Wednesday, February 17, 2010

California February 2010

How Embarrassing…. I haven’t updated this blog in two years. Thankfully it’s not because I haven’t traveled. Since my last post I have been to St Martin a few more times, California a few times and Sanibel Florida. Had great times but let’s move on. 
CaliforniaSan Francisco and Los Angeles, February 2010
Friday Feb 5:
I arrived in Oakland around 11pm bu strangely the car rental place was packed. I noticed a beautiful couple ahead of me. They both looked so young but then I saw that their hands were at least 15 years older than their faces. They must know a good surgeon. Ahh, California.

After getting my rental car I immediately went to my cousin J’s 35th birthday party. Sorry, no photographic proof. I was surprised that my eyes were still open.

Saturday Feb 6:
I headed out to Sausalito to catch up with C, a high school prom date. Can’t believe it’s been 20 years. We went sailing in February and it wasn’t freezing!
(ok, this isn't the actual boat I was in but one that was part of a nearby race)
Had a delicious lunch at Sol Food in San Rafael. Seriously, delicious chicken and plantains.
After lunch we took a drive up the coast.
On the return stopped at a park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

I had been to San Francisco before but had mostly seen the city. I had no idea that the surrounding towns were so beautiful.
Sunday Feb 7:

Went to the Temescal Farmers Market to see my cousin R. perform with the Harkenbacks. Great show and I am very jealous of the California farmers markets. I would love to have fresh local produce and delicious fruit all year long. I guess it would also be nice to have a climate where we could have an outdoor market all year. Bought some delicious tomato Jam. May have to order this when it runs out.

Monday & Tuesday Feb 8 & 9:

Travel day and study day. Hey, it’s vacation. Had to relax and also sadly try to catch up on my class that I was going to miss.

I stayed with R. and her family while in LA. She is my Dad’s first cousin and left gloomy Glasgow for LA (via Israel) in her late teens. It was so nice to catch up with her and her family. They really made me feel at home. Thanks!

Wednesday Feb 10:

Ventured down from Stevenson Ranch into the city. Started off at Fred Segal for some window shopping. Hey, I can pretend right?

Then I headed over to High Voltage Tattoo (otherwise known as LA Ink).

No, I didn’t get a tattoo this time. Maybe S. and I should do a 20th anniversary road trip and get another tattoo. That would be 2018. Hmm, maybe not.

After playing silly tourist I went over to Cantor’s Deli to embrace my 80 year old inner Jew. I have been to LA many times but never got to cross this off my list. Can’t say it was worth the hype. It might have been because it was lunchtime so I might have to go back in the evening. I ordered a half of a chopped liver sandwich and chicken kreplach soup. The soup was yum but somehow I don’t think I like chopped liver anymore.

Thursday Feb 11:

Went skiing with my cousin G. Yes, I escaped New England weather to go skiing. Honestly I thought the mountain was going to be easy but I was wrong. We went to Mt Baldy or as my cousin would say Mt Oldie or Mt Scauldy. He had never been there before so we took a chance. Drove into the parking lot and noticed that everyone was putting their boots and ski gear on in the parking lot. Turns out you have to go up a really slow and steep chair lift just to get to the lodge. As I looked down I wondered if I was going to be able to ski that trail on the way down. It was a black diamond but a real black diamond. Not one that I would want to do at the end of a ski day. Thankfully many people take the ski lift down rather than skiing that trail.

This is the lift that you take up to the lodge.

The skiing was great in the morning. I was able to ski in just my fleece and no hat! Skiing can actually be fun when you are not freezing your but off. The trails were challenging and this mountain was made for real skier’s. There were not many boarders. Heck, most people were over 30. There were very few areas that were off limits and many of the “trails” had plenty of trees. This is definitely not a polished chain run ski resort. This was kind of refreshing but difficult ski day. We packed it in around 1pm when the snow started to melt and turn to slush. We took the ski lift down the mountain (that’s a first). When I saw all the people falling on the trail I realized I made the right decision.

Friday Feb 12:

I spent the day with my friend M. We went hiking at Towsley Canyon. Don’t know what I was trying to prove but I decided I wanted to try to more challenging trail. Almost gave up when my calf muscle popped again (when did I get old?). Decided to continue when M. said the uphill part was almost over. It was worth the trouble.

Went to Spaceland in Silver Lake to see Marvelous Toy. Oddly before we went there we were watching “Yes Man” with Jim Carey. M. noticed that a scene from the movie was filmed there. What are the odds?

(sorry, cell phone pic, I must get a new little point and shoot camera)

Marvelous Toy was excellent. Frank, the drummer, is a friend of M’s.

Saturday Feb 13:

Headed back up to my cousins and then off to Santa Barbara. It’s a beautiful drive and gorgeous area. Made me wonder why I went to college in Amherst. UC Santa Barbara would have been fantastic.

We had lunch at California Pasta. It looks like your basic lunch place. Order at the counter and the food is delivered later. The food was amazing. I ordered the avocado farfalle (Bow-tie pasta w/ creamy avocado, garlic, cilantro, chives and lime, fresh tomato and avocado) and proceeded to clean my plate. If anyone has the recipe let me know.

After lunch we walked down to the Santa Barbara pier. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Went out with my cousin’s to see the band Tarts and Lager. They primarily do cover songs but it includes members of Quiet Riot, Asia and Bonham.

(yes, more another cell phone pic)

Sunday Feb 14:

Headed back home… but one last adventure

His tattoo says Nicole.

Happy Valentines Day!