When Chloe and I made the decision to go to Los Angeles, I called Susan to ask for any suggestions she might have of things to do and places to go. I was thinking shopping and eating locations because that is how my idea of a vacation works. Food and stuff. That's a vacation, right? She suggested one restaurant, one museum, one observatory, and a hike. Learning and exercise on vacation? That's different, but I decided to take her up on it, and Tony was thrilled to find out we weren't going to shop for the entire 72 hours we were there. First thing Saturday morning, we got up and headed to Runyon Canyon for a hike.
The weather was perfectly chilly and cloudy to guarantee we wouldn't melt or burn- Two vital requirements off this treadmill runner's exercise list. It was steep. And dog filled. And SO much fun. It was also great, for the first time in my life, to be in shape and not have to worry about dying on the climb!
Chloe and me at the beginning of the hike.
Chloe running a flat part!
Beautiful views of the city!
(Yes, a sunny day would have made for a better picture, but the cloudy day did better for us!)
From the top
Ok. Let me explain.
Tim has a bad leg so he decided to bring a walking stick.
A walking stick that was a mop in a former life.
And that doesn't explain why my VERY thin brother looks like he weighs 200lbs in this picture.
After we got done with the hike, we headed for coffee, hot chocolate, and showers. We ate breakfast and headed to Justice. So Chloe would stop asking. Three hours later, we left. Okay, it wasn't really three hours, but have you ever been to Justice? It feels like a Black Hole. Well, not a Black Hole. More like a Neon-Welcome-to-the-80s Hole. Chloe did a very nice job of making a few reasonable selections, and we left about an hour later. (I also discovered that I can wear Justice's size 18. Not sure why I am mentioning that, but there it is.)
Chloe. At Justice. With a C pillow on her head.
enduring shopping at Justice, we headed for lunch at Cafe Gratitude. Susan suggested this vegan restaurant as some place I might enjoy. I was thrilled with the idea, and I couldn't wait to try it. And, I was certainly pleased with the trip!
Our starter- homemade guacamole with homemade flax crackers.
I don't normally eat flax, but the waitress recommended these, and I couldn't resist.
(A photo aside: I am not the only person who leaves the little plastic cover on her cell phone.
Ha. So there, Tony!)
This is not a picture of Tim and Susan. This is a picture of Antonia from Top Chef. I know she's not a celebrity to everyone, but I was beyond excited! (And, no, I didn't talk to her. And, yes, this is the only stalker picture I took.)
My meal: I am Awesome.
That's really what's it is called, and it is the perfect name. I struggled for a while trying to decide what I wanted to order. My default options were Mexican or something quinoa based because you can't go wrong with those. At the last minute, I decided, "No! I will not order something default-y!" I looked over the menu again, and that was when I saw Awesome.
From the menu:I AM AWESOME Herb-cornmeal crusted eggplant parmesan on grilled Panini bread with marinara sauce, cashew ricotta, sliced heirloom tomatoes, arugula and basil. Served with a side salad 11 Add hemp seed pesto 2
I knew it had to be Awesome because it's forbidden. I'm allergic to cheese. I've avoided all cheese-potential foods for 15 years. BUT, this place is VEGAN. There is NO cheese. I didn't even have to ask the waitress to double check. There. Is. No. Cheese. "Yes, Ma'am, Give me Awesome!" And it was perfect. And yummy. And non-migraine causing. Awesome! (I understand that those of you without allergies or weird dietary things can't understand these emotions, but for those of you who can, you get the euphoria!)
Chloe and me at Cafe Gratitude. Me wearing the scarf that Aunt Susan let me borrow, and I took home as my own. Thanks Aunt Susan! (She said I could!)
We left Cafe Gratitude and headed to LACMA. Much to my surprise, Chloe was absolute that she was going to LACMA. I'm not sure she's ever been to an art museum, or any museum. She wasn't interested in the observatory, but she was going to LACMA. Ok. So we went. And we loved it.
Levitated Mass with Uncle Tim.
Look how strong she is!
Chloe in the artsy spaghetti. I don't "get" it, but she loved it.
(She's sporting her orange membership badge, because all children under the age of 18 can be members for free.)
Americana art. Didn't catch the exact name, but you should be impressed with the picture.
This is Metropolis II. The whole reason for the visit.
Aunt Susan, Chloe, and Uncle Tim
We left LACMA (too early according to Chloe; too late according to the LA parking authority) and headed back to Tim and Susan's to change for dinner. One of their favorite spots is Nook. and Chloe and I were excited to try it.
The restaurant is located in the back corner, or nook, of a strip mall.
Hot boiled peanuts come to the table while you wait.
They were yummy, but rural Georgia has them beat!
For dinner, I ordered roasted squash and chickpea stew with a side of roasted cauliflower.
The stew was so good, but the roasted cauliflower was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Had I know it was going to be that good, I would have gotten 2 orders. So good. I'm a cauliflower lover anyway, but it was so, so good. I would have taken a picture, but one bite in I was obsessed with eating it. Very good. Booking my next reservation now. After we finished our entrees, the waiter (a super friendly, super helpful waiter!) brought the dessert menu. The ladies took one look and new what had to be done.
We had to head back to Sprinkles because sometimes you just need a cupcake. Or two nights in a row, you need a cupcake. And, this time with did the Sprinkles ATM. A cupcake in an ATM. The perfect marriage.
Making my selection.
Waiting for delivery! (In the screen is the ATM cam!)
Vegan Red Velvet Success!!