Sunday, January 8, 2012

christmas 2011 in LA

this year christmas was a much needed break for jen and me. what is typically a busy stress filled week of driving, flying, eating-bad-food-as-fast-as-you-can-so-you-can-get-on-to-the-next-house, sleeping for a few hours and staring all over again... was anything but.

we headed to los angeles this year.  yeah i know, LA weather for christmas, not right.  but honestly, atlanta chritsmas weather is about the same, but in LA we had the beautiful santa monica mountains to our east, the pacific to our west and family and bad ass restaurants in between. right out of the gates, landing the tuesday before, we stop at in-and-out burger for a couple double doubles. could this trip start any better?
entertainment for the in between eating moments, remote controlled helicopters. yes, i am a child...  no, i don't want to grow up and yes, that is a draft beer tap coming out of the counter with a painting of 'sloth' from goonies behind it.  just try to imagine a better setting for me to reset my engine.
aside from catching up with loves ones our mission for this trip was to eat at as many restaurants on my hit list as possible.  first up, animal.  all i can say is, GO.  the flag ship restaurant of chefs, jon shook and vinny dotolo is every bit as good as you may have heard.  crispy pigs ears with chili, lime and sunny side up egg, unreal.
our list for this trip: animal, son of a gun, lukshon, waterloo and city, a-frame, mb post and jonnie's pastrami. i'd say we did well for the holiday.

time for recess.  jen heads out with my brother scott for her first motorcycle ride. can't think of much better ride than his fully overhauled 2007 triumph bonneville to a custom, blacked out, bratt bonnie. if you are into bikes, check out for a play by play on scotts labor of love.
a toast! to family, near and far, past and present.   it's tradition in the family that christmas eve scott puts out a spread of snacks in honor of our grandmother.  kids are to excited to sit down and eat dinner the night before santa arives, so plates full of bbq meatballs and all sorts of goodies are laid out for us to do a fly-by on in between viewings of elf and toy helicopter missions.
ah the beach!  christmas morning we have a quick breakfast and head out to the beach for some bocce ball and wine.
christmas dinner.  ham, buessles and stuffing.  scotty's now famous sweet potato cheese cake.
a chistmas elf and a sleeping old friend.
a sunset with family.  thanks scott, blair and cora for hosting us all, what a great week.