Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Ever Do it yourself Culinary Tour

Back in February, Penny, Beth and I went to Tucson on a culinary tour the barrio in Tucson. It was a commercial trip through Gray Line Tours. It was and gave me a lot of ideas.....
how fun it would be to do our own culinary tour and all the different ways there would be to do it.
As I talked about it at work, some of the girls got interested and wanted me to plan one. So I did, but when it got down to it all but one had bailed for one reason or another. Beth was already on board from work and she brought along her husband, Jet. Penny came again, so we had the perfect foursome.

We were going to have appetizers, salad, main dish and dessert. The chose places where I really liked that particular dish at that particular restaurant. I was worried that the places that had waiters, might get mad at us for taking up a table and only ordering one thing. So I called ahead, and the two places that I was worried about were very gracious and said no problem.

So we started out at Postino's on Central. Here are Penny, Jet and Beth awaiting our bruschetta sampling.
The food comes and we are enjoying everything very much. The food is good. That is why we are there. When there were only a few pieces left, I remembered I wanted to take pictures. So here are the appetizers before the last pieces disappeared.

I love the wedge salad at Smashburger. It's lettuce, blue cheese, bacon, onion, tomatoes. And here it is, practically fast food, and they were gracious enough to take a salad divide it into four and serve it up on plates for us! But I forgot to take a picture again! Here are our empty plates! And again the wait staff was wonderful.

The we went to FEZ. FEZ has a lot of good food. I especially love their hamburgers and sweet potato fries. So we got the tangier burger. Again they were kind enough to split it into four and serve it up. Again I forgot to take a photo! Beth was the only one with any left before I remembered. Mine was long gone.

Then we went to Le Grand Orange for dessert. Here we decided to pick four different desserts and then cut them up and share so we could all taste. It was a good strategy, but we were pretty full by then and the desserts were rich. Maybe that is why I finally got a photo before the food was all gone! We have a chocolate, cashew Carmel bar, red velvet cake, ooey gooey cupcake and chocolate peanut butter monster cake.
It was really a fun day. We think you need to go for a drive between courses to give you time to digest and eat some more! Kudos to all the kind wait staff who egged us on.
We came up with lots of ideas to do this again. Maybe all different kinds of Asian food? Or dare you to eat this food? Or order the third thing on every menu? Or a section of town? Or compare tacos or pizza or something across restaurant's? The ideas could just go on and on. It was a blast and I am sure we will do it again!

Monday, August 9, 2010


My friend Lezlee picked out an afghan pattern that she wanted for her birthday. She bought the yarn and I made it. So here is my latest crochet project! Happy Birthday Lezlee!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rainy Day Hike

I really wanted to get out of the heat today and go on a hike some where cool. But when I got up this morning, it was raining. I decided to go anyway. My friends, Penny and Cindy were even willing to go with me. We went for about an hour and a half in the rain and mud, but we still had fun.

Even with the rain and fog, it was pretty. But I did get soaking wet! I had wet and muddy feet the whole day.

Afterwards, we had lunch and antique browsing in Old town Cottonwood. In spite of the weather, A good time was had by all!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pasadena Flea Market

The final thing we did in California, was go to the Pasadena Flea Market. It is very well known, along with the one at the Rose Bowl, for vintage items. We were just out to have fun.
The campus is really nice looking and there is art here and there.

We saw quite a few canines, great and small, getting their shopping done.

I spent 13$ and these were my purchases. Real leather boots and silk scarves!

Silverlake Architecture Tour

There is a lot of famous and infamous architecture in the LA area. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of the buildings on various trips, but have never been on an official architecture tour there. I decided to go this time. Because there is so much to see, there are a lot of tours to choose from. After consulting with my friend, Geoff, I decided to take the Silverlake Neighborhood tour. This is where a lot of midcentury modern architecture was developed. Architects like Richard Neutra, Schindler and Lautner did a lot of work here.
It's hard for us to imagine how ground breaking they were at the time. Now it looks ordinary and passe. But simple, clean modern lines, lots of glass, floor to ceiling windows, indoor outdoor living, all of that was new then. I promise this is just HIGHLIGHTS! She showed us a LOT!
We started by looking at the Astro drive in. One of the many, "space age" designs that was supposed to be very futuristic. This one is pretty well preserved.

So this is a very famous house by Richard Neutra. It overlooks the Silver Lake Resevoir that the neighborhood is named for. You were meant to sit on the upper floor at floor level and look out at the view.

This is a new library in Silverlake, complete with a Richard Neutra quote.

New library.

Part of the Neutra Colony. He built homes on several adjoining lots. He sold to Japanese Americans right after WWII when they still weren't allowed to own land in California. He put their american born children's names on the deeds. This is two adjoining houses. His son, Dion Neutra built a few homes in the area too and he still lives in his. He is 86.

Neutra colony home.

A home by Schindler, the upper one with all the glass. The street side has no windows, looks like one story and is very plain and private.

Looks like the Brady Bunch house!

The view, Silverlake Resevoir.

An art deco decoration on an apartment house. The lady who comissioned the apt's insisted that her brother in laws art work be included. Notice the balcony railings, they wouldn't meet code today.

Goodwill store in the postmodern style, where industrial materials themselves are used in a way to be decorative. Inside the store, on the ceiling, even the shiny insulation is showing as a decorative element. This was from the 90's and the start of when duct work was left open and visible.

The Ennis house, by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is one of his textile block houses, not really a good choice for earthquake prone LA. He didn't have them use mortar or rebar. It's pretty cool though. It's huge, 5000 sq feet, with beautiful views. It's owned by the Ennis house foundation now, but the neighbors aren't allowing any tours. They need millions to restore and fix it, but not being able to do tours really cripples their ability to raise any money.

Gate at Ennis house.

Ennis house from below.

Los Feliz apt building. Notice effects of using different cultural elements. These apts are really tiny, like 350 sq ft.

Frank Lloyd Wright JR. Used roof tiles as window screen.

This high school was built to look "English". Many famous folks went here including Leonardo Di Caprio. She said he dropped out though. The outside, field scenes of the movie Grease were shot on the grounds here.

Schindler house.

Ocean liner style of architecture.

There are some homes in the area that they think were done by "set designers" and have a storybook look. One is called sleeping beauty's cottage. These are called the seven dwarves homes.

Hollywood High School

Fun mural

We had a fabulous dinner, here, in Chinatown after our tour.
Fun day!


One of the DIFFERENT things Aimee and I did when we went to LA was go to a taping of the New Let's Make a Deal, with Wayne Brady. They wanted everyone to dress in costume. I didn't want to do anything too elaborate because we were going straight from the show to an architecture tour and I didn't have time to change. Plus we were going to have to stand in line for a long time and we wanted to be comfortable.
So I came up with these "cowgirl" outfits. I know, I know, I look REALLY stupid. What can I say. So did a lot of other people! Aimee was a blond. Some people thought I was Pippi Longstocking. Others thought I was Wendy from Wendy's hamburgers. Whatever.
We didn't get to be contestants but we did get to go through the process and were in the audience for the taping. They didn't tell us when it would air. There was an entire row of people in front of us dressed as crayons though. So if you ever watch it, I was sitting behind the yellow crayon!

Hooray for Hollywood

I went on a quick trip to the LA area last weekend with my friend, Aimee. Here we are getting ready to leave.
There are so many fun DIFFERENT things to do over there. I like to try and do something different every time I go.
This time we started out with tickets to the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night and built around that.

This is Amiee in our upgraded room. We ended up with what they call a "suite" room after they messed up our reservation. It was a nice hotel, with free parking which is a good thing over there now.

Entering Hollywood.

We had dinner at this place. It was a fun experience. The menu had stuff on from like the 40's and 50's. It was good though. The waiters looked like they had been there since the place opened. Someone told us later that they were known for bad service. It wasn't really that bad, they were just a little self absorbed and maybe hard of hearing.

The inside reminded me a little of Durant's in Phoenix. There is a mural up high along the wall. Then lots of dark wood and old tufted booths.

I had lamb shanks and Aimee got the salisbury steak. Fun experience.

After dinner, we walked along Hollywood Blvd a little. This was right out the front door. There really are some fun things to see and do in Hollywood, but there are also a lot of lingerie, tattoo and porn shops.

I can't help but think of these as hooker shoes. I can't think of who else would wear them! The little Asian lady who owned the store didn't want me to take pictures. These were through the front window.

It was a really pleasant evening though and I found a nice Hollywood Tshirt. As the sun started to set, we headed to the Hollywood Bowl.

Fun art deco statue at the entrance to the Hollywoood Bowl.

This is what the venue looks like. Plus lots of people with all sorts of picnics all over the grounds. A fun evening!

Sergio Mendes at the Hollywood Bowl.