1.22.2010

Five guys hit Los Angeles

For the past few days I've been in Los Angeles vacationing with my pals Jonathan, Matt, Dae and Ernesto! It's pretty rare for all of us to be together, but it worked out this time since I was taking Jonathan on his first Disneyland visit, and Matt received his plane ticket to come along as a Christmas gift! Even though there was some pretty awful rain during the trip, we still had plenty of nice weather, too, and nothing could stop us from having a fantastic time.

We started off by browsing the Farmers Market and having a nice breakfast, then headed to Will Rogers State Historic Park to tour the ranch house and hike up to Inspiration Point (great view of the city). After stopping on PCH for a nice sunset, the drunken debauchery began with beer, martinis at Musso & Franks (where we had a great time talking with Manny the legendary bartender), whiskey, and eventually ended up with flaming margaritas and Mexican food. The next morning we were in hangover recovery mode, but we had enough energy for a cool tour of the Egyptian, a classic movie palace that Grauman built before the famous Chinese Theater. After the tour it started raining a little, so I talked the guys into seeing Dumbo at the El Capitan (we loved the organist and of course I cried during Baby Mine). That night we gorged on incredible sushi in Little Tokyo, and we got to drive through the iconic 2nd Street Tunnel used in Blade Runner!

The next day we had lunch in Pasadena at the Pie'n Burger (Ernesto's all-time favorite) and tried to see some horse racing at Santa Anita, but it was rained out. Luckily, Ernesto's sister Eileen who works at the Los Angeles Cathedral offered to give us a tour, which was a perfect thing to do on a rainy day! The cathedral was amazing (she even took us inside the organ works), and when we finished the sun was out again. Finally, we had a quick dinner and then rented a rehearsal studio for three hours of jazz jamming, using Ernesto's beautiful horn arrangements that he had written for the occasion.

The last day was reserved for Disneyland, and I had lots of fun spouting trivia to enhance Jonathan's first visit. The weather was great for the morning and evening, but in the middle of the day there was a downpour that flooded Frontierland and even overflowed the Jungle Cruise. We got to ride the Matterhorn twice in a row in the rain, which is a surreal experience, and for the rest of the day, the lines were totally non-existent. I had never seen absolutely zero wait for Space Mountain before! We had an amazing Disney day ending with Filet Mignon at Blue Bayou and then drinks by the Grand Californian fireplace.

It took forever to decide which of my 400 photos to share, but I think I picked a good selection in three Flickr sets. In addition, Matt has started to post lots of great shots as well (including the timer shot on this post), so enjoy!

View photos: Los Angeles 2010
View photos: Los Angeles Cathedral
View photos: Disneyland 2010
View photos: Matt's Los Angeles