west hills. staying with nicole's family was a trip. a bit of an overindulgence, like one too many sugary sweets during a late-night, fridge binge. adam and i have come closer to resolving our defensive ways, though everyone's travels bring hardship and disagreement. looking past those defenses, dropping one's walls and practicing patience is a true way to overcome that. having dealt with being patient in this family's household, and seeing how appreciative they were to us, we were refreshed. we've shared in some great memories there in the household, cooking and sitting to dinners like a family. one of the other nights, after chatting with a local cs'er about events in the area, we met the girl, becca, out at a jazz cafe called industry jazz cafe, in culver city. they host an open mic event every tuesday and will treat you like family when you walk in. it was one of the most awesome times. poetry readings, lyrics, rhymes, music and improv. heavenly voices rang through the mic and we even got adam to roll up on stage and do a harmonica number. the band hopped right in and offered the back up, followed by their own live jam sesh. we were thrilled by the evening. if you can make it out there next time you're in culver, talk to the bassist hank g, and tell him the backpacking ohio brothers sent you. here's their facebook page for the open mic event. they call it "flight school." www.facebook.com/flightschoolopenmic.officialprofile . after a few more nights of family time, we left the house in west hills and with no ideas really where to go, traveled back to josh's place, where we said our goodbye to nicole. thanks so much for everything. the rest yet to come was all unknown, at least for that day. also, you should know, the girl we stayed with, nicole, is an amazing photographer and artist who runs her own product line of jewelry! such a professional, but she put so much work and passion into the process, it's amazing. here's her site: kajsablix.com.