A California Christmas


Well hello, hello! If you're still reading this--congratulations. That probably means you're my grandma, and my grandma is AWESOME.

*sigh* Where to start? I'll post my Christmas letter within the next few days, where there are muchos detailos about the Boyce family, but I'll give you a quick rundown right now.

1. The semester is OVER! Hallelujah. Brock and I both took on heavy school and workloads, and next semester won't be any different. But we're glad to get a break while we can! I took classes in political philosophy, economics, statistics and Model United Nations, and Brock took classes in Java programming, mathematical analysis, differential equations, and something else that will make you feel inferior for not knowing how to pronounce.

2. We're celebrating the Christmas season in Huntington Beach! As much as I love Colorado, it's nice to have a Christmas with balmy 75-degree weather. We've had a TON of fun so far!

3. A few nights ago we went to a Brian Setzer concert--he was the lead singer for the Stray Cats, a popular rockabilly group from back in the day. His concert was AMAZING! Brock even schmoozed the ticket administration office and upgraded our tickets to the pit, where we stood real close to the Setz Man and swing danced the night away! He played ALL our favorites--"Rock this Town", "Sexy and Seventeen", "Stray Cat Strut", along with a load of rockabilly-style Christmas songs! Seriously, though. What a performer. This guy is one of the best guitarists in the world, and he has some of the best trombonists, trumpetists, bassist, and drummers in his orchestra. SO LEGIT.

4. We ate dinner at The Original Pantry in Hollywood--a diner that has NEVER been closed since it opened in 1924! There's not even a lock on the door. Pretty cool!

5. We took the ferry over to Balboa Island and got ourselves some world-famous Balboa Bars! It's vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate, and then covered in whatever toppings you want. Sooo yummy.

6. We went to the MAGIC CASTLE--the oldest and most prestigious magic club in the world. It's a HUGE 1920s mansion that sits atop Hollywood Boulevard (where the Chinese and Kodak Theatres are, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame). You have to be a member to get in. Or, you could be like us and be friends with one of the magicians who performs there! :) Our good buddy Seth got us in, and it was such a cool experience. There is a very strict, very formal dress code, and at the end of the night you see the valets pulling up in Maseratis, Bentleys, and other ridiculously expensive cars. It feels like you're in a James Bond movie! We didn't see any celebrities there, but Seth says he sees them frequently when he performs.

Anyway, this mansion is jusb absolutely gorgeous, with all the intricate detailing that was customary for mansions at the time. One of my favorite parts was the Haunted Piano, where a ghost named Irma plays any song you want! You just go up to the piano and say, "Irma, will you please play Clair de Lune?" and the keys will start playing! And then at the end, if you say "Thanks, Irma!" she plays three quick chords in succession, as if saying "You're welcome!" And if she doesn't know how to play a song (for example, the theme song from The Office, which I requested haha) she bangs on the low end of the piano. It was soooo coool!!!!! And totally magic.

In the Magic Castle, there are different magic shows throughout the night in different rooms, and they give you a program at the beginning of the evening so you can choose which ones you want to go to. My FAVORITE magician was a guy named Jason Latimer, who recently won the equivalent of a gold medal in the magician Olympics. He majored in economics, mathematics, and applied physics, so there's incredible intelligence behind the tricks he does. Which are nothing spectacular. Like, you know, bending light with his hand and making liquids float in the air. No big deal.

Seriously though...he blew my mind.

GOOGLE HIM. If he EVER does a performance within three states from where you live, GO. I am not kidding when I say that he did some of the most amazing close-up magic I have ever seen. And what's more, he did it SLOW. No quick flashes of the hand, no trying to trick your eye to look elsewhere. He literally would RE-DO tricks in slow motion (magicians NEVER re-do tricks), and STILL pull everything off seamlessly! And what's more, he was SO charismatic and funny. Not one of thos magicians who just thinks he's so cool or puts on a puffy air. He was just some 27 year old kid doing magic and having fun. I absolutely loved it.

My second-favorite performance of the night was a guy who did a stage show with doves. He turned a handkerchief into a dove! And then he made eights doves in a cage disappear! And then they all came flying right back to him from the rafters above us! It was just crazy because you can't like shove a dove up your sleeve, or squish it, or hide it in your hand--how do you do magic with LIVE ANIMALS? So insane!

Anyway, that's the fun that we've had in California so far, and I'm sure we'll have plenty more. I'll keep you updated this Christmas break, I promise! Because as soon as school starts again, I probably won't post for another four months :)


  1. California sounded like fun! Great update. I haven't posted since October, I still get on here to check other people's blogs but I can't bring myself to update ours haha. Keep updating about you and Brock!


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