially around the holidays) and he’s been to Disneyland Paris, I thought this would be a neat alternative. The exhibit made us really appreciate how much time and effort went into making these animated movies we’ve come to know and love. That night, we went to a trampoline place with my cousin David, where we all realized how out of shape we were.

Thursday, 22 December: Before the drive back to Phoenix, we stopped at Griffith Observatory to take in the scenery and get a closer look at the Hollywood sign.

Friday, 23 December: We drove to Tucson where Dan met my immediate family. Dan, my brother Kyle and I had Indian food (my favorite) and went bowling that night.

Saturday, 24 December: My family hosted our annual Christmas Eve party, but Dan and I hid away upstairs for most of it to watch Christmas movies.

Sunday, 25 December: We all opened presents, I made Dan a scarf and bought him a history book (which he forgot to bring back with him) and Dan got me ticket to a music festival in London this May to see Enter Shikari.

Monday, 26 December: That evening, Dan, Bailey and I went to the last evening of Winterhaven, a neighborhood that displays intricate Christmas lights and decorations. We had a great time walking around and eating vegetarian Sonoran dogs (I couldn’t let him go home without trying one!).

Tuesday, 27 December: We met up with Sydney at Lindy’s, a unique award-winning burger restaurant before heading to the Desert Museum. It was fun to show him all the wildlife in Arizona and we both really enjoyed the views of the desert around the museum.

Wednesday, 28 December: Dan, Bailey and I went on a hike in Catalina State Park. It was such a nice day and a nice walk. Naturally, that evening we went to the Cheesecake Factory, where we ate our body weight in burgers and cheesecake.

Thursday, 29 December: We drove back to Phoenix.

Friday, 30 December: My dad suggested I take Dan to the Grand Canyon. I wasn’t keen on the idea at first because unless you plan on hiking or doing something similar, it’s basically a four hour drive just to take a picture and leave. Regardless, we hit the road for a day trip, stopping in Sedona along the way. Both Sedona and the Grand Canyon had a decent amount of snow on the ground, which is something I’ve never seen before (I mean, I’ve seen snow, but I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon with snow). It’s truly a whole different experience. I wanted to walk down into the Canyon a bit, but the paths were too icy.

Saturday, 31 December: We had a relaxing New Year’s Eve, lighting sparklers and watching fireworks from the top level of the parking garage at my apartment.

Sunday, 1 January: We had a relaxing day.

Monday, 2 January: For our final day together, we visited the Botanical Gardens where we got to see plant life from deserts all around the world and had lunch with my Aunt Charlene and Uncle Bob.

Tuesday, 3 January: Dan left in the early afternoon after a very tearful goodbye.

We had a great time together, whether we were exploring the city, or laying in bed together watching Friends and eating Indian food. I miss him so much already and can’t wait until I move back to Brighton.

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