Although none of my close friends came to USC for school, many of them go to schools in the LA area — Chapman, APU, Pepperdine, and (dare I say?) UCLA. We’re all really busy, so we don’t get to see each other very often, but we try to make time at least one time every other month to get together and catch up on our lives. This past Friday was one of our girl nights, and we all met up at The Grove. The Grove is a mall of sorts in LA complete with restaurants, shopping, and a movie theater. We decided on The Cheesecake Factory for dinner and managed to get a table on the terrace, overlooking the main street that runs through the mall. The food was delicious, the cheesecake was divine (it’s ALL about the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle) and it was wonderful to hear what some of my friends had been doing since we last got to talk.
After dinner we walked around a bit and enjoyed the general splendor. The man who designed The Grove was the same man who designed Downtown Disney, so it has this sense of magic and perfection. In the middle of the courtyard is a pond with a picturesque bridge. A small but classy water show (think the Bellagio on a much smaller scale) shoots water way up into the air in rhythmic swirls set to music. Even better was the fact that they had started to put up the Christmas decorations. A towering Christmas tree and a suspended sleigh complete with reindeer are just some of the changes they make for the winter season. We were a week too early to see the lighting of the tree or the fake snow that they cause to fall on the Southern Californian shoppers, but it was fun nonetheless. It certainly got me in the mood for Christmas! Luckily, Thanksgiving is next week, so I’ll be home for the first time since August and I’ll get my first taste of the season of my mom’s absolutely delectable pies. I can’t wait!