[Ed. note: I meant to publish this before the crazy weather hit us and we lost power and evacuated. I couldn’t get my work done. And I lost to my wife in Scrabble. Badly.]
On Saturday, we woke at a non-vacation time and headed to Santa Monica to do the stairs one last time. It was sheer torture. We were both still very sore from our prior stair workout but Heather was compelled and I wanted to see if the workout would perhaps make the rocks in my thighs and calves feel any more loose. I was so wrong.
Heather did 10 sets and I did 7 sets. Each set is approximately 180 stairs down and then 180 back up. Heather did 3,600 stairs and I did 2,520. And we paid the price. We both limped the rest of the trip and made horrible pained sounds when doing things like stepping out of the car or going up or down a curb. Still, it felt great to hit those stairs again, if only to realize that I need to turn it up at the gym.
We were up early enough to get back to the hotel to clean up and head out to one of our favorite La Brea haunts where we shared our second meal together back in 2001. So good. We had planned to head downtown, take pictures and then head to Venice for more photos and dinner. After walking around the Walt Disney Hall and then downtown in 99° F weather, we were looking forward to being closer to the ocean and cooler temperatures.
On our way toward Venice, we got hit in a mini fender bender. In response to one of the comments on flickr who had mentioned in regards to the rental car, “don’t drop it!” The accident wasn’t my fault. Really. We were nearly t-boned, but I was able to speed up and veer away so that it was just a bump and scrape. Had we had a lesser vehicle, the damage would have been far worse and Heather would have likely been severely injured. I credit my cat-like reflexes and the responsiveness of the car for averting a disaster. Heather has suffered some neck pain (probably whiplash), but no one was hurt and honestly, given how responsive that car was, Heather’s neck pain is probably also due to the acceleration and braking missteps on my part. A sports car is far more sensitive than the SUV.
We decided to head back to the hotel to rest, recover and so I could make all the insurance and rental agency calls in an air-conditioned environment. We got a great tip from a reader on a restaurant on La Brea, just a few blocks from where we had lunch! It was just what we needed. I had forgotten how nice it is to eat outside in Los Angeles. LA gets a bad rap for the smog and traffic, but the restaurants we went to were not expensive, had great service and the food and wine was stellar. Sure, the traffic blows, but damn, we ate well.
I miss Los Angeles all the time. While the weather was extreme during our visit, I remember walking Chuck at night wearing summer clothes, flip flops and a hoody. In November. I remember the energy and vibe when the sun is setting and the evening is about to begin. It’s wonderful. However, now that we are parents of a human child, Los Angeles would be a different city for us day to day. It wouldn’t be impossible, but we’d not get out like we did on this trip. Knowing this made the trip all the more enjoyable and wonderful.
I’ve got a few more photos of the trip which I’ll be posting that can be seen in my Los Angeles set on flickr.