Had another great trip down the coast to see some friends in and around LA. Mike, Joy and I left just before the crack of dawn on Friday (my first vacation day of the year, yey!) and drove down to see Karto at their new place in Santa Barbera. Unbelievably nice weather of course. Their place is still definitely a work in progress, but looks like it will be quite awesome after they finish it all up. After lunch at a nice beachside cafe, we took a stroll along the bluffs looking out to the ocean. Mike found a hole.
We met up with Sean and Andrea in Pasadena and had an absolutely wonderful dinner at a new Argentinian restaurant in Old Town. I had a prix fix meal with some chorizo appetizer, a skirt streak with baby green salad, and a flan. Everything was wonderful – the best steak I’ve had in years, and the whole meal was only $23. I crashed at Sean’s new place just a block off Old Town, with a nice new 700″ TV, or something like that.
I finally got to see Stephanie and James’s 9 month old daughter, Melanie, over breakfast the next morning. Very cute, of course, and bears quite a striking resemblance to James. We stopped in at the Pasadena farmers market for a bit. It’s nice to see that little has changed there – the same people are selling the tamales, the flower bunches are still $5, and all the food looks as delicious as ever.
Afterwards, we headed down to Venice to meet up with Corey and do a quick hike along Temescula Canyon. Right around the corner from Corey’s we found the Korean taco truck! Score!
We got the whole crew together for dinner that night at an Italian place in Pasadena called Celestino’s. The meal was definitely palletable, and Sean picked some great wines to accompany. Joy got serenaded by the staff after they caught on that she had her birthday last week, and we all joined in with some tasty desserts.
In all, a pretty nice, relaxing weekend. It was nice to remember what warm, sandy beaches are like in the alternate California.