Lamest Of The Lame

That was a Garbage song reference. Things that I have to do aren’t things I want to do.

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Five Things I Promise Not To Do With My Bluetooth:

1. Wear it outside the car
2. Use it outside the car
3. Let you see it unless I’m driving
4. Get pulled over in CA (one positive)
5. Use in states I don’t need it

Seriously, the rule is dumb for people that don’t WANT these things. Driving with the corded one was too hard so we broke down and got one headset, to share. I drove better just using the phone normal style. It’s totally freaking lame and to top it all off we look like THAT GUY now, not by choice.

DONT DO IT

DON'T DO IT

Where The Turf Meets The Surf

Is the dumbest slogan of all time. That being said, MK and I were pretty excited to attend the Pacific Classic million dollar purse day at the Del Mar Race Track. We got ‘gussied up’ a bit and then went cheapo and got great parking and general admission tickets in spite of all the weird old lady protesters (yes, you were weird and old). And that was all we could accomplish.

Horse racing is apparently something you need to know about before just showing up. There were families of screaming babies, completely drunk (before noon) possibly homeless scary smelly people, and the richest old men I’ve ever seen, all jumbled up together placing bets. There were way fewer hats than I expected, apparently opening day is the big deal hat parade, grr. I was overwhelmed at the size of the place even though we’d been there before for the fair. There was the Turf Club, the jockey place, restaurants, betting stations, computers, tvs, and free shirts everywhere.

You got a little brochure thing that only had the names of the horses and when the races were. The tips for betting by the windows said “1. State track 2. State race 3. Pick your horses 4. Pay”. Huh? I knew from all the talk recently there were 30,000 ways to do things. The first few races we decided to share what our picks WOULD BE and see how we’d do. We didn’t get a single horse. So we watched. It was like going to Vegas and not gambling, it felt a little odd but was probably for the best. We are not good at that sort of thing.

Now we’re just working on our online crash courses (kidding). But the afternoon was a blast, even though we didn’t make it all day. We were toast halfway through. There’s a concert while SB’s here (that starts tomorrow!) so we might go back soon.

Shot The Car Resale Value

The day I got back from our big vacation trip I got some very important news. AS-H, the woman that introduced me to the love of my life, got me through college, and just generally rules was in town. Well, was in LA. I drove myself back up to Newport Beach and we ate some kick butt and actually healthy Mexican at Avila’s El Ranchito. The healthy was negated by the margarita but whatever! We drove over to Huntington for a little beach and shopping stroll and one more drink before she had to jet set back home. Being a giant super powered attorney rules.

Shortly thereafter(two days), MK got a call that one of his friends from high school was staying at her parents condo in Long Beach for the weekend. We’ve both known her forever too and couldn’t say no. We drove BACK up the good old I-5 again and partied at a couple really random places. Who would have thought we could end up at a karaoke bar, in LONG BEACH? It was rather surreal. When I think surreal, I think RB. So I phoned him and he came from LA to hang out with us. Wonder of wonders, there was a ROSCOE’S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES again, so of course we had to have some 3AM breakfast goodness.

Brief aside: I didn’t go into detail last time, but Roscoe’s might be the best place on earth to eat fried chicken. Seriously. The secret is to mix the tabasco into the syrup and eat the chicken and the waffle and that mix. Holy cow. It sounds odd, but if you’re ever out this way, I’ll show you. Plus, there’s always something crazy going on there. I mean, we did eat in COMPTON and the LBC, so it’s to be expected. It’s living on the edge I tell you.

So, to total that all up, we went up to LA and back to San Diego in three whole separate trips in less than a week. It was a lot of driving. But it was totally worth it. I’m giving thought to living in the OC though, it might make it easier!

Central California

After Santa Barbara we drove north and found more interesting places. We had lunch in the city of Solvang, a crazy Danish inspired village. We were expecting Santa Ynez to be bigger but Solvang made up for it. We ate an awesome meal and tried our first Aebleskivers, shown here:

Aebleskivers

Aebleskivers

The best dessert I’ve had in a while. After walking the shopping area a bit we kept heading north and saw Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, where we spent the night, at a normal hotel even though we were tempted to check out the Madonna Inn.

I’m putting up two separate links for pictures, here’s one of the drive and random stops,

and the other is the Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. (On these you couldn’t use flash so they aren’t perfect)

Make sure to read that captions I painstakingly add so you know what you’re looking at…

We took so many pictures there it’s easier to see them separately. The main building itself is some 70,000sq.ft. but we saw maybe 10 of that, the outbuildings, and the indoor and outdoor pools on the main tour. We were there 9-12 and some people would go back down to the Visitor Center and take the other tours offered in the same day. The views were amazing, as was the art and architecture. I for one can’t say I’ve ever even heard of this place but was super impressed.

I can’t lie when I admit Mom and Grandma wanted us to see the Ronald Regan library but we skipped it. We did, more importantly, find and drive by Neverland Ranch, because we are giant freaking dorks. We also saw The Hitching Post, where they filmed Sideways. Priorities, ladies…

Amazingly we finished our visit with one last stop in Santa Barbara and made it all the way home in just under 4 hours, which I think is awesome. There is so much to do on the California coast and it pretty much rules that it’s all doable in a day, weekend, or as much time as you want to take.

Santa Barbara

We drove up from LA to Santa Barbara and immediately began running around. We checked out quite a bit of the area by simply driving through neighborhoods. There were some really stunning properties, and with the mountains as a backdrop, many of them have front yard ocean views. You can tell a little from my pictures just how green it is, but I was too busy looking to take really great ones. The whole place feels tropical and lush like somewhere other then the US, some tropical destination.

The city itself had a distinctive college town and feel, and reminded me a little of so much about what  liked about Austin. It was easy to navigate, and we went down to the water and walked the pier sharing an ice cream. We strolled through an artwalk and down State Street, through California’s first mall, and through the many restaurants and shops. There’s a definite tourist vibe (it’s called the American Riviera) but it wasn’t overwhelming like I feel La Jolla is right now. There was certainly less beach but it’s relatively a small place so it wasn’t overcrowded.

We saw the mission and stayed the night at a great hotel called the Best Western Pepper Tree Inn. For some reason this quaint and unique hotel had the highest ratings on my phone’s suggestions so we decided to see what it was all about. For how cheap it was it spoiled us with a giant bathroom, giant living room, view of the pool, deck, and amenities everywhere. It was just what we needed to recuperate to head further up the coast.

Here are the pictures from Santa Barbara.

Vacation From Vacation

Usually you never know I’m gone, I know I’m going to be away and I throw some posts up. Couldn’t do that this time since my vacation was a surprise. MK decided we’d both (cough) been working so hard we needed to get away. We packed up and set off Friday morning.

MK booked us an amazing room at a great hotel right on Sunset Strip. We wandered up and down and shopped and ate and wandered some more. We got all fancied up and hit some clubs. We exhausted ourselves. We woke up and ate some more, pooled some, and set off for more adventure. We drove through Beverly Hills, Glen, and Mulholland, which we hadn’t taken the time to do before. There was a lot of “let’s live in that one” “oh my gosh did you see that?” “Is that all one house?”. The only (I don’t think this even counts) celebrity MK spotted was the guy that owns Sunset Tan, while we were eating at the awesomest diner ever that happens to be underneath it.

We failed on pictures – didn’t want to look like tourists! 🙂