Friday, January 27, 2012

Family Fun - Part II

The weekend after Mo and Buckley came to up, my parent's arrived to scope out the newish digs and see some L.A. sights. On Friday we had a leisurely dinner at Taste. Taste has been one of my favorite L.A. restaurants since the old days when Tom and I were splitting weekends between L.A. and San Diego. It was also the site of of my first major celeb sighting - Mila Kunis and Macauley Culkin, back when they were still an item. An item? Do people still say that? People under eighty? Anyway, they sat at a table right across from me and Tom; I played it cool for a second and then went to the bathroom to text my roommates. I realize his star has faded, but, man, Macauley Culkin! I loved him. Annnyway, dinner was delicious and the Stags Leap brought it to a whole new level of dining experience fabulousity.

On Saturday afternoon, we headed up to the Getty for another visit to the gardens and some more QT with our friends the Impressionists.

{The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, Claude Monet}
After our Getty-lite tour, we headed downtown by way of my dad's old stomping grounds at USC. We cruised by fraternity row, and Dad pointed out his old frat house, the restaurant he used to work at, Dedeaux Field, and other things that we had to imagine because they've been replaced by Taco Bells and Starbucks-es. Eventually, we made it to Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles. Olvera Street is on my list of things to do in L.A., but I think I'm going to need a return trip before I can really cross it off.

The sun had just about set by the time we got there and a lot of things were closed, but there was an undeniably festive atmosphere, and there was music and dancing around every corner.
{I always know where to find Tom.}

Olvera Street is right across from Union Station, L.A.'s beautiful, old train station, so we strolled in for a look around. I'm glad that I don't have to spend day so on a train in order to visit the East Coast, but man, airports got nothin' on train stations. Train stations, hand-written letters, hard cover books - I guess we have to sacrifice a certain amount of beauty for the sake of efficiency and expediency... I don't have any plans to give up airplanes, email, or my Kindle, but it is a little sad.
 Look how in awe they are of the beautiful architecture! Actually, they kind of look like they are expecting to be beamed up to the mothership... Either way.

The "birthplace" of any Southern California town is always steeped in Mexican culture - probably because it actually was a Mexican town originally, but that is an entirely different post... Anyway, point is - we had Mexican for dinner, and it was delicious. El Paseo Inn - highly recommended. They passed my dad's test of a good Mexican restaurant (warm tortilla chips), my mom's (good, strong margaritas) and mine (guacamole made tableside, ok, and the margaritas).
After dinner, we decided to cram one more classic, L.A. activity into our day. We headed to the Santa Monica pier, by way of Tommy's Burgers, to ride the Ferris wheel.

{Me, Tom, and a creepy, little man with green wing hair}

Our classic L.A. weekend was complete when we (might have) spotted a couple of celebs a Mass in Beverly Hills. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced, but Dad was pretty sure that we were sitting two rows behind Max Von Sydow (yeah, I didn't know either), and he was very confident that we walked out next Joe Torre. Who knows? Anything's possible in LaLa land.

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