Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Family Trip

We just returned from a family trip to Los Angeles so the boys could meet their great grandmother. She's a spry 98, and it was a joy to have her see the next generation on Thanksgiving.

We were worried at how well the babies would fly, especially since babies can't easily relieve the pressure in their ears when a plane takes off and lands. The boys did fine. In fact, they were great travelers, even putting up with a maintenance delay before the last leg of the flight.

More importantly, the family took a couple of side trips after visiting great grandma on Saturday. We foolishly tried to go to farmer's market, a place I have fond memories of from my youth. Earlier in the day, before we left the house to visit great grandma, my sister told me that the market had become a bit more commercialized. I imagined there would be more stores selling "stuff" and less food and produce. I had no idea what commercialized might mean. It was a mall. A big mall. There was a parking structure that looked to be eight stories high, if not ten. Check out the list of stores there here. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The traffic was unbelievable. We didn't stop, but it still took over half an hour to work our way out of the mess.

We ended up in Little Tokyo eating at Hibachi BBQ Korean Kitchen. The service was great, with two middle-aged, spunky women doting on us because of the boys. I had beef BBQ and my wife had chicken BBQ, both on the suggestion of a server. We weren't disappointed. To end the experience, we walked to the local market and purchased some Pocky for my wife. The boys slept the entire time, from the moment we left the car, ate lunch, wandered through some stores, and then hit the market. It was a fine day. It was a fine weekend.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Forays into the World

Our newly doubled family has made few forays into the world as we adjust to our new life, but today we ventured forth with some friends for a late breakfast. We went to Country Jim's, a homey restaurant we like because the breakfasts are pretty good, the service is adequate, and the place is pretty quiet. Not today. Aside from the food being pretty good, everything else fell apart. Most of the problems, I suspect were because the place was full. They had large parties of around 15 in the back, the section that is non-smoking and has the best windows. We sat near the front, where there was a draft and occasional wafts of smoke stinking up my clothes. (When I go to restaurants I know stink from smoke, I wear a set of clothes I don't care much about and that I'll just throw in the laundry (or burn pile) when I get home.)

Because of the crowds I attribute to some less that religious church (probably Unitarian or Episcopalian), the service was painfully slow. They ran out of coffee mugs. I have never heard of a place serving breakfast running out of coffee mugs. That's like a deli running out of meat at lunch. We eventually got our coffee. The food came slowly, both in terms of our wait for it to arrive and the number of trips the server had to make because she forgot something or something wasn't ready in the kitchen. But the food was good. I and a friend had onions added to our hash browns, and they really did a nice job with them, adding a nice flavor to a typically bland food. The eggs, over hard (I don't believe in eating runny yolks. It's disgusting.), were fine, though no on does them as well as Steady Eddy's at the Farmer's Market. Finally, my toast was toast. I don't have much to say about toast unless it's sourdough or someone messes it up. Though my coffee cup ran dry, I got enough coffee. Ultimately, because of the company, the outing was nice. I'll give Country Jim's another chance because we've had such success there in the past.

It was nice to venture back into world.