LA - June
We finally got to get a taste of our friend Ket's restaurant in Burbank! We fly to LA the last weekend in June and stayed with him in Pasadena. I actually really loved his neighborhood. A steep hill next to his house that I could run up and down, and best of all - discovered the Rose Bowl jogging trail. Who knew LA could have such beautiful jogging trails with no sound or sight of traffic in view? Now, getting back to the restaurant. It's called Urban Eats and seriously (totally unbiased) had the BEST roast beef sandwich and watermelon "water" I have ever had. Other dishes were just ok, but for his prices you really can't find unique dishes like his anywhere else. They also serve, get this: Panna Cotta. And Creme Brulee. At a salad and sandwich place?! Had a great time with Ket and Linda. You could say we get along well (and Linda jogs at my pace). I realized that weekend that LA definitely has a lot to offer. It's still hard to imagine living with the 2 things I can't stand about that city, though: 1) unpredictable, eternal traffic, 2) smog!
Love to visit, can't see ever living there. Also got to meet up with Neddy for the first time in about 2-3 yrs. Thanks Ket and Linda for showing us your beautiful town!
SEATTLE JULY 4th
We arrived in Seattle to a welcome of thunder and lightning in the sky. I was rudely awakened at 6AM the next morning by booms of thunder outside. Regardless of the crazy weather, I think I still miss the clean, wet air smell after a rainfall. The next morning I went jogging on the trail/park next to Frank and Lynn's house and I was loving the cool air and dew I was breathing in (vs sawdust and pollen in the bay). I do miss that about the Pacific NW. Frank's house was a mansion, of course, for the same price we paid in the bay for 1/3 the size. I got lost in it. I went back to "the Ave" and had some nice reminiscing at Tokyo Garden. Hasn't changed! The Ave has certainly been chain-commercialized, though. There's an American Apparel and Urban Outfitters there now! That would've seriously put me in debt if it was there during '96-00! Don't like American Apparel, though. T-shirts and solid colored shorts for $20? Seriously. Kristena and Tim took us biking, of course. William and I drew blood in the first 30 min. Those clip-ins are seriously dangerous, not to mention the rail road tracks! The fireworks, as usual, were fantastic at Gasworks. Had the best non-MSG laden Pho of my life at Tim's parents house. Yum. Kristena's got some serious skillz with the American food. Gave me some new inspiration with couscous and better methods of cooking that rosemary chicken.
I was telling Kristena and Ed how much I enjoyed hanging out with the Phams and Huyhns. It's very comfortable and we all have similar personalities and interests. We would be a trio of happy married couples if only we lived in the same city! Flashbacks of talks to 4AM with Kristena on the last night. And then she wakes up at 8AM to drop us off at the airport and go bike 30 miles. That's dedication.
I miss them already! Hope to see you all very, very soon.