Monday, November 29, 2010

At the Griffith Observatory

And so on Sunday my little sister, two of her daughters, and I headed towards Griffith Park in Los Angeles to re-visit the Griffith Observatory, a place that we had not visited in over 30 years. My sister told me that she is really liking visiting these places and that she enjoys when I go cause we to spend so much time together.

Oh yes, we did have a long walk up the hill.

Now for those of you that never been there, the observatory is not only free to the public but it's actually a must visit place. Not only do you learn about our solar system and our stars but you also experience a close encounter with nature. The observatory sits on top of the hill and from it you can see the Los Angeles skyline, Hollywood and if you really open your eyes you also see the ocean.

And of course we had to have the famous Hollywood sign behind us.

Her turn. We thought the Hollywood sign wouldn't even show but it did.

The telescope.

My nieces stealing my show.

I was lucky enough to be there when the sun was setting down and you know how much I love sunsets. Give it a few minutes and then you see the city on a whole different level as it comes alive with millions of lights.

L.A. sunset.

We left and headed towards the car which we had to park a good mile down the hill as the parking lots were all full and still hundreds of people were heading up with little lanterns in hand just to see where they were stepping. The observatory closes late but even if you don't go inside just viewing the city from the parking lots is totally worth the trip.

This is what you can see from the top of the hill.

By this time hunger had already set in and I suggested (please don't be surprised) to go eat tacos. We were going to find a restaurant in Los Angeles but my niece, the one that stayed behind said she would meet us so we decided to go back to West Covina and ate at the now famous (at least through my tales) Rambo's Tacos. For me if I don't go to Rambo's at least once while in that area I'll come back feeling like something was missing.

Ummm que rico!

I really, really, really enjoyed my time there with my sister and my nieces. They always go out of their way to make me feel welcome and to bribe me to come back soon. We cram so much in just a few hours but then again that's what vacationing is all about.

Have a few minutes the follow this link, my sister puts out these really nice slide shows and this one pretty much has the whole weekend in it.

Thanks to my California familia for the great time and I'll see some of you soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekend in Cali. Part III

Saturday morning was pretty nice. I got picked up by my lovely niece and she took me to the closest Mimi's Cafe for breakfast. This particular one was in the City of Whittier. It was cloudy when we left but by the time we got a table and were sitting down it started pouring outside. If you never been to a Mimi's Cafe make an effort to go. Not only the food has always been great every time I've been there but the ambiance is wonderful.

Isn't she lovely?

We spent a couple of hours there and then we headed back to my sister's. I then decided to go visit my brother in law and his family. I called and he said he would only be there for another ten minutes and then he was going to Sacramento to do a job. So I booked it and got there just in time to say goodbye.

I had promised my niece that the next time I went there I would take her out so after picking her up from a job interview we started the hard task of deciding on where to go. Half an hour later and we still had no planned destination so I suggested to call my niece again the one that took me out for breakfast for suggestions. She immediately said just go to Downtown Disney. Ha, that was easy.

We decided on a quick stop to my sister's to pick up her camera and while there also invited yet another niece of mine. First she said no as she was catching up with homework and stuff but fortunately decided to go with us. So half an hour later she was ready and we were on our way.

My dates and I arriving at Downtonw Disney.

It had been over 30 years since I last was in the Disney area so I thought that was the perfect place for us to go. We were all hungry so the first stop was for food. We went to the Rainforest Cafe and what a good decision that was, this place was fun and the food was good.

Food time!

Back at my sister's it was a sort of take it easy night. We decided to just watch movies and upload all the images we had on the camera to the computer.

They love me, they really love me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend in Cali... Part II

Friday was spent mostly at my sister's house because she had a job interview (pray she gets the job) so I did a little blogging and rested from the night before. When she finally came back we got ready and left for the City of Monrovia where every Friday night on Myrtle street they have a fair and many vendors sell their products. The restaurants are plenty busy and many of them with live entertainment, from a single guy playing his guitar to a full four and five member band.

The Heart of the Community

Monrovia's Old Town is the heart of the community.

It's where Monrovia began. It's where Monrovia gathers today for civic events, for parades and for the Family Festival street fair and farmer's market...

Every Friday night, from March through to Christmas, thousands of residents and visitors alike mingle at the largest street fair of its kind in the state, with craft and food booths, kiddie rides, a certified farmer's market, live music and more.

Old Town is where the entire region comes for shopping, dining and entertainment in a unique atmosphere.

Myrtle Avenue's shops and restaurants, it's 12-screen movie palace and its small-town ambiance, combined with plenty of free parking, draw shoppers and diners alike. But small businesses thrive above the shops as well, and people live in condos and flats within Old Town, making it a living community, a safe and people-friendly neighborhood.

It was easy to spend some time there and it would have been easier to spend some money too if I had taken any. So many un-needed that I would like to have just for the heck of having them. Yep! Smartest thing to do when you go to places like this is to unload yourself of money before you go. Je, je, je, that could also be called being cheap.

Lions and tigers and Joe Cools oh my! We came to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Monrovia

As usual the picture snapping was more than enough for me, and with the night being a bit on the cold side it felt good walking around with the jacket zipped all the way up.

Coolest hats/scarfs if you ask me.

My tocayo Fidel and I.

Scenes from Myrtle street's fair.

A couple of hours later we headed towards The City of Commerce where we met Lucio, Rafa, and the rest of Chely's gang at the restaurant Casa Cabral for some more karaoke. The night went pretty good and as always we had a blast but note to self, DO NOT share your tequila with your light weight sister, enough said. :)

Be smart, just say NO!



Chely y Ana.

My little sister and I.

For the second night in a row we stayed up late or should I say early as we finally came back to my sister's house at 3:00 a.m. in the morning.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend in Cali... Part I

But... Can I rest first?

My little sister and I.

So I am driving down I-10 with the cruise control set at 82 mph and I see some lights approaching fast, I expected a fast European or similar car to pass me instead a freaking Yaris passes me doing like 90 something miles per hour.

Still on the same highway, a different set of lights approach fast, this time it has got to be a Beemer, or Mercedes cause it's coming fast and then, a beat up first generation Chrysler mini van passes me doing nearly a hundred miles per hour, what the heck? Fools starting to make me feel like the slow poke of the road. So on a WTF kindda moment I disengaged the cruise control and just lightly tapped on that gas pedal under my foot and in no time my pony was for the first time seeing the road blur pass it. Yep, it is decidedly fast. Needless to say I left Phoenix at 15 minutes to 5:00 pm and got to La Puente at 9:00 pm, but don't panic I did not become the speed racer of the road, its just that California is an hour behind us.

Almost two hours away from my destination I get a phone call, it's my sister asking where I am? "I just passed Morongo" I told her. Hurry up cause Lucio just called and we are going out. So I got to La Puente and my niece was already waiting for me with a coffee (well almost) and after like a whole minute rest and a dog massage we were ready to hit the town.

When in need of a massage I even hire the dog to do it.

A car honked and we knew our ride was here, the horn had that European sound to it and sure enough a nice shinny white Jaguar S-type was parked in front of my sister's house. Oh wow, "You had me at hello". No I would not trade my ponies for a cat but I would gladly add one of these to my garage.

Picked up in a Jaguar complete with chauffer. What a life!!!

In no time we were in the City of Downey at a restaurant called La Perla del Mar. They had karaoke of course which is why we went there to begin with. After a few beers I felt I was singing good which is too much to say as most of the singers there were very, very good. No amateur night here, almost all the guys and girls there really belted the songs out sounding very good.

Singing at La Perla.

We left the place at closing time and then headed to put some gas. A Norm's restaurant was across the street and all of a sudden everybody decided that they were hungry... Eh-Q-me weren't we just at a restaurant. lol

Eh-Q-me! I was demoted to pumping gas. The nerve!

Finally got to my sister's house at 5:00 am. I went to bed and not even 5 minutes later my phone's wake up alarm goes off. My sister comes out of the room and asks, "What is that?", Oh it's just my alarm waking me up to tell me it's time for me to get up and go to work.

Ana, Lucio, and Chely.

Chely and Ana.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last Road Trip of the Year.

There is always the goosebumps and the anticipation before I hit the road and today it's no different. In just a few more hours I will be hitting the road in what will be my last road trip to California this year.

This is sort of a prelude to Thanksgiving, first because I have 10 glorious days off from work, and second because my little sister won't be able to come join us here in Phoenix and her girls will be spending the holiday with their dad, so once again we will have all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to go out and explore, then I'll be coming back home on Monday.

I am sure we will be visiting new places and or places we haven't been to in a long time. As you remember back in my August trip, we went down memory lane and cruise by our old neighbourhood, schools, and we went to the Staples Center, the Pomona Antique Row and the Chinese Buddhist Temple.

So I am sure some new adventures and places await for me this time. One thing is for sure, whatever I do and wherever I go you'll probably will experience it with me through all the images that we will most likely capture and that I will gladly post here in my blog and probably on facebook as well.

As always, I welcome any ideas or suggestions on places to visit keeping in mind of course that it's always on a tight budget, so do not send me to Disneyland or Magic Mountain because those places are already scrateched off the list. lol

So, I can't wait to hit the road. I will do my best not to stop so much and to maybe shorten my trip time by at least an hour. Yes, my new pony is fast but once again I'll probably set the cruise control at a confortable speed and just let it get there when it gets there. What's my motto when I travel? That's right, the getting there is always a big part of the whole trip.

So stay tunned as I let you know where I went and post some pics. In the meantime may you all have a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ABC Wednesday

Letter "R"

Ummm let me see, my photo gallery is so limited these days that it's hard for me to come up with something good for ABC Wednesday.

This was one of those days this past summer when we got caught in a torrential rain. It came out of nowhere and the visibility was almost zero. Matter of fact many drivers actually pulled to the shoulder and stopped fearing an accident. Well some were not so lucky as on this particular day there was a huge car pile up in this same freeway caused by the poor visibility.

Rain... And lots of it!

Je, je, je. What do you do when you go into a corn maze and you can't find your way out? Yep, you lay on the corn and just rest until the rescuers come to find you. In my case it wasn't necessary, I had some good guides that saved me.

Rest... And lots of it.

On this particular picture we were on our way to the "Love Ride" in California. Here I am RESTING at a gas station in Cathedral City but ready and eager to keep riding. For this particular day my destination was West Covina.

Riding... And lots of it.

This is definitely one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed. We were on a weekend gateway to Puerto PeƱasco known here in Phoenix by all as Rocky Point.

Rocky Point, Mexico.

So there you have it, some R's for you to enjoy... or not.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My New Buddy

So it was time for me to finally upgrade my phone. I am still not a big phone user but I have taken to the text craze fairly well. No I don't text while driving, that is so, so freaking dangerous, but while at work and on my leisure time I do text and I text a lot. I kindda laughed when my sister got mad because I texted her a "K" to acknowledge her text citing that a text with only a "k" is a waste of text.
I upgraded my phone and I now feel sophisticated and important.

Then she went on to tell me she only had 200 texts, so naturally I asked per day right? She said no for the whole month and 100 need to be outgoing so that meant she only had 100 incoming, Wow! I thought to myself, I send 200 texts in about two days and receive just as many. The funny thing is that my carrier is a generic carrier
and for $46.00 a month I had unlimited calls, unlimited texts, unlimited long distance at any time, and a bunch of other services that I probably don't use. Well, my new plan is $55.00 a month for unlimited everything and my new phone is definitely pretty cool.

I went with the Huawei Ascend (The Huawei Ascend features a 3.5” HVGA touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel fixed-focus camera, EV-DO Rev.A, and Android 2.1.) and right now we are getting to know each other. I try to spell everything correctly when I text, none of this texting lingo kids use, but this phone is not cooperating. It is going to be inevitable that in many cases if you get a text from me you'll have to decipher it.

In any case, I think I will get used to it really quick. I like it and it works good. Facebook? No problem, GPS? Of course, I get all the services that you my dear friends paying over $100.00 a month and limiting yourselves to minutes and such get except I pay a lot less.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally It's The Weekend

Come and eat at my place.

Today after work I'll be going to a funeral, a friend of mine lost his mom and even though they already expected it it's still hard I'm sure. So if you are the praying kind please include him and his family in your prayers.

But then after I get home I will start enjoying my weekend. The weather in Phoenix finally changed and as I expected it was drastic. Last Saturday I washed my white Mustang, poor car was so dirty from being parked in the garage for so long that it took me almost four hours to clean it but I gave it and throughout makeover kindda car wash. It was sunny and hot and yes by the time I finished my back had a good dose of sunburn, and of course smart me wore no sunblock. Ouch!

Monday the car looked so good that I drove it to work with the top down, all I needed was a light jacket and I was on my way, then the very following day the temperature dropped so much that all of a sudden it feels like winter and there's no way I would drive the car with the top down in the morning, the afternoons however are a different story.

Today it's so cold (By Phoenix standards. I know cold for us Phoenicians is t-shirt weather for some of you back east) that I am wearing a sweat shirt and a jacket, brrrr and if you plese give me a second I'll be right back I'm going to turn my little space heater on.

Cold weather calls for hot chocolate, sweet bread, good movies, and a cover, and soon I'll be enjoying those yearly wonderful Christmas movies I love so much, while lounging on the couch. I love it, can't wait!

Chocolate Abuelita. Ummm que rico!

Image borrowed from the Internet.

After today I am only working four more days and then I'll be out on vacation for ten glorious long days. There's so much I want to do but not enough moulla to do it, so what should I do? Where should I go? Whom should I visit? I am taking suggestions starting... NOW!

The alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see. ~Author Unknown

In the meantime while I think and decide on what to do for my vacation I also need to decide what to cook tonight. Monday and Friday are two days I cook for me, as all the other days I eat with my mom and the weekends sometimes I eat out. I've been experimenting with cooking meals I had never cooked before and I am pleasantly surprising myself because I am not a bad cook at all. I have recipes flying in my head that are dying to get out of there and be tried. Ummmm what to eat tonight? I don't know yet but I am sure it will be muy rico!

Well, I'm diggin this new look my daughter gave my blog and I hope you are too. Have a terrific weekend.

OK maybe the hot chocolate will come after a couple of these. lol
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