I have to submit my vacation plans a month in advance. This year for my birthday I had wanted to go to Oklahoma City but those plans fell through at the last moment and I had to decide to either postpone my plans at least a month or....decide quick on a plan B.
I chose plan B. I was looking online for artists I like and where they were playing. I came across and EELS show playing at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Badda boom badda bing I made plans and that Wednesday afternoon I was on my way to the City of Angles...errr, Angels.
Originally I wanted to go to see a Dodgers game my first night there but that was not to be. My friends wanted to go to margarita night -- I can't even drink TQ, gives me heartburn so I just downed some beer.
Night two was better.
The EELS show was good, although he did not play two of my favorite songs, HEY MAN, NOW YOU'RE REALLY LIVING or I'M GONNA STOP PRETENDING THAT I DIDN'T BREAK YOUR HEART. He was in town two nights so he must have played them on the first night. Dang it.
From the get-go it was rush rush rush. I am VERY sorry I was not able to visit with everyone I would have liked to but for one thing, I did not rent a car and was at the mercy of friends to drive me and not being one to impose I pretty much had to go where they went. I had wanted to bascially be a tourist. I was at a loss as to what to photograph -- I had lived there almost 20 years and simply did not want to take more pictures of the beach.
It would have been nice to photograph LA in 'my' style but I just did not have the time or means since this trip was not planned in advance. I missed the Grilled Cheese Invitational...can you believe it...mmmmmm melted cheese....
Sadly I was not even able to get to Old Tony's on the Redondo Pier for my favorite, blackened swordfish. I did however try a Kobe Beef hotdog from Jodi Maroni's Sausage Kingdom.....it was ok.
We were rushing around I even forgot it WAS my birthday. Sigh.
As for how it felt being back after a three year absence.... the verdict is still out. I thought I would end this blog with the cliche 'I've come home." But honestly...I can't say that. I felt out of the loop. I've known these guys for ages and it was great to see them but... I dunno. Something was out of whack. Had I rented a car I'm sure it would have been different. We have different friends for different times I guess. They are not the 'blog reading' type so I can write this. Ugh. Spending all my nights there at the bar was not exactly what I had hoped.
Good news though.
As I was sitting in the airport lobby waiting for my flight, I heard: "We overbooked by one seat and need a volunteer....." I went up to the desk and asked about it as I had never done this before and man...I'm glad I did. Instead of flying directly to Albuquerque I would now have to switch planes in Phoenix and it would make me about 40 minutes late. No biggee. My reward: a $300 travel voucher good on any Southwest flight in the next year!!!! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!.
But where to go. Back to LA? Rochester, NY to visit some good friends....Maine??? Nashville??? Dallas??? Birdwatching in Baton Rouge???? Oh man so many choices. I don't have a whole lot of vacation time left however so I'm not sure what to do. I do plan on being back in LA in the late summer/fall for my old roommates birthday...another quick trip perhaps. I'll figure it out.
Meanwhile, enjoy this EELS video. I'm out.