“Down, Down, Down– Red Knight Going Down!”

Cati and I spent a few days (too few) on the West Coast visiting a couple-three friends and (my) family.  We flew into John Wayne Airport and visited Fullerton, Pasadena, Newport Beach, and Canoga Park.  The flights there and back were uneventful– that’s a good thing.  We stayed at a hotel directly across the street from Medieval Times.  The location of the memorable and HI-larious scene from “The Cable Guy.”  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to Medieval Times on this trip. 


Here are some more highlights from our short trip:

We had some good Mexican food one night, and some Thai food another (sorry, no photos taken). 

We stumbled upon a Lizarran in Fullerton too.  Lizarran is a Basque-style tapas franchise in Spain– who knew they were global.  Technically, they’re not tapas; they’re pinxos (pronounced peenchos).  We didn’t stay there for dinner; it was crowded and they had a flamenco dancer and band playing.  Flamenco is like kryptonite to Cati.  In my experience, Flamenco is to most Spaniards what barbershop quartets are to most Americans, or Mariachis to most Mexicans– campy, outdated entertainment.  We opted for sushi instead.
We had sushi at Sushi Momo in Fullerton.  It was good, but a little heavy on the chilli sauce.  I’m pretty sure it was Sriracha— which I like, when used sparingly. 
Crisp and cool cucmber-wrapped rolls that went great with a cold Japanese lager. 
Home-made tamago– mmm.
Driving in L.A. was pretty crazy.  I’ve lived in and driven in several states and a few countries, but I have to say, L.A. drivers are really a breed apart.  From my limited experience (3 days of driving), there are four things that make it so crazy to drive in L.A.:
– The speed– people drive really fast; 10-20 mph over limit seemed to be the average speed at all times.
– The crowds– it’s jammed; masses and masses of cars whizzing by no matter what time of day.
– All lanes are for passing– right and left really mean nothing.  People weave and zip by from all sides.
– The highways are tight with concrete walls and medians, and seldom a shoulder.  The exits come up quickly.
As startling as it was, I would probably adjust to it completely in about two weeks.  But it really made an impression during our short stay.
On our last day there, we had breakfast with our friends up in Pasadena, then we spent the rest of the day with my extended family.  Well, the emphasis on food extends beyond the nuclear family in which I grew up.  We had a great meal of grilled meats– chicken, pork-ribs, sausage, beef — you name it.  I guess that’s a benefit of family members who grew up in Argentina– they know grilling.  Also, my aunt made empanadas that give my own dear mom’s recipe some formidable competition (sorry ma, they were really good). 
Cati and I take a distant second and third billing (respectively) to Nina’s appearance at any party. 
Check out my aunt’s beautiful backyard flower-garden where Nina spent the afternoon exploring. 
What a beautiful time!
Also, on an unrelated note, when we bought our new house here in Ann Arbor MI, we were presented with all the old paperwork from when the property was first purchased from the US government in 1825 to present.  Included in that stack is the record of when the property was sub-divided in 1930 by the then owners Mr. and Mrs. Ives.  Incidentally our neighborhood is called Ives Woods. 
Included in this paperwork are the rules by which lot owners must abide when buying the property.
Take a closer look at rule #1:
In case you can’t read it in the photo, it says, “Said premises shall not be sold or leased to or occupied by any person other then [sic] of the Caucasian race.”*
Holy shocking racism, eh?  I mean, there it is in unambiguous black and white– sick and wrong, innit?   Eighty years ago was a very different world.  Rule #2 is ‘no livestock’– wow.   
* In addition to bigotry, apparently poor-punctuation and bad grammar were rampant as well. 

5 Responses to ““Down, Down, Down– Red Knight Going Down!””

  1. Lydia says:

    What an interesting entry! You cover so many subjects: food, family, gardening, history, traffic. Love it. I must say, however, that my favorite subject is: NINA.

  2. GP says:

    Dude, seriously? We’re like 7 miles west of Pasadena. I think that’s the second time you’ve been out here and haven’t said anything. WTF?! Should I take the hint?

  3. alex|dimitri says:

    Dearest GP,
    Please take no hint. We’ll be back, with more time to spend. I didn’t even visit my dear sweet grandma on this visit (I feel rotten about that as well). Come see us in MI. I’ll cook for you and MP and make you guys love us again.

    Plus, it’s all Cati’s fault. Yeah, that’s it, it’s all her fault. You can pretty much just assume that all the time (my technique). ;)

  4. celinabean says:

    Great post! I need to learn to make empanadas. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. Gina says:

    Boston take a close second to L.A. when it comes to insane drivers. I think L.A. might win in the competition for good food, however.