Very few people know this, but JRS, NLS and I went to Los Angeles last weekend.
And it wasn’t a great start. Our flight from Denver International Airport left 90 minutes behind schedule. The reason why I’m still not sure…something about a mixup with plane availability, I think. So we didn’t take off until 7 PM.
My sister’s 60th birthday dinner reservation in Hollywood was set for 9 PM, Pacific time. With getting the luggage (yeah, we didn’t have much, but always take advantage of Southwest’s free baggage check-in) and the rental and figuring out its weird control panel screen for the radio and the temp control, we didn’t get to the restaurant, Lucques, until 10 PM.
Mind you, this is now Pacific time. Our minds and body clocks were still an hour ahead at 11 PM. This was after a full day of school and work, too. Maybe it was because I was hyped up on stress-percolated adrenaline, I wasn’t sleepy…yet. But poor JRS and NLS – they could barely keep their eyes open. My younger one even put her head down on the table a few times while waiting for our meal and then the out-of-this-world hazelnut birthday cake. No doubt she snoozed probably once or twice while we waited for our very, very late dinner.
But my sister J (the birthday honoree) and brother-in-law T were very happy we went through the trouble of being present. I was embarrassed with how casually we dressed for this fancy Melrose Avenue place, but none of her friends or my other sister C or brother-in-law D cared. We made it safe, and got to be there for a fun family get-together.
Later on, I somehow made it to our hotel in Redondo Beach, the Portofino. It’s a beautiful but somewhat dated place, adjacent to a marina with dozens of shiny bobbing sailboats, with shoebox sized rooms that barely fit my growing kids, me and our luggage. But it was somewhere to sleep, and not as pricey as the place my sisters stayed at, Terranea in nearby Palos Verdes.
This was the view from J’s oceanside room:
They were this close to the water…
Approaching the balcony in their room (out of respect for their privacy, I didn’t take a picture of the rest of the room)
My sisters and I had a little spa retreat with massages while the girls hung out with their uncles at the pool. C mentioned to one of the attendants that it was J’s birthday, and he later presented us with complimentary sparkling wine. Normally I don’t like to drink anything like Champagne, but in this case I definitely didn’t mind.
We then spent the afternoon up in Santa Monica. While J and T went to her friend’s for a wine-tasting party, the rest of us went to the 3rd Street Promenade and saw “Muppets Most Wanted.” The verdict: entertaining for what it was…a Muppets movie. Finally we ended up at nearby Trastavere for dinner. The next day, just hours away from our 1:05 PM flight, we gathered once again at Terranea for a great breakfast.
Now I wish I took more pictures while I was here. But I was too busy zipping and driving around. It was all definitely worth it.