Saturday, July 8, 2006

Surf, Turf, Art and Ice Cream

Today, Jen and I decided to load up the CR-V and head North. Not too far, just to Pasadena and LA.

We didn’t really have a plan. All we knew was that we wanted to go to the Huntington Gardens to see the rose, Shakespeare, and Japanese gardens, priceless works of art in the Boone Gallery, and my favorite, the sculptures.

Every time I visit the Huntington with someone new I make them pose like one of the scultpures. I think it’s great fun. Unfortunately I think we chose one of the hottest days this summer to walk around. It was like 115 degrees, seriously.

Once we roasted ourselves sufficiently Jen wanted to see Old Town Pasadena, since she’d never been. Neither of us can read a map so we fumbled with the Thomas Guide to try and figure out how to get from San Marino to Old Town. We finally found it and by accident also discovered the fabulous Colorado Street Bridge. We were stunned as we rounded the corner to see it and literally stopped traffic to get a picture, it is beautiful. Then we just wandered around the back streets in the quaint Pasadena neighborhoods with all the Craftsman houses. It was fun.

By this time we were starving, and rather than eating in trendy Old Town we headed west to LA to my favorite restaurant, Versailles on Venice Blvd for Cuban food. It is quick service, reasonable prices and amazing food. Ok, so I always order the same thing. I’m sure there are many tasty treasures on the menu but I love the garlic chicken served with black beans and white rice. I only get to eat it every few months so I savor every bite. Besides I end up smelling like garlic for about two days.

Then we headed down to Venice Beach to the boardwalk. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a parking spot, cause apparently everyone else in Southern California was thinking the same thing we were - it’s cooler by the ocean. So we just ended up driving through Venice and Marina del Rey.

Somehow we ended up on Washington Blvd that winds through Culver City, home of Sony Picture studios and a darling downtown that makes you feel like you stepped back into 1955. It is very clean and hard to believe it’s minutes from LA. So after a stop at Cold Stone Creamery we began the long trek back to South OC.

What a fantastic day.

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