Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving with Rover and Cal

George and I spent this long Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Los Angeles. Our friends Rover and Cal invited us to their annual Thanksgiving potluck at their amazing home. We also stayed with them for the rest of the weekend. Please feel free to click on the following photos to see them enlarged.

We stopped in Victorville on our way to L.A. to gas up the car and enjoyed a little ice cream.

It was raining in Los Angeles just before we arrived. These are the leftover storm clouds over El Cajon Pass.

Invited guests brought an array of different foods, desserts and drinks for the Thanksgiving potluck. About 20 people sat around a beautiful appointed banquet table and feasted on delicious pumpkin soups, salads, turkey, dressing, casseroles and other delectable dishes. The list of a variety of foods went on and on. There was lots of laughter, singing and lively conversations. Rover and Cal’s friends are a very eclectic group of people, living a bohemian way of life. Since almost everyone is either an artist, performer or musician, this wonderfully intellectual group is full of live and knows how to celebrate.

Rover and little Connor provided the right beat and joined James on the piano for some sing-along.

James is giving little Connor some advice how to make some noise.

The kitchen always provides some conversation fodder.

Cal and Thomas are relaxing after an amazing Thanksgiving feast.

The following day started with a scrumptious breakfast, cooked by our most gracious host Rover. Around noon George and I were heading towards the Pacific to spend the afternoon in Santa Monica. The partly clouded sky casted a spectacular scenery over the ocean. What a dramatic background. Every once in a while the sun would peek through the clouds and dip the Palisades into this amazing light.

George always enjoys our walks along the Pacific Palisades in Santa Monica.

Along the Pacific Palisades.

And there was actually some sun as well. This is L.A. after all. Quick, get the camera. Smile and say Cheese!

After a nice and simple dinner at Coogies on Santa Monica Boulevard, we took our time driving through Beverly Hills and West Hollywood toward our final destination in downtown L.A., the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center to see this:

The Tony Award winning musical made a stop in L.A. on its national tour.

The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles with the Walt Disney Concert Hall, George with the Ahmanson Theatre in the background and the Dance Door bronze sculpture.

George and I at the Music Center Plaza.

We bought tickets a while ago to see the award-winning musical “Spring Awakening.” We always loved the songs, but to see the whole play unfold and perform live on stage was amazing. What a great cast. George and I are so glad we were able to see it.

Saturday turned out to be the most perfect day. Sunny, no clouds and with spring-like temperatures. We invited Rover and Cal to come with us and George’s brother Thomas to Six Flag’s Magic Mountain. Before we were all ready to head on over to ride some of the greatest and craziest roller coasters on this planet, Rover had to make a stop at the Pasadena High School Theater where he was preparing the sets for the upcoming performance of “The Crucible.” Since Rover comes from a theater background, he’s lending his expertise to build the stage props and will help the kids learn how to set up the stage and the lighting.

On stage with Rover and Cal, inspecting the progress of the set for the play at the high school theater.

Some of the old and newer rollercoasters at Six Flag's Magic Mountain.

Impressions of the "X-2" rollercoaster, the world's first 4th dimension thrill ride.

Cal, Thomas, Rover and George impatiently waiting in line to finally get on the "X-2" ride.

The "Viper" with multiple drops, twists, loops and corkscrews.

After hours of being twirled, swung and looped around on these crazy coasters at Magic Mountain, we decided to have a dinner at one of those last remaining old-fashioned hamburger stands in Pasadena, called “The Hat.” Junk food at its finest. The best Pastrami Burgers, grilled Cheeseburgers and Tuna Salad Sandwiches one can think of. With a mountain of Chili Cheese Fries, Onion Rings and Jalapeños. And of course buckets of sodas. We don’t eat like this very often, but when we do we really enjoy this. And boy...did it taste good.

Then we were off to Hollywood to see this:

The marquees of the historic El Capitan movie palace and the relatively new Disney's Soda Fountain & Studio Store.

We purchased tickets early on to see the newest Disney flick “Bolt” at one of our most favorite movie palaces of a by-gone era, the El Capitan. Before the movie, Disney had a little Broadway-esque Christmas show which was performed live on stage. As expected from Disney, it was corny and cheesy but very cute. The computer-animated feature “Bolt” was presented in digital 3-D, which made the film that more special. We all loved the film. It was very well executed, really funny and the Hamster character Rhino was just downright hilarious. We can highly recommend this film.

As all good things eventually come to an end, so did our little Thanksgiving excursion. Late Sunday morning we were on our way again back home to Las Vegas. What a great time we had. Even more so thanks to Rover and Cal.

We always do with these two.

No comments: