- MORE ROOM. The new apartment has ~900 square feet compared to the ~425 square feet in the old place.
- Air conditioning. Our old apartment had no air conditioning and it was always about 10-20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. It was an oven.
- We are closer to the rest of the ward. Even though we have been in the ward for about a year, we don't know that many people. We have probably met more people in the last two weeks than we have met in the last year.
- We get cell phone reception in our apartment. All five bars.
- We get to park in a garage. Though the garage is tiny and our car barely fits, it is protected from the elements. At our old apartment the car was under a tree that created a sticky coating all over the car.
- Paying rent online with a credit card = credit card points
- We have a larger oven. Our old place couldn't even hold a standard-size cookie sheet.
- Our internet, cable, and gas are all paid for.
Anyway, enough about the new apartment. I will try to post pictures tomorrow if I remember/have enough energy. Tom posted a little about our trip to Newport Beach, but here are a few more pictures (sorry I didn't take time to remove the red-eye):
The firm sponsored a night at a hotel in Newport Beach so that the summer associates could see the firm's Newport Beach office. Tom went up a night early so that he could participate in a mock trial activity and I joined him on Friday. Newport is beautiful and we enjoyed a little walking around followed by a dinner and activities like a poker tournament, bull riding, and gambling with fake money. We had a very enjoyable time, even though we were both pretty terrible at poker and we didn't win anything in the raffle.
Since then we have been able to show off our new apartment to a few visitors. Last week Tom's aunt Judy, cousins Rachael and Andrew, and Rachael's daughter Savannah visited our new place. This was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Rachael and Savannah and they are fantastic just like the rest of Tom's family. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and got to do some catch up. Rachael even brought us a bottle of Ice Cucumber Pepsi from Japan (where she lives). I was actually surprised that I liked it quite a bit; I wouldn't say that it tasted good, but it was very refreshing. Thanks Rachael :)
On Friday we went to Chipotle with Andrew and one of his friends. Tom and Andrew are both Chipotle-lovers and Tom will always take up an opportunity to visit the restaurant. Plus, it was nice to visit with Andrew (who is also at UCLA).
Today Tom's parents and his sister Denise and her husband John had the pleasure of visiting our wonderful apartment. We went to the Breadbar to celebrate Tom's mother's birthday. It is always wonderful to have visitors. After they left we went to a welcome home party for a fellow law school student/ward member/friend who has just returned from working for a firm in Hong Kong. I am definitely suffering from sugar overload. Afterwards we played Cities and Knights of Catan (this really extreme version of Settles of Catan which has even more rules) and had lots of fun with some of our wonderful ward members. I love our ward.
By the way, I walked to work again on Friday and I've decided that I really enjoy it. I may start walking regularly.