I’ve been trying to plan a hiking day out with Andy and Jen, and after a few years we finally made it out. Too bad i didn’t know what i had gotten myself into. Andy told me to meet him up in Alta Dena for a hike called Mount Lowe Railway which was 2.5 miles of vertical incline.
Decades ago there once lived a sort of vacation spot located up in the hills where you had to take a rail that was pushed by donkeys to get to. There used to be a huge house, even tennis courts, but all that is left is some housing foundation, and some picnic tables. We ate lunch of some bahn mi’s that we picked up in Alhambra, and took a nice long break. Unfortunately for myself that was only the halfway point and our final destination was another 2.2 mile further up.
I was honestly ready to give up, but some how Andy convinced me to keep on trekking onward and upward. Finally reaching the top that was named Inspiration Point. We were greeted with a great view of the smog of the surrounding city. Supposedly on a clear day you can see all the way from Seal Beach to Santa Monica. I was completely wiped out when we finally got back to the car, and i’m probably going to pass on hiking in Hawaii.
Remember is the iPhone 4, not the iPhone 4g.
Joy is still planning to get one, but i’m not. I had a nice conversation with Steve about it the other day, and he was even complaining about the over cost of an iPhone. $199 + ($30 + $60) x 24 months ‰ˆ $2,400. Thats the price without even buying any apps, songs or movies either. It sure is a fun device, and i don’t know if i can have a phone without internet anymore, but i’m sure that i could get on with my life, but i guess i don’t need to take that route quite yet since my phone is still just fine. Its like my car, the longer that i can drive it the higher the cost benefits increase of what i paid for it.
On saturday I celebrated Father’s day a little early to avoid the crowds at dinner but i failed to realize the crowds at the movies. Joy and I treated my parents to a viewing of Toy Story 3 at the Del Amo mall, along with every other couple with a kid or four. My mom commented that she never had to wait in line before, but you never really see lines if you watch a movie at 4pm on a weekday. We actually got good seats even though we were basically in the back of the line to get into the theater. Everyone thought the movie was great, even if i thought it dragged a little and i really have to fight from closing my eyes for a second.
For dinner i made reservations at Paul Martin’s in El Segundo. It was a pretty nice place and thankfully i made reservation because it got crowded really fast. They offered a nice 3 course meal with soup/salad, a 12oz prime rib, and dessert for $30. Of course Joy and I split one, while my mom had one for herself and dad got the brick chicken. None of us finished our meals and were completely stuffed. Happy Father’s day everyone, i know there are a ton of you out there now!
Thursday night the Lakers won the 2010 NBA Championship to win back-to-back rings.
I was a little nervous all day today waiting for tonight’s last game, game 7, and against the Boston Celtics. I wasn’t completely confident that the Lakers were going to win it because all series long was a back and forth boxing match with no one really carrying any sort of momentum into the next game, and some questionable officiating by the refs.
The game really made my stomach turn from the very tipoff as the Lakers were crashing the boards but couldn’t get the ball in the basket. Their outside shots were full of adrenaline and kept banging off the back of the rim. Through three quarters they played out of sync and just couldn’t get any flow going. They were really lucky in the fourth quarter to get the Celtics into foul trouble sending them to the free throw line with plenty of minutes on the clock. Kobe was cold all game, but at least put in the effort to pull down double digit rebounds, and plenty of free throws with minutes left to play. Pau played great and took a beating down low without complaining. Ron Artest made big plays, with steals, defensive stops, and of course a huge 3 pointers at the end of the game. He played so great tonight that it’ll make people forget about how slow he is, how bad he dribbles, and the lack of knowledge of triangle still.
Time to put the Lakers shirt away for another summer, and look for a back-to-back shirt in stores soon.
The new season of Top Chef aired last night, and thanks to my DVR I didn’t have to wait to watch it when i got home from my run. I’ve never really thought about Washington DC of being a foodie city because i don’t remember any contestants coming from the area, and i’m not familiar of any famous restaurants in the city.
There seems to be a lot less punk rock chefs this season, and a lot more serious “i’m not here to have fun” chefs from all all around the US. If i recall from the chef’s bio, there aren’t even any from California, or Las Vegas. After the first episode you can already see who the strongest players are, who are some dark horses, and who are just filler hoping to get some publicity. Angelo Sosa seems to be off to a hot start by winning both the quickfire challenge as well as the elimination challenge with one surprising omission if you didn’t catch it, no immunity from winning the quickfire. I’m not sure if its just a first episode thing or if it’ll be that way for the rest of the season but it looks like the crowd is full of really straight face players and cry babies. I hope someone turns out to be funny or quirky to keep the season fun to watch.
Saturday was definitely an activity filled day for both Joy and I.In the morning i headed to the second Yelp Basketball UYE: June Lunacy to get my game on with my new shoes. I was able to get in about 4 games of full court basketball and worked up a really good sweat. My hands don’t know how to shoot anymore, but at least i could keep up with the younger kids.
While i was out shooting hoops Joy was at Janelle’s baby shower for Naomi. Since its the year of the Tiger, we picked up some Tigger gear at Disneyland a few weeks ago. Janelle didn’t understand the orange at first but got it after explained the connection.
After i got done playing ball, i headed to Jonathan’s to hang out with him, Thomas and the kids. The kids got to play in the house while the dads shared a bottle of Jameson, and some hot dogs.
Earlier in the week i got an e-mail about an invite for a preview dinner at Bite Bar, it wasn’t free but it was only $10 a person. Only service breakfast and lunch, and since we really liked their waffles it was something we wanted to try. We invited Ben and Tiff and met up for dinner in the evening. It was definitely an experience with the ups and down of a restaurant finding its feet, but we got to taste basically everything on the menu. Some of the more interesting items were the pancetta popcorn, artichoke beignets, and jidori fried chicken. At the end they gave us comment cards and we got to fill them out and discuss our entire meal and we got a the feeling of being a judge on Top Chef.
To end the night we went to finish up watching the A-Team. A really good movie if it ended after thirty minutes, and just a good movie if you end up watching it all.
LA Live has been open for a while now, and finally Joy and I made a night out in Downtown LA. We started by having dinner at Lawry’s Carvery for some tasty sandwiches and mac’n cheese. We followed it up by grabbing some drinks at Trader Vic’s and i really wanted to get a tropical drink, but i need to wait till we go to Hawaii. For the finale we went to watch A-Team at the regal theaters and got to watch a really good opening sequence, but had our night cut short when Joy got some indigestion from the drinks. Overall LA Live has a lot of potential of being fun, but only if we were actually going to stay overnight it would be a pretty good time to get drunk and have some fun. The out lying areas of downtown are still not up to late night walking so there’s still a bit of hesitation of parking out in the city, and driving home.
With Joy having to do wedding stuff with her girl friends, i got a few guys together for an early round of golf at Birchhills in Brea. Jimmy, Brock, Brian and I got 18 holes on an executive length course in before 11am. I started off the round pretty well with a few pars in a row, but once my body woke up and realized what it was doing it was pretty down hill from there. I sandwiched a bunch of bogeys and doubles between a few pars so i don’t know really how i felt my game played, but the course had some long par 3s that just didn’t play to my strengths.
It was a good time with the boys, and i’m sure they appreciated the free time away from their kids. It also gave us a chance to discuss this year’s tournament and figure where and what we should do. Now where do we get a three foot trophy that we can put consecutive name plates on for all the years that we’ll play.
I have to be honest i was pretty nervous heading into game one of the 2010 NBA Championship, because i know that the Celtics have been playing much better of late and they did have to go through quite a few tough opponents from Dwade, LeBron and Dwight Howard.
The game started off close, with no team making a big run up until the end of the 3rd quarter. Joy actually said that she doesn’t like the Lakers getting 20 point leads during half time because the Lakers tend to slack off, and of course heading into the 4th quarter holding a 20 point lead, the Lakers looked slow, and quickly gave up 8 points before scoring. Phil Jackson actually took a timeout and when the game started up again, the Lakers turned up the defense and offense and won the game handily.
Noel and Liza celebrated their 10 year of wedded life together by throwing a hawaii themed bbq. They redid their backyard with a custom bbq with a flat screen built in and bamboo wall coverings that really made you feel like you weren’t in Bellflower anymore. I only had a few hours there before Joy and I had a wedding announcement dinner so Brian and I took it upon ourselves to have a little fun. What i didn’t really expect (it was a thought though) was Noel getting completely trashed in the short time i was there. It started with just a few beers, and then i needed to move on the makers mark, and it was all downhill for Noel from that point on. I figured i wasn’t affected so much before i pigged out on, well pig, a whole lechon to be exact, and lumpia, and a burger.
The kids in the family are starting to get so big, and it was the first time meeting Brian’s newest girl Melina, while Brandon is already seven years old. Although Steve wasn’t there i was able to meet the youngest Laranang Koen, and Sariah is definitely growing up to be a beautiful girl.
Check out the rest of the pictures on flickr.