California 2010

November 10-November 15, 2010
Danny Meleka
Michael Ibrahim
Kerolos Bernaba
Mena Abdou
Samuel Beshara
Mena Ayad

The Betrayal

Greetings from the air!!! Let me begin by withdrawing every every positive comment I said about the whole group. Backstabbing, sneaky, snakes are the proper words to describe them. Let me rewind to Saturday evening. My brother and I suggested that we go back ton his apartment to sped the night there rather then everyone being crammed in Sam’s hotel room. Coach K responded with one of his motivational/ inspirational speeches of keeping the group together and avoiding morning hassel of meeting up. The speech sadly convinced my naive brother. (note that i still wanted to go back) That same evening, Danny Meleka, and the situation had a family function they were attending, and asked my brother to use his apartment to shower because it was on the way to there destination. My brother, without any thought agreed to give them key to his room to do there thing. Things went down hill from there. Upon arrival to the apartment after dropping off the group at the airport, we were shocked to find Mena’s apartment vandalized. So far to my knowledge, it was mike and Danny that trashed the room, but the note (refer to facebook for pictures) had everyone’s name that was involved. On any other day I wouldn’t get annoyed, but given the fact that I only had three hours of sleep that night, was very tired, in a rush to get out of the house, and finally Cleaning it aLL ALONE WHILE MY BROTHER WAS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS, I am almost guaranteeing a counter attack when everyone least expects it. Also under investigation is Gigi Ghobrial’s involvement in this hineous crime. The evidence of her involvement comes from her Facebook album entitled “don’t blog about this.” I am assuming Sam Beshara and Gigi both teamed up, while they went to the “mall” to “shop. ” Regardless of the evidence, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I will continue my investigation in the upcoming week, and will take necessary action towards the culprit, and will ensure that suspect is prosecuted to the fullest extent of my law. I will keep my follower a praised with the investigation until the proper sentencing is carried out.

See everyone soon. Should be arriving in about two hours.
Federal Agent Abdou

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Day 5- Last Day

Good morning everyone, today is the group’s last day here in sunny 80 degrees Fahrenheit California. A couple of the guys woke up in the morning to go to church for liturgy, while the others slept in. The group at the hotel had the responsibility of packing and loading to car. Mike Ibrahim and I took care of everything, while Danny was taking his sweet old time packing his things, and Mena Ayad taking a 45+ minute shower or something. (note: Mike and I packed the car, I went up a second time to get my phone, spent 5 minutes up there, went down to wait In the car with mike, began to read a book, got sick of it, drove around the parking lot, then went to the mall across the street to get a cup of coffee for Mike, and they were still not ready to go, thanks Ayad) lolol.

We then headed over to Manhattan Beach to have breakfast with some Californian friends, and the rest of the group before heading to the airport. Spent a good 45 minutes there with everyone of which only a couple of people ate. We all then needed to make a final stop at In-n-Out before their departure. The majority of us and nothing less then a 3×3. We said our goodbyes to the Californian friends, and headed over to the airport. My brother said his goodbyes to his friends, and we headed back to his place…..

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Key Notes on Each Member of this Group

Krips aka Coach K was our motivational inspiration throughout the duration of the trip. He kept us together In times of need. Krips and I have waking up early in common so that’s when most of our bonding occurred.

My brother continued his roles and responsibility as the drama king of the group. He was also enthroned the title “Beast of In-N-Out. He downed a four by four burger in under two minutes, and almost bit off his fingers while he was at it. Gotta give my brother props for being out here. If he wasn’t out here, then this trip would probably never had happened. See you back at home.

Ayad was just dumb. Always made stupid arguments that Sam, Danny and I ripped him apart for. Ayad was the epitome of my annoyance throughout the trip. But what can I say, gotta love him. Don’t know why but it is what it is.

Danny’s role was to keep sanity among the group, and to provide everyone with something to argue about. I think every heated expirence on the trip had something to with Danny starting it.

Mike aka the Situation- not too much to say about mike, he has the stigma of being big and tough, but he is one of the most tender hearted people i know. He has my inspiration to work out.

Sam- our driver, and always had something to say. Sam is another person that made this trip as successful as it. If it wasn’t for him driving, we wouldn’t have gotten to a where we went in the amount time we spent to get there. he is indeed a crazy crazy driver, but an awesome one. We all give extend our thanks and gratification unto sam for his exceptional services that he offered us.

Gigi- was our Californian tour guide and our liaison to Queen Moniqua her counterpart at home. She is simply just an awesome person. She went out of her way to be with us everywhere we went. She was the voice of reason throughout the trip, and provided countless laughs for us. Thanks G!!!

Cannot write a blog about California without bring recongtion to Queen Moniqua Demetrious. Moniqua was part of every conversation, descsion, and anything that involved a movement of the group. We all wish her a fruitful, successful, enjoyable time out here in Decemeber with her awesome counterpart Gigi.

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Day 4- Huntington Beach and Tasbeha

Once again, I woke up early in the morning with Krips, and Sam, to plot how to wake up the rest of the group up. Krips had the honor to waking some up via his motivational words while they were asleep. Sam on the other hand was a bit radical; he played the new Allen Iverson song on the loudest possible volume on the computer, and I was just being annoying. We went out to Sugar Shake Cafe for breakfast out in Huntington Beach our first destination for the day. We enjoyed the Californian air played volleyball, for about 45 minutes up until mama Gigi had to pull us away because of the meter parking. Next stop was to Seal Beach for a time of reflection of the trip with a tremendous group of young adults. It was a private beach that had zero people. We spent about an hour there. We headed back home to change and freshen up before tasbeha in St. Abraham and St. Philopateer Marcerious in Torrence with Cantour Arsani Sidaross.
We then headed out to church for vesper praises, vespers, and tasbeha. As much as I love all of that, it was one of the longest, never ending church services that I attended. I believe tasbeha was a little over 3 hours. Danny and I headed back home after, while the others went out to In-N-Out at 1am. Danny and I had great bonding time on the way home. Exchanged stories, and ended the night on a good note.

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Day 3- Family Time

I woke up to spend the day with my family. My cousin and I went to Starbucks in the morning for breakfast and to catch up on everything. Then went shopping, was lucky enough to buy a shirt and kackis. We went back home for lunch, and for the first time since I arrived I took a much-needed nap that I have been dreaming about since I got off the plane. My cousin and I took her daughter out to the park since she was getting antsy at home. We went shopping again and continued my streak with purchasing another 2 pants. Headed back home for dinner, and waited for Mena to pick me up to head back to the guys. Upon arrival back in Santa Monica, we went to St. Peter and St. Paul COC for bible study, and to meet youth. We met a lot of new faces, and played basketball with them after the meeting concluded. After basketball, we went to Yogurt Land, which is the equivalent to bubble tea back at home in New Brunswick. Ended the night once again with eating at In-N-Out to discuss tomorrow’s plans.

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Day 2- San Deigo

Keeping my motto for the trip Efficiency is Key, we all woke up at 6am to spend the day in San Diego. We Stopped in Riverside to pick up David Hanna and Nadra Gabriel, our new friends from Cali, before heading to the beach in San Diego. Another theme of the trip was gluttony; we had to stop at “Jack In The Box” to grab something to eat. We had to take two cars because we had 10 people with us. I was in the car with Sam Beshara, Krips, Danny, and Ayad. We had a healthcare law debate in the car, exchanging our different mindsets. As much as we had different views on the law, it was productive and beneficial on both sides. We finally arrived at La Jolla Beach. Again, words cannot describe the unfathomable beauty of this beach. We played volleyball, and then took a walk to see the seals. There is an incredible amount of seals at La Jolla right underneath the piers on the rocks out afar. After a much-needed day of fun filled events, we decided to go out to Old Town Mexican Café for dinner. Must say the food was great. After dinner I flipped on Sam for not being proactive but rather reactive, and forgetting our theme. We were just sitting there discussing what we should do next, and everyone was beginning to loose sense of our motto-efficiency is key. I stripped away Coach K’s title for the day, and put it upon myself for the night. Danny and Krips were feaning for sushi, so they went to Harney Sushi.  Hats off to Steve Yacoub for suggesting this sushi place to them. I then was dropped off at my cousin’s house in Irvine to spend the next day with her.
Good night America.

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Arrival and Day 1-“Efficiency is Key”

My journey started at 5AM in the morning, when I woke up to get ready to head out to the airport. Niveen Marco was kind enough to drive me to Newark airport to catch an 830am flight. The check in and security lines were going out the doors. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to bypass people due to my work position. I’m a type of person who needs to ensure that my efficiency level is well over 90 percent on a daily basis. So, for the five hours and 17 minutes on the plane I was working on work assignment and a couple of homework assignments. Thankfully accomplished everything in mind.

I arrived in Los Angeles at 11:30am at LAX airport. My great older brother Mena, Danny Meleka, who arrived the day before me, and Sam Beshara who was here on business since Sunday afternoon; picked me up. Upon arrival, the “guys” took me to “Rodeo Drive” for sightseeing and lunch. A couple of key annoyances of California are the following: 1. There is a dress code for going out (example:  when we went out to have lunch on Rodeo Drive at an Italian restaurant, (Beverley hills) the hostess sat us in the back corner and treated us horribly because we were not dressed in 3 piece suits) 2. Time is slow to move. I felt that one-minute takes over an hour plus for it to pass. Its going to take a bit to get used to.

After Rodeo Drive, we all went back to Mena’s place to relax and chill until Michael Ibrahim, Kerolos Bernaba, and Mena Ayad came. My brother wasn’t aware that Ayad was coming so it was a surprise for him to see him come down the escalator. Krips (Kerolos) kept on suggesting to Ayad to come down with a bow on his head, but due to Ayad”s immense stubbornness, He refused.

After leaving the airport, we went to the infamous In-N-Out fast food chain which is only located on the West Coast. Words cannot express how good, delicious, and superb, the food was. We all ate double double cheeseburger, which is meant to have two patties, and two slices of cheese. After In-N-Out, we went to Diddy Reese, which is an amazing ice cram shop to eat at. (you pick two types of cookies or brownies with your favorite type ice cream in the middle of it)

Headed back to Sam’s hotel for the night.

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