Monday, January 17, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Well, okay, I wasn’t there for 15 hours, but I took a picture every hour that day to document its awesomeness. Today, when we were driving back North, N asked me, as he often does, to list my Top 5 favorite things about the trip. They were: 5. My 3.6 mile run along the ocean (first run in months due to all the sickness), 4. Riding the fixies and getting the tour of the town, 3. Late night Alerto’s mexican food on Thanksgiving where we met up with 5 of his guy friends from high school and they all played touch football in the parking lot, 2. Disneyland, and 1. dinner at Animal in LA with his bff. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was when numbers 1 and 2 took place. It was a really great day, and I’m glad I decided to do a 12 hours in photos theme for the day. I really only took about two pictures at times other than on the hour, so this is literally what I was doing as the big hand got to the 12 (more or less).
The view out my window at N’s house. Looks a little gray and it ended up being only 59 degrees…that’s chilly for us out here! It only took me 10 minutes to get N out of bed. Not bad!
Despite the fact that N has been to Disneyland somewhere around 50 times (he had an annual pass for years), he’s never been there in the morning when it opens. That’s because he’s never gone with me. Obviously, I wanted to be there as soon as it opens. Here were are, at 8am, trying to figure out where to park.
A giant steamboat. We got in the park around 8:30 and immediately got our FastPass for Space Mountain (my favorite ride of the day) and did Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain (no line and boy did we get soaked!) before 10:30am.
N just about freaked out when he saw the signs for Captain EO (the Tribute). Let me paint the picture: it’s a 20-minute 1986 collaboration between Michael Jackson, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola shot in 3-D and with special effects like moving seats and choreographed lights and wind gusts in the theatre. I was skeptical, but it turned out to be awesome. After I took this picture, we were on Space Mountain. That ride is seriously amazing. Like when people talk about it and you think, ‘really?’ Yeah, really. I think my family was baffled that I loved Disneyland so much when I talked to them the next day. I don’t really like big crowds or hoopla, but I love amusement park rides and I also like being a tourist when I go places. And it really helped that we got to the park early enough to beat most of the crowds and that they really are geniuses when it comes to creating experiences for everyone.
What to do, what to do… We started waiting in line for the Matterhorn around 11:30 hoping to get one more ride in before lunch. The line was projected at 1 hour so we took out the smartphone to do some crossword puzzles. After about 25 minutes in line, we were told the the ride was down due to technical difficulties that would probably take 45 minutes to fix. We looked at each other, hopped out of line, and set on a quest to find something to eat. As we hustled out of the park (no time to waste), the Fire Station just looked too cute to pass by.
N and I have some serious trouble picking places to eat. He will and does eat anything and I’m usually more particular. I eat most foods, but I have to be in the mood to eat something. It was actually a bit chilly at D-Land, so my quest as for something warm but not dinner-like. We walked out of the park to Downtown Disney and passed by every restaurant (because nothing was drawing me in). ESPNZone was at the end of the drag and when N saw the scroll advertising the televised Champion’s League games, the decision was made. This picture documents that I had no idea what to pay attention to. N actually did a great job of not ignoring me over lunch. I was impressed.
Back in line at the Matterhorn. Sorry, D-Land, but it’s not worth it. Wish we would have done Space Mountain again.
N pretty much hates being in pictures. But, I didn’t want it to look like I went to Disneyland by myself, so this is the best I could do. This is at the end of the Matterhorn ride. Yup…it took just about an hour.
We did Indiana Jones again (FastPass gets you to the front of the line at a certain time) and then N made the great call to do the Jungle Cruise. You get in a boat and mosey around a swamp and the boat captain makes all kinds of corny jokes the whole time. It was totally a perfect end to the day.
Driving to LA to get dinner. No trip to Southern California would be complete without a little LA traffic. N was asleep in the passenger seat, as happened a lot when we drove long distances.
Yup, we were still in the car, but only 3 minutes from our destination. N was awake and took this very LA shot.
At N’s friend’s house…while he and his roommate cooked the stuffing for their Thanksgiving dinner. N took this after I got up from a power nap to try to get me through the night. The Happiest Place on Earth sure did tucker me out. The two guys in the back are N’s friends from high school and they are about to open up a restaurant in LA and if that stuffing didn’t have sausage in it, I would have been tasting it.
Dinner at Animal on Fairfax. This restaurant is so not kosher (ox tail, veal brains, pig ears…and every other part of the pig, to name a few). There were about 5 things on the menu that I could eat and the three that I tried were AMAZING! The funny part is that this restaurant is in a very Jewish neighborhood with lots of Jewish butchers and the like. I guess Animal doesn’t have much competition to worry about. The chicken liver toasts (pictured) were just amazing. That is a yummy balsamic glaze on top. Oh man. I could have another one right now.
A rare shot of Nick’s face. I tried to get a picture of the two of us and this was the best I could do. This was a great first day down South although, it looks like my 100 spf sunscreen wasn’t quite as effective as I would have liked.
The rest of my trip to Orange County was lots of fun. We did some fixie riding, lots of hanging out with his friends, many meals with the fam, and lots of relaxing. Oh, and Harry Potter 7 (did you know that I watched all six Harry Potter movies in two days just so we could go see #7?). That movie is amazing. Scared me to death, but it was amazing.
I’m always bummed to not be at home with my family at Thanksgiving, but I’m very grateful to have a friend like N to show me a good time. And, despite the fact that I previously thought Orange County would not be for me, it was a great place. Beautiful weather, wide bike lanes, good food, and great people.