Yesterday we landed at LAX, got our rental car, and headed to our hotel in Glendale: Embassy Suites by Hilton. It’s surprisingly reasonably priced, considering the location and the amenities which include made to order breakfast every morning and a late afternoon reception in the lobby with an open bar! After getting settled, Amanda’s Dad Kevin joined us and we walked a few blocks to the All India Café. I ordered lamb vindaloo which is a favorite of mine. Halfway through I saw what looked to be a green bean. I shrugged and popped it in my mouth, biting down on it, chewing, and swallowing. About a minute later I realized that it must not have been a green bean, because my mouth felt like I had taken the hottest chicken wing I had ever eaten and then poured some acid on it and then ate it. I started gluing my beer just as the waitress walked by. I pointed furiously at my mouth while waving my hand in a fanning motion. She quickly went to the kitchen and came back with a bowl of rice pudding, followed by some yogurt. The fire eventually went out, but I may not taste anything on that side of my mouth for days! 🙂
After walking back to the hotel we finished unpacking and went to bed. This morning we met Kevin for breakfast at a place called Bea Bea’s where I had the most delicious egg Benedict I think I have ever had. Amanda and I walked back to the hotel, then left to pick up Kevin and we drove north to Santa Clarita and visited the Vasquez Rocks.
This was something of a pilgrimage/bucket list item for me, as the Vasquez Rocks are rather iconic and have been used as the backdrop for many movies and TV show episodes, not the least of which is the original Star Trek series of which I am a huge fan.
After visiting the interpretive center, we went to Maginn’s Irish Pub for lunch. Maginn’s is owned by my cousin Chris Rowlson’s sister in-law and I thought it would be fun to stop in. Sadly, the server we got did not know Chris, but the food and the beer were delicious! I had bangers and champs with Smithwick red ale.
We made our way back to Glendale for an afternoon rest. As a follow up to Wednesday, you’ll recall that we re-booked our flights out of Syracuse. There were two return flights for Monday: one at about 12:30am and one at around 12:30pm. I did not notice that we got booked on the 12:30am return flight! I called the airline to see about getting switched to the 12:30pm flight. The nice lady who answered tried to help me, but the system was not cooperating with her and the best she could do was to make the switch, but it would cost us $1400!! I thanked her for trying and have decided that tomorrow morning I will get up early and drive to the Burbank airport where JetBlue has a presence and talk to someone in person to see if we can get the flight switched. It won’t be the end of the world if we can’t, but we are spending all day Sunday at Disney Land, and having to fly at 12:30am probably will mean cutting that day shorter than we otherwise might have, which would be too bad.
So after that we picked up Kevin again and headed to Hollywood where we saw the original Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit. It was amazing! I took a few 360 photos and got 360 video of the whole thing. I can’t wait to see how it came out. After Van Gogh we went to Ovation Hollywood, a new-ish shopping complex on Hollywood Boulevard. This whole area is L.A.’s answer to New York’s Times Square. There are all manner of shops and restaurants and street food and street performers. And tourists—lots of tourists! Kevin had bought tickets for the Icons of Darkness exhibit which is a fascinating curation of original production-used costumes. It is a guided tour with some jump scares. We took lots of photos! After Icons, we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then returned to Glendale for the night.