Three generations right there. It was great to see dad and grandma. We had a nice lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and then walked around the mall. Dad bought a whole box of See's candy. Not only was I never hungry during the trip, I was frequently painfully stuffed. I weighed myself this morning. Up four pounds. Now I know why kings are fat.
After I had been there a few days at camp mommy, we got on a plane and headed up to San Francisco to see the baby brother. Mom and I went on a very long walk across the city and when we were crossing a street somewhere, bam, there was the Transamerica building. It was neat, we walked from Soma to Fisherman's Wharf and then over to the Palace of Fine Arts. There was a magic bus that took us from there all the way back to our hotel.
Mom and I at the Palace of Fine Arts. On the bus ride back, we passed through Chinatown and it really was like a different country suddenly. Pushing and shoving became the norm for several stops. Mom and I had seats and just watched. So interesting how something is so taboo in our culture while so ordinary in theirs.
The real Sticky Crows. I love those but don't eat them anymore for various reasons. Fear of dislodged dental work for one. This was after meeting up with a friend from high school whom I hadn't seen in over 20 years. We both agreed that we had changed little.
Mom and I took another junket to Vegas during my stay. Remember I had received an invite from the Venetian for some free night with free gambling money. While in search of lower priced vittles, we came across this kiosk peddling the monstrocities you see above. If I had to choose, I'd take the fried pickles. I'm still curious about those.
The rooms at the Venetian are gorgeous. All suites with a step down living room, three flat screen tvs and an interesting view from our room reflected in the other tower. They totally lost money on our stay. I played the $75 they gave me and cashed out the $42 in winnings, took the free room and bought a couple of coffees. The last night mom sprang for a nice dinner in which we had foie gras, yum! Oh and I took her to see Ka, an amazing show by Cirque du Soleil. The stage is an engineering marvel and the scenes they created were like works of art. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it.
Last Saturday was the big hike. Dad and I took the chairlift to the ski area at Mt Baldy and then hiked to the summit. It was a beautiful day, a bit hot and there were some amazing views on the way up. At one point, if you slipped and fell off the 18 inch wide trail to the right, you died, and if you slipped off to the left, you died. It's rather scary when someone is coming the other direction and you have to pass each other.
We made it to the top! It wasn't easy. 3.2 miles up and 3.2 miles back. The last part, dubbed heartbreak hill, was grueling. You cannot make it to the top without suffering, but that makes it even more worth it in my book. My legs were cathedrals of pain the next day. Dad said I should be fine since I regularly do squats, but as I reminded him, I don't do them 5 hours at a time. I was old man for two days following the hike.
The last day, mom made (and showed me how to make) paella. Oh my but it was good. In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to give it a try. Now where can I find a paella pan? I already know where to get the paella rice, which is essential. Oh and I wish I had picked up some saffron while I was in Spain. You pay through the nose for that shit here.
I made it home yesterday with the haul you see above. Plus the quilt seen in the next photo. I had a little skirmish in the airport in Toronto. Some lady, when arriving at the immigration entry, stopped right where you were supposed to go and choose a line. It was just like the idiots who stop at the top of an escalator to look at a map. I squeezed around her little girl and picked a line. She called out to me, "We were here before you!" I replied, "There's 20 lines, pick one!" She then said, "Well you could have said excuse me.!" I rolled my eyes and said, "Oh shut UP!" and turned and approached the immigration officer. Honestly, I just spent two weeks with my mother, I don't need another one, lol.
Georgie was so happy to see me, he cried and cried. Later he fell asleep next to the quilt. I really missed him and I think he missed me too. He started whining for our regular 8:30am walk right on time this morning.
Happy to be home for a few days before our road trip. More on that to come.