Closing the Distance with an LA Summer

My parents live in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I lived in New York City, I often lost sleep over how much I missed them. The distance was too great, and it burrowed a hole in my heart that let the wind in at night. Since moving to California, the hole has shrunk. I don’t know if it will ever close completely, unless I find myself living in the same city as them one day.  It’s size has greatly reduced though, to where I almost don’t notice it in between visits, as long as the time between visits grows no longer than three or four months.

Recently, we let six months pass between visits, and I once again felt the wind whistling through the hole in my heart at night. It started keeping me awake, so I called parents and told them I was having trouble sleeping.  They hopped in their Subaru and drove the six hundred and eight eight miles to see me in Los Angeles, and spent six days with me leading up to the Fourth of July. I’d been fortunate enough to receive an unexpected three days off work, which, tacked onto the weekend, gave me five full days with them.

It is during visits from out-of-towners that one unearths a real appreciation for Los Angeles and all it has to offer. Every day, we did something quintessentially iconic of this desert dreamland.

Happy Hour at Stout Burger
One of the best burgers in LA. Usually $10 – just $5 during happy hour.

Happy Hour at St. Felix in the EaCa Alley
Hollywood’s First Pedestrian Alley, with sidewalk cafes for the restaurants on the eastside of Cahuenga.

Martinis at Musso & Frank
One of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, and firmly rooted in its founding time, Musso & Frank is famous for their martini’s, but they make a great Manhattan, too.

Wine Tasting and Picnic at Malibu Family Winery
Gorgeous picnic grounds in the Malibu hills.  The wine may not be spectacular, but the experience is.

Happy Hour at Duke’s Malibu
There is no better place to relax over a Mai Tai after a day in the sun and sand.

Levitating Mass at LACMA
A striking site, to see a giant boulder behind Miracle Mile. Brings Canyon Lands to Los Angeles, making a statement about open space and architecture. (There is SO much space in LA!)

Happy Hour at Mohawk Bend
They have a billion craft beers on tap. Seriously, a billion. Plus, a nice patio in which to enjoy them.

Dinner at Masa
The best deep dish this side of Chicago.

Photo by QuarryGirl

Karaoke at Sardo’s in Burbank
This neighborhood karaoke bar is one of my favorite places on earth. It is low-key, it is unassuming, its clientele is wholly comprised of neighborhood locals. Step into Sardo’s and you’re no longer in Los Angeles, you’re in Anywheretown, USA.

My dad and my husband performed “Surfer Bird” and got the only standing ovation of the evening. That’s my dad for you. Watch the video here:

Strolling the Laguna Beach Strand

You can’t get closer to Paradise anywhere. Hawaii? Bah. We have Laguna.

Lunch at Nick’s in Laguna
What is better than a deviled egg? A FRIED deviled egg, that’s what.

Happy Hour on my Hollywood Porch
Who needs to spend any money on happy hour, when one happens to be quite a skilled bartender, and has a lovely porch in the heart in the Hollywood?

War Horse at the Ahmanson
The book came first, then the play, followed by the movie. The play features incredible hand-crafted,  puppeteered horses.  What the play lacks in dynamic storytelling, it makes up for in artistry.

Manhattan Beach for the Fourth of July
Absolutely my favorite place to celebrate the Fourth of July. It becomes quite a drunken ruckus in the evening, but during the day, the beach itself remains fairly calm.  It’s nice to stake out a large spot on the sand, and then, on the way to the bathroom, glimpse the parade of drinking-to-get-drunk post-college kids that peacock up and down the strand.

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