Monday, August 11, 2008

Hollywood Bowl

Michael took me out to the Hollywood Bowl to see Les Miserable in concert. It was a really pleasant evening of music and performance. One unique aspect of the bowl was that they allow you to bring in food and alcohol, so many people were full-on picnicking before the show. Got to love that monster zoom!

"Master of the House"

"One Day More"



"Wedding Chorale"

Taking a bow

Giving thanks to the L.A. Philharmonic

The glory of Gloria's is the bomb. Seriously. We tracked this spot down on Venice Blvd, just east of the 405. It's a Salvadoran restaurant, one of their specialties being the pupusa, a pan-fried piece of flatbread stuffed with your choice of cheese and herbs, pork, or beans and cheese. They were served with Spanish rice, refried black beans, and a side of shredded cabbage that's vinegary and spicy. Throw in some homemade chips and salsa that was bright and super fresh, a cerveza in an ice cold mug, and you've got one killer lunch!

What's with the three Jesus's with resting their feet on cherub heads???

Getty Center

It was a mighty fine day at the Getty Center, though I didn't spend much time in the exhibits, as they were quite overrun. The grounds on the other hand were spacious enough to give one moments of solace and a variety of views. There was a live band that played several sets for the kids, a nice lawn to lay out on, a garden of desert plants, waterfalls, fountains, monks, you name it, all under the big blue dome of the sky.

Downtown...hey, their tallest building is a US Bank tower too!

The Getty Center from I-405

Visitors take an automated tram up

Lots o' traffic in these parts

West Hollywood

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Huntington Beach

The Buena Park plant shipped out two-thirds of its inventory the week prior to the conversion, so there wasn't nearly as much inventory to re-tag. As a result, a 16-hour day turned into an eight hour day, and Abbas, Cassanda, Sam, Michael and I piled into Abbas' Escape and headed down to Huntington Beach. It was huge!!!

Michael and Abbas


A Laurelwood Organic Free-Range Red before my flight. I love my airport!!!

My plane taxiing in. It's tiny!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mt Talbert Nature Park

Mt Talbert is the latest jewel in the crown of Portland's park system. Officialy in Clackamas, minutes southeast of Portland, it is maintained bt the Metro organization. It is the largest undeveloped butte in northern Clackams County, and is home to deer, coyotes, raccoons, Western gray squirrel, rubber boa, pileated and hairy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch, Western tanager and other species.

I knew that I'd be in the belly of the beast (L.A.) soon, so I hopped on my bike for a 20-mile round trip ride to immerse myself in nature one last time. I only saw one other person while I was there, so I have the feeling that it is an underutilized park during the week. Sweet!

Upon arriving at the Sunnyside trailhead, at SE 117th Ave and SE Sunnyside Rd, you are greeted with a place to lock up your bike, a warning about bringing invasive species into the park with your shoes with matching bootscrubber, and a garbage can with heavy lid. A crushed gravel trail leads into the woods, over Mt Scott creek via a nice looking metal bridge.

The gravel trail soon gives way to a narrow dirt path that winds through ferns and firs, up through a revitalized oak savanna, rare in these parts, to a clearing at the summit where I took a rest and had some food. The hike was very peacful with sightings and sounds of birds and chipmunks along the way.

The ride back was a bit wearing, as I unknowingly had a brisk tailwind on the way to the park, resulting in a stiff headwind for the journey back. I decided to take a slightly differnt route on the return to avoid riding across the lower west flank of Mt Scott, where you gain altitude only to lose it later. I figured that would just wear me out faster, and with the headwind, would have been downright miserable. What took 45 minutes on the way out took a little over an hour on the way back, and I was so glad to top the last hill and coast the last few blocks home. Phew!

I spotted a hawk from the bike path watching the cars go by on I-205