Hello, all! I've enlisted my husband to write today's post.
(Please click on photos to enlarge. Thanks!)
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On Friday, the 11th, we decided to in some small humble way celebrate Drea's pre-birthday by visiting a couple of our favorite haunts in Los Angeles. First stop, Shin Sen Gumi in Little Tokyo for a bowl of Hakata ramen with our daughter, Drea's parents, and our friends Brandan and Abby and 3/4 of their fantastic brood. There was no way they could accommodate seating for 10 together during the lunch rush, so we split up and slurped to our hearts' content!
Next, we headed over to The Griffith Observatory to spend the afternoon. The parking situation was dicey, so Brandan and I dropped everyone off at the top of the hill and parked most of the way back down.
The view as always, was spectacular, and my lovely wife has a great eye for capturing it, even with her temperamental phone camera.
Here we have Abby, the kids and Drea's dad all showing variable levels of interest in Foucalt's Pendulum. On second thought, looks like they were just showing variable levels of interest in the camera.
The Pendulum IS pretty cool...it swings.
We caught a show in the planetarium, which was waaaaaaaaaayyyyy cooler than I remember it being for Pink Floyd laser shows when I was 12. It was eye-popping enough for the narrator of the show to warn us of the possibility of minor motion-sickness. Speaking of the narrator, she had a flawless live delivery of the show without the benefit of a script, which was particularly impressive to someone who can't be bothered to remember birthdays and phone numbers. Her voice was eerie in its perfection, and sounded like a robotically-produced scientist's dream of what a planetarium narration would be like without the foolish meddling of flesh and blood humans. Sadly, pictures weren't allowed, and I've half a mind to believe she was actually just a hologram, and wouldn't have shown up in the picture anyway.
We exited through the back of the theater and out to the best view on the hill...
I had planned to go all "Scott Pilgrim" in honor of my wife's birthday and "punch a hole in the moon" for her, but the humorless, short-sleeved, tie-clad and bespectacled guardians would have none of it. Something about tides...I don't know.
Here we have the Hall of Skewered Planets...and Pluto.
If you don't see Pluto, it's growing out of the metal cylinder in the upper-right quadrant of the picture (the small brown ball. Yup, that's it). Who's laughing now, Pluto?!?!?! Truly you've paid for your intolerable arrogance with all the other asteroids in your neighborhood. It was only a matter of time before you got your come-uppance!
I wonder whether Mr. Einstein ever considered himself to be... plushy?
Finally it was time to go, but not without first stopping near the bottom of the hill, at a little place called The Trails, a coffee and fresh baked goods outfit across the road from the trail that leads down from the heights of the observatory. We led the kids on a short hike across the numerous bridges and trails in the deepening twilight, armed with a t-ball bat and phone lights. We saw a couple of coyotes leisurely trotting down the hill, and not much else.
The Trails was a quaint little spot, though they seemed a little standoffish with us as patrons, perhaps because we had children instead of dogs. Oh, well.
It really was a fantastic day, full of little explorations and adventures, wildlife, excellent Hakata ramen, great fellowship with family and friends and most of all, gratefulness for the opportunity to spend a day with and celebrate a beautiful wife, mother, daughter and friend. I love you babe!