So, yeah. Last week (practically two weeks ago, to be honest) I flew out to California for Grandma's birthday. And you know what? It wasn't any normal trip...I was a surprise!! Grandma had no idea I was coming! Just like she didn't think Mom, Dad, or Afton were coming out either (I guess she was expecting to have an awful birthday with no one who cared about her or something?)
Shortly after getting to California we went and had breakfast at this fine place in Pasadena called Marston's.
Grandma and Aunt Afton.
I had huevos rancheros (it's always interesting to see how huevos rancheros will be interpreted...in this case, they were interpreted with lots and lots of chili)
Grandma's eggs and bacons and fruit
Dad's Eggs Benedict.
That night we went and celebrated Grandma's birthday with a meal at the Tamoshanter.
Prime rib! Lots of it!
And after dinner? An trip to the Glendale Center Theatre (California's Family Theatre) for a performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
This is a bit of art from when the Glendale Center Theatre was just the dream of some poor theatre-in-the-round enthusiast and his wife.
Was the evening ready to end? NO! Back to Grandma's for cake and candles!
Then, on Saturday we had some lunch at our family's restaurant, Twohey's. I don't mean that it's the restaurant we own (because we don't own one), but the restaurant that we go to always. It's like Monk's Diner on Seinfeld, but for those with Condie blood.
There I enjoyed their famed curry clam chowder.
And their magnificent onion rings and a fine, fine chili dip.
But most importantly, our order got a little mixed up and I got a free bittersweet hot fudge sundae! And bittersweet hot fudge sundaes is what Twoheys is about! (p.s. depth of field ftw, btw)
That evening (after an undocumented trip to Yang Chow for Chinese) I ventured away from my family for a few hours for some LA adventures with Broek and Ramsey (remember when they came to New York for Daft Punk? I'd love to link to that, but it's getting late).
The night began with a visit to El Super Taco where I enjoyed a little chicken sope and a little taco al pastor. These were some excellent little treats. A few nights later I'd return to El Super Taco and order a Torta de Tinga on a hunch. It was the most delicious torta of my entire life. It was so good that I started to panic over its tastiness. My life is ruined now because of that delicious torta that lives on the other side of the country.
Then we went to the Echoplex and saw Simian Mobile Disco and Boysnoize.
Afters we hit up a taco truck in the vicinity of the club.
Yeah, that's right. Late night post-dinner tacos twice in one night. That's how great things can be in Southern California. But, to be perfectly honest, my tacos were more than a tad on the gristly side. Sad but true.
Sunday afternoon. A proper Sunday dinner at Grandma's.
There was this rumor that Grandma Barnes was in California that same weekend visiting my Uncle Greg and his family so after I dropped my parents off at the airport I went down to Tustin to see how everyone was doing. Greg had just bought himself a Wii and a challenge was presented: Could I get Grandma to play Wii? The answer, as you can see here, Yes. Yes I could. She bowled twice and got strikes both times, kid you not.
Heading home that night, I just couldn't help myself. I had to have a late night Del Taco feast. Sorry. I just LOVE Del Taco. I had a crispy beef taco, a soft chicken taco, a fish taco, and (for the first time ever) one of their cheeseburgers. Del Taco cheeseburgers...taste pretty much like a McDonalds burger dressed up as a Burger King burger.
Also on my way home I saw this Lamborghini Diablo. It had a funny vanity plate and a really cheesy driver. I thought Southern Californians would be embarrassed to be seen in a 17 year old non-classic supercar like that, but he was living it up. You sort of had to be there.
You know what? I think I'm going to call it a night and cut this post in half. I'll post more tomorrow, or the day after. Are you going to see more pictures of tacos? Come on, get serious. You are going to see lots and lots of pictures of tacos.