I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Today was the annual December 23 road trip into The Grove in Los Angeles.

Ron was late, a repeat of last year only not quite as late this time. I was ready to go spot on time, as usual, so took a stroll around the neighbourhood where I am staying and took some photos.

While strolling, Ron called and suggested that I drive Ada and myself over to his place as the rental car was just now available and so by the time I got there, he would just need a few moments to get ready and we could leave. That made me suspicious. Why wouldn't he be 'ready' if he was out getting the car? When we arrived I saw that he was in his baggy gym shorts. Which I deduced meant that the rental car was not so much late as he was late picking it up because he was at the gym. I think he's addicted to that place. I did not give voice to either of my suspicions as he toddled off to take a shower and I settled on the patio outside to soak up some rays and enjoy the company.

Once Ron was finally ready to go, the boyfriend was AWOL. Ron made a call and found out he had gone to his shop to deal with an order that had to be UPS'd out. So we waited another half hour or so for him to return. All said and done, our targeted departure time of "9:45 and I promise you we won't be late" ended up "11:40 and why are you in such a hurry to get going anyway?"

The traffic most all the way in was quite heavy and once in LA it was stupid heavy. That delayed us further and when we finally had the car valet parked at The Grove it was going on 4:00. We had also stopped at Ron's sister's on the way to pick up his very sweet mom. This was my first time meeting her and she is just lovely.

Once we were finally let loose from the car, we headed straight to the same Italian restaurant as last year and got a table out on the patio. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and then split up to go shopping. Ron and I went off together so that he could help me with two gifts I needed to purchase, then we met up with everyone and went into the Farmers Market. While in there I was hit with violent cramps and I instantly knew that the French Onion Soup I had eaten at lunch must have contained MSG. It resulted in a miserable two hours for me where I ended up with the rest of our group, now including the Duke and Duchess, at the Whisper Lounge sipping on ginger ale and bitters. Two of those and a few trips to the ladies room, and an hour or so later I was feeling moderately improved. We headed out to Musso and Franks and on the drive over suddenly felt back to normal, where I wanted nothing more than a baked potato with all the trimmings. When it arrived they had whipped all of the trimmings and the potato together and scooped it back into the skin. It was, without question, the best baked potato I have ever had in my life.

Before we left for Palm Springs I popped into a gaudy souvenir (I always have to look that word up to spell it) shop and picked up a few slate themed items - a key chain, a mug, a magnet and a picture frame. What I really wanted was the beach towel I spied there last year but they were all out.

Another fabulous day, MSG notwithstanding.

Because I can't add captions that sit where they're supposed to, here's what you're looking at from L-R: 1)Ron driving the minivan to Los Angeles 2)Matt and Nelson in the back seat 3)The Warner Brothers Lot 4)The Magic Castle, a private club for magicians - Ron is a member 5)Eric, Ron, and Ron's mother Ada 6)Matt, Nelson and Eric's mother Ada 7)The lights just turned on all over The Grove 8)Ron and Mom walk under the lights 9)More lights 10)Ron and Me 11)Musso and Franks

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