Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Week in Vegas and California with Food

10/25: Fly to Las Vegas with hubby, buffet dinner in one of the hotels.

10/26: Hubby and I go on Hoover Dam tour, ending with a stop at Ethel M's Chocolate Factory, one free sample. Yummy dark chocolate. Note the e on the two remaining pieces. It's a rather smooth flavor, not too bitter, melts nicely. I'd eat more. Much more.

Hubby and I went to see Jersey Boys and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dinner followed at Canter's Deli in one of the hotels, then a trip to the top of the Paris Hotel's Eiffel Tower (a weird experience right there). It's about 1/2 the height of the real one in Paris, France and offers a great view of the city. At night, it's especially pretty.

10/27: I indulged in a full massage. Ah..... Hubby and I went shopping at an outlet mall. After a quick dinner, we saw Penn & Teller (we'd seen them 3 times in the '80s), then drove to downtown Las Vegas which I much preferred to the Strip (which is technically in Paradise, Nevada. It was wonderfully lit up and the main street has a canopy with a light show. It's probably dingy during the day, but it's magical at night.

10/28: I fly to Los Angeles to visit my cousins while my hubby stays in Las Vegas. A couple of friends join him there. I have dinner at an Italian restaurant with the cousin I'm staying with (M) and her brother and his wife. These are my mother's cousins. I had ravioli and we had these cute meringue ghosts and I had some of this chocolate cake for dessert.

The ghosts were light and yummy and the cake was rich and yummy.

10/29: M and I went to the Grove shopping area. We had a yummy lunch at Morrell's (I had a meat sandwich), then shopped a bit and walked around. The Farmers' Market is there and I hadn't seen it since my family went to California in 1969 for one of my cousin's Bar Mitzvah. The area sure looks different now. One vendor selling pumpkins got into the Halloween spirit.

After, we had dinner with one of M's cousins and his wife, at another Italian restaurant. I had veal piccata this time. Back at M's house, we watched an episode of Nip and Tuck she'd TIVO'ed.

10/30: In the morning, M and I went to a small park run by the US Park Service near her home to walk her dog. They have a couple of ponds, one of which had a nice sized flock of ducks! I, of course, took pictures. After, M took me to Beverly Hills where we lunched at Nate and Al's Deli. I had the requisite corned beef on seedless rye and kasha varneskes (bowtie pasta), the latter which was almost as good as my grandmother used to make, but there were too many onions. Still, very tasty.

Then M, a friend of hers, and I went to see "Law Abiding Citizen" because M is a big Jamie Foxx fan. The movie was gory, but not as bad as the reviews had led me to believe. Implausible, but that works okay for movies like this which are somewhat reality-based fantasies. However, I figured out what was going on fairly easily, was annoyed by a bit in the beginning (why the hell does someone so smart open the door without checking who is outside?!), and couldn't quite figure out how he was doing things. Dinner at Mr. Cecil's Ribs followed, but I had a hamburger and fries, which were very good.

10/31: I had lunch with my cousin R and his wife. I hadn't seen her in 23 years, soon after they'd gotten married, so it was a real treat. My aunt (R's mother) joined us for lunch in yet another Italian restaurant, Tiramisu, (no pic of the meal -- I had pizza -- but it was the best of the Italian meals so far), then my aunt went home and R, his wife (also an M!), and I went to the newer of the two Getty museums. We had a great day enjoying the museum itself (gorgeous, very open architecture, with a garden) and the exhibits. We were especially taken with the Irving Penn photography exhibit Small Trades, haunting b&w images of people who toiled in all manner of jobs, mostly unglamorous ones and using a platinum printing technique. There's also a hardcover book. R and I are both into photography, so being able to see this exhibit, which ends in January, was good timing. We went to dinner after at a deli with a broad menu and I had Belgian Waffles for a change of pace.

It was great to be able to spend so much time with my cousin. His family moved to California when I was 2, and we've seen each other no more than a dozen times since then, so this was special. And his wife is warm and wonderful.

11/1: Went to M's brother's house (he's also an M, so we'll call him M2 although he's older than M). M2 and I went shopping at Universal City's CityWalk and had lunch at Wolfgang Puck's there.Yup, more Italian food. This time I had one of the best 4 cheese macaroni and cheese meals I've ever had. We did some shopping, then his wife, E, and I went for hamburgers while M2 stayed home (he has back problems, was tired, and is a vegetarian) at Mo's.

11/2: M picked me up at M2's house and drove me to the airport where I met up with hubby who came in from Las Vegas an hour before I did. And I owe it all to the little earplugs to the right. These Earplanes (tested by the US Navy) made flying possible for me again. I was having so much trouble with me ears when I last flew in 1986, even with the pill I was taking to help with the pressure, that I stopped going on trips that required plane travel. I wish someone had told me about these earlier. I had some discomfort and itching, mostly on the trip home which might be because I ended up inserting them too late for the descent (which was 20 minutes past the recommended 1 hour before landing), but nothing like the sharp pains I used to get in the back of my ears.

Feeling: mellow

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