Our flight home from LA was great, yesterday. I simply wedged my knees into the back of the seat in front of me and napped most of the way. We even got in a few minutes early. Christopher's sister Elizabeth picked us up with sodas and homemade Cassis truffles in hand (some times life is so rough), and we headed home to order pizza and settle in for a good night's sleep.
I woke up late this morning (after 9, even!), and one of the first things I noticed was that my sunburn, although turning into a slight tan on my arms, was starting to peel on my forehead. I guess that was a definitive clue that vacation was over. It was definitely the precursor to my "bleh" mood. Before the memories - like the suntan - fade too far into the past, though, I hope to fill in a few blanks of the past week so that I can appropriately rave about it.
Let's see... Where to start...
Sunday, after arriving at LAX, Christopher and I met up with my sisters and their families. We split up and headed for the Point Vicente lighthouse in Palos Verdes. From there, we drove "over the hill" to the Korean Friendship Bell (I found great pictures of it on this blog). The views were amazing. We could even make out the silhouette of Catalina Island, which sits about 26 miles off-shore (and will become important, shortly). I've heard that, in winter when the air is clearer, you can really see the island, but even just seeing the shadow from end to end was impressive. We were greeted at Angel's Gate Park (where the Korean Bell is) by people flying all sorts of kites. Yes, it was a tad breezy, but it was gorgeous.
I know it will make some of you very happy to know that we ended our day with a big "family dinner" at In-N-Out Burger. It was Christopher's first time at In-N-Out, and it was really fun to just kick back and let the kids be loud and enjoy it all.
Monday, being Memorial Day, seemed like a wise day to head into downtown LA for some touristing. We headed for Olvera Street (regarded as the "birthplace of the City of Los Angeles"), not only for its larger historical bearing, but also because we often went there with my grandparents when we were little kids. The shops are pretty much the same as they were way back when. Possibly a few more of the tchotzkes were in plastic, instead of wood, but the feel of the place was remarkably the same. After lunch (and a short guitar serenade), we walked over to Union Station to check out the really rather amazing - and peaceful - architecture. Our final stop of the day was a walking tour through Chinatown which, sadly, hasn't held up nearly as well over the past few decades.
Of course, Memorial Day wouldn't be Memorial Day without a cookout. So we ended the day with steaks (for which we had braved Costco the day before) on the grill, and some quiet time (well... relatively speaking, at least).
I'll try to get some photos to accompany the coming travelogue blogs. In the meantime, here is a picture of some of our spring flowers.
They surprised us a little to become probably the most attractive of our small-garden plantings.