October 15, 2019

Ate. Drank. Won.

That's the short and sweet of the weekend we just spent in Los Angeles. We snagged $19 airfare on Frontier, which made our trip out there cheaper than the 15 mile Lyft ride from LAX to our hotel. I think the flight was shorter too. I booked the Sheraton Grand hotel via Hotwire. It has superb location in the heart of DTLA. It was perfect! Walking to the Staples Center was a breeze and having the Metro stop right there connected us to the rest of LA with ease. There is a cool lounge on the third floor with water feature and firepit.

Seven Grand was our first stop on Friday night. What a cool spot! We love a good whiskey bar and this did not disappoint. I mean, anywhere with a whiskey bible on hand is pretty promising. Though, I must admit we were a bit surprised that they were out of stock on Angel's Envy Rye.

Next, we wandered over to La Cita for Punky Raggae madness. It's a great dive bar with a solid margarita. We were mislead, as there was no punk or raggae. Still, the margarita made the stop worthwhile and the patio was cool.

Frank discovered a new spot named the King Cigar Lounge. It is far superior to others we've frequented in the area. This place is bright, clean and has fantastic location to LA Live and the Staples Center. They offer public, private and patio lounges with a great selection of sticks.

No trip to LA is complete without pastrami from Langer's Deli. We were only one metro stop away so we went twice. I mean when it's good, it's good. It's an institution for a reason.

We found ourselves at Ritz Carlton's pool for the view, a cocktail and lack of a crowd. While Kings fans were gearing up for their home opener. It was nice of them to welcome us - Go Knights Go!

We also grabbed a scoop at Salt & Straw. A must whenever we are nearby. They are currently showcasing spooky flavors. All were better than expected. Although, I wasn't able to try the most interesting flavor with chocolate crickets and candied meal worms. I don't know if my allergen translates to a food allergy, but I figured it was best not to find out. The Coffee Bourbon is too hard for me to resist anyhow.

We took the Metro to Hollywood for dinner at Cleo. They have closed the Vegas location, much to our dismay, so we thought we'd get a fix. The menu varies a bit and the dishes we knew and loved didn't really deliver. It was not a loss, however. We loved the crispy cauliflower with blue cheese tahini and the eggplant chips!

We stopped at Lost Property for a night cap before returning back to the hotel. We had a date with old friends. El Camino, anyone?

Sunday was dedicated to sports. It was a shame, though, that bars at LA Live don't open until 10AM. They must hate money because it was a seriously missed opportunity. There were so many fans dressed up with nowhere to go. We thought we'd give Tom's Urban a try. Thankfully, they opened before the posted time of 11 o'clock. There are many TV's but we weren't too thrilled by the experience. We opted to find somewhere else at half time of the early games. We came upon Dublin's Irish Whiskey Pub. It was far more our speed. We were content the rest of the afternoon. Great beer and whiskey selection! The Shepard's Pie was pretty good too.

Hockey was the main event Sunday night. We had tickets at center ice. Not as many Knight's fans traveled for this game compared to others we've seen on the road, but we had a great time and we were thrilled to earn a win, kicking off a streak after some tough losses.

Monday, we ventured outside DTLA for some sights and fun. We took the Metro to Santa Monica. It's been more than decade since we've been so we figured it was time to revisit. I cannot recommend it. Though, we did enjoy a light lunch at Meat on Ocean.

We bailed after grabbing a bite. We called a Lyft to El Segundo. Sometime you should just stick to what you know & love. I dropped Frank off at daycare - teehee - and made my way to Sausal. Which has become tradition.

After a margarita and fish taco, I felt a bang-bang was in order. Any Louie CK fans, remain? It was a great episode that introduced me to the gloriousness of a double dinner. After settling my Mexican cravings I walked over to the Slice and Pint. We discovered it on a previous trip. They play good tunes, serve up tasty slices and offer an impressive tap list. As they should, since they are also the folks behind El Segundo Brewing. I knew I made the right choice immediately upon seeing this sign.

Talk about Oktoberfest dreams coming true. I washed down the amazing slice, with a banana wheat hefeweizen.

It was the perfect end to a fantastic trip.

October 10, 2019

Downton Abbey Exhibit

Did you watch the show? How about the movie? I am a big fan. I mean who doesn't love the Crawleys?! So, when I got caught in the rain in Boston I sought out indoor attractions. Low and behold, there was a limited engagement Exhibit featuring sets from the show, costumes and props.

Tickets were $30 and I had no problem purchasing last minute. Immediately, upon entering you are transported to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. It was a great teaser to get reacquainted with the show while waiting on the film.

I applied for a position at the Crawley abode. It seems I'm well suited for Lady's Maid. Fingers crossed.

Your seat is waiting.

October 8, 2019

Wicked Good Times in Boston

We kicked off summer travels with a trip to Boston. Frank had flown out ahead of me for work. Just like my first visit over Labor Day weekend, last year, I took Spirit's red eye on a Friday evening. I opt for the exit row upgrade and sleep as much as possible. The flight arrives at 6AM and allows a full Saturday to take in the sights.

We've stayed at the InterContinental on the waterfront and the Hilton Back Bay most recently. Both are great hotels, near all sorts of attractions. The best part of Boston is that it is such a walkable city. Plus, I love how quiet it is in the heart of the city with so many green areas; thanks, to the Big Dig.

Last trip, we settled the great debate of Mike's or Modern - Neither, if you ask me. Harpoon Brewery and their killer pretzel was more my speed. For the record, Frank thinks the cannoli's at Caffe dello Sport (also on Hanover St) are superior.

We did a duck tour and familiarized ourselves with the typical tourist attractions.

Some sights are better experienced on foot like the Boston Public Library.

I easily walked six miles exploring the city. There is so much to see. You could spend a day in Boston Commons alone.

Acorn Street on Beacon Hill was particularly quaint. I had to stop for an obligatory selfie.

Lastly, for one of our final stops, I had Frank take me by the Paul Revere house since I kept missing it.

Then we strolled over to the oldest taverns, we ended up at the Green Dragon. Low and behold, bellied up to the bar next to a blast from the past. It seemed a fitting way to end the trip.