Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grand Canyon Road Trip - PART 3 - Route 66



Jimmy asked if we could drive down Historic Route 66 to stop by some interesting places on our way home.  It would be an hour slower than taking the main freeway, but I was down for an adventure!



My egg's benedict in the sleepy city of Flagstaff, Arizona.  Fuel for our trip!


I made Jimmy drive 20 minutes to get this stupid picture.  It was a good picture in my head with that Arizona sign, the city in the valley and mountains in the background.  But it just didn't translate.  I was being whiney with the heat and passive aggressive and Jimmy, being the wonderful person that he was drove back around for me to snag this.  Silly silly.



This is our first Route 66 stop.  Jimmy took some desert photos which included cowboy hats and a toy horse.  That picture is on facebook.



The roads are windy and narrow.  The route is definitely historic.  There were many abandoned looking lots along the road.




We stopped by Oatman Town which "refuses to die."  A step in time with burros or mules walking around casually.  If it wasn't for tourist cars parked along the road would you think you were on a movie. Set.




Jimmy humors me.










And here we are!  Roy;s Motel and Cafe.  Jimmy took some amazing fashion pictures.  I tried to be his photographer, but failed epically when I didn't noticed wrinkles in his shirt or the button that wasn't buttoned.  He was a bit frustrated with those pics, but happy to get some good shots out it.

I'm glad this place still exists.  It could easily be abandoned, but the cafe is functional.






Route 66 Selfie!  It was so hot.



1149 Miles. 18 hours and 15 minutes round trip.  It might seem inefficient, but it was the best for what we wanted to see.  There were a few Native American monuments one hour from Flagstaff that I was interested in, but Roy's Cafe was much better... oh and being in bed before midnight  is also much better.

Grand Canyon Road Trip - PART 2

Jimmy prepared me for a one hour wait to get into the national park.  The South Rim was the most popular and we were attending during peak seasons, but after driving one hour from our motel we arrived.  This is the first sight of the canyon that I saw.




I wore a camel pack and carried large quantities of snacks and bananas for our trip.  I also had fun with the GoPro.  Those videos to come soon.


 This is a better view.  There were many warning signs:  "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO TO BASE AND COME BACK UP IN ON DAY."  Apparently people die from heat exhaustion trying to do this.  You have to go to the bottom, camp, and then climb back up the next day.  And it always takes at least twice as long to go up.  While going down we noticed the folks traveling upward were out of breath.  They looked dead.  We made it to the first pit stop and decided to call it a hike and started to go back up.  It was approaching lunch time any way and the park had other trails to see.




Jimmy doing some stretches in gift stores.

I tried to memorize the bus lines and plan the hikes that I wanted to do.  After the Bright Angel Trail we hugged the rim to get some shots.  This is where older folks and families would spent most of the time since the Rim Trail path along the top of the canyon was paved and quite a nice stroll.



We avoided the first points because that's where all the tourist were and enjoyed many secluded areas with spectacular views.  I learned that "point" infers that there is a good view.


I caught my bae being a nature photographer.  Planning out his next picture for his Shirtless and National Parks series.





We took a handful of pictures together, but we used his nicer camera and tripod.  This one was taken by another hiker.


This is the closest we got to the edge.  I can still feel myself losing my breath.



It's so massive and unreal.



Our third hike was in another corner of the South Rim in the park.  I wanted to see the OOH AHH Point.  This trail had less people, but it was a bit of a struggle because the sun was directly on us at this point.






These folks made it to the point.  They were hanging out there for a while so we couldn't get on top of the rock.  It's time to go back!





We stopped by Yaki Point that was along the shuttle.  We found the perfect spot.   But we were too early for sunset and really tired so we started to headback.



The food was comforting.  We snagged all American bites and got out of there before it got too dark.



Drive home was a bit creepy.  Not many streetlights, but I got this cool photo.




A recap.  
  • Parked near Bright Angel Trailhead on the left near the blue line.  
  • Had lunch at the Maswik Lodge - mmm PIZZA!
  • Walked along the Rim Trail / Trail of Time indicated by the brown dots and stop at many points to take a ton of pictures.  
  • Arrived at Yavapai Point to learn more about the canyon.  Probably the best view behind glass
  • Took the Gold Shuttle to South Kaibab Trailhead to hike to Ooh Ahh point.
  • Stopped by Yaki Point to get the closing photo which will be posted soon!
  • Found ourselves at Mather Point which is the most crowded lookout spot and missed the sunset.  Jimmy has a few pictures of us lost in the clusterfuck crowd of people
  • Took the blue shuttle back to Maswik Lodge for dinner and to get back into my car
WHEW!  There's a whole Red line that we didn't even touch.  And at the bottom of the canyon there's an amazing suspension bridge... one day!


Grand Canyon Road Trip - PART 1 - Conquering Sedona

Jimmy called me on a Thursday while I was work and said, "get Friday off, let's go to the Grand Canyon."  So I did.  Come with us on our journey through desert heat to arrive one of the natural wonders of the world.

The drive there wasn't too bad.  Jimmy drove most of the time using my car which is newer and gets better mileage than Jimmy's.   We start our trip in the early morning.  Good Bye California, hello Arizona!

GETTING THERE


It was interesting to watch the landscape transform as we drove down what seemed to be endless highway.



SEDONA

We finally arrived at Sedona.  Our first stop!  Jimmy planned to see Cathedral Rock.  AMEN for this sign:





Jimmy prepares for a photoshoot.  It's sexy time.




The area was very picturesque.



We did some hiking.  There was this one point that Jimmy wanted to find, but we didn't know which way to go.  We made a quick decision.  It was getting late, but we travelled all this way so we picked a direction and pushed forward.



The sun was setting so we were getting a bit nervous.  The trail was getting dark as we found ourselves in a forrest.  Then I heard water and suggested that we follow it.  We heard people too!






The Oasis! We did it!  It felt like such an accomplishment.  This picture does not really show how beautiful the area is.  We conquered Sedona!



We rewarded ourselves by eatting at a very popular place called Elote. The wait was 45 minutes and I'm so happy we waited it out. Everything was amazing.



Good Night Everybody!

Eating Out July



July wasn't the best month for food... or at least food documentation.  This is all I found in my cameras.  To compensate I added a little more flavor to my food listings.  Happy eating!

Rock 'N Fish (Manhattan Beach) - When Mony visited I wanted to show him the beach life in LA so I took him to Manhattan Beach.  "It's so white," he declared.  I completely forgot how the percentage of PoCs dropped in this area.  And so does flavoring your food.  VERY overpriced large fish stick and bland, "spicy mac and cheese."  As spicy as my water.. we will be joking about this place for years.
The Bossy Wife (West Hollywood) - We were in the area, why not?  Pretty pricey, but it matched the neighborhood.  I like that this option is available here, but I wouldn't return.  Breakfast and Indomie.
Pa Ord (Thai Town) - A local favorite.  #5 - Tom Yum noodles with pork spare rib and the best crispy pork belly ever.
Tatsu Ramen (Sawtelle) - Though the ramen was one dimensional for my food buddies, my "Naked Ramen was on point.  I'd get this again.
Escala (Ktown) - I blogged about this place.  All about the vibes.
Tatsu Ramen (Sawtelle) - Also got the buns.  It's aiight.
L.A. Chapter (DTLA @Ace Hotel) - It's a hotel restaurant.  But these dumplings were pretty good!
Bourbon Steak (Glendale) - Lobster Pot Pie.  It's a gimmick.  I'd rather go Chinese.
United Bread and Pastry (Silverlake) - This hidden Filipino Grocery and catering place is a hidden gem.  They are known for their Turons - "Filipino snack made of thinly sliced bananas and a slice of jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar, rolled in a spring roll wrapper and fried.  Heaven.  But here is a picture of giant plantains that I thought was amusing.  Places like these are going to be demolished in a few years.  It's sad.
Wexler's Deli (Grand Central Market - DTLA) - Over priced lox.  Yawn.
Cugurt (Los Feliz) - Our new go-to casual Mediterranean place.  Large portions, great flavor and price!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2nd Annual 4th of July in Palm Springs - in GIF Format

The winning group photo

Jimmy finally caught up with his photo editing and posted pictures from Palm Springs onto Facebook.  I snagged a good handful for my blog and realized that there were too many good moments to share.  In order to avoid a long entry I created lower quality GIFs.  lol.   This is the perfect timing as we say good bye to summer....



Andrew and Jlo really did deliver; planning an amazing weekend getaway.  Somehow we crammed 11 guys into a 3 bedroom airbNb.  Not only was the place really cute, but Andrew and Jlo made sure we were fed.  We never had to eat out because these two were constantly slaving away in the kitchen.  They were serving so much good food.

Around the table:  This is where we ate, played games and talked.


Lounging: Sometime times it was hard to relax.  Folks were staked on top of each other.  Andrew and Jlo are trying to figure out a better sleeping arrangement for next year, but everyone was flexible and in good spirits despite the communal sleeping space it seemed.  Of course there was mario kart, karaoke and charades.




Pool time:  The pool was a great size.  Next time I want to look up some more pool games since we spent a large time there that weekend.  But we had a good time just tossing each other around.


Night Swim:  We took advantage of the night heat and stayed wet in the pool



Fireworks!  We celebrated with morning glory sparklers.  Jimmy missed the announcement that we were tossing the used sparklers near the rocks and he accidentally stepped on them burning his foot.  Luckily we had a registered nurse with us who healed him quick enough to go clubbing that evening.


Poolside:  These are some random shots by the pool.  Jimmy thinks he's all cute matching in yellow.  And the hats that I brought really made the weekend fun.  Well, fun for me.


FOOOOD:  I'm not kidding about food.  Andrew and Jlo made us meals the entire time!  It was no joke.  Longanisa, spam, bacon, hamburgers, corn, hotdogs, carne asada.  Others brought curry and Tommy and Martin made French toast with croissants the last morning.  Brilliantly we used up the left over ingredients on the last day for omelets. The only that wasn't used was a giant bottle of jam.  Who eats jam?



WILD THINGS:  This speaks for itself.



Jimmy made a video!
I'm already looking forward to next summer.