The wolves-in-law have come and gone. We are lucky that they live on the same coast as us. (My dad and Darling live in Florida, so it’s much more challenging, both financially and logistically, to get out there to see them.) Even though this visit was short, it was a lot of fun!
Wolf-Mama and Five drove down the coast over the week before, taking care of business as needed, and visiting with friends and loved ones. The plan was that they’d hit LA on Friday, and go visit one of Wolf’s former students, while Honey and I recuperated from a long week at work. Then we’d hang out all day Saturday and Easter Sunday, which also happened to be Wolf’s birthday, and then Monday morning Honey and I would head back to work, and the Wolf Pack would head back up the coast to their home.
Usually, I’m pretty on top of my calendar. By January 1st, I’ve already marked off all of the work holidays for the year. This year has been different, for some reason. I’m just not… motivated, I guess.
So it came as a complete and utter shock to me that I had Good Friday off. (Really? Of all the random holidays… Really? I mean, um, thank you!) Good Friday, it turns out, is the Friday before Easter, and as we’ve discussed, Easter happened to fall on Wolf’s birthday this year. By the time we had figured out that our day off was a day they’d be here, Wolf had already made plans with her student. Which meant that Honey and I actually had an extra day to
clean the house rest up from a long-ish week’s work.
That was the plan.
Instead, the former student ended up having a work-related emergency, and had to cancel dinner. So we said, “Of course come over!” and quickly stuffed all our clutter in the closets, while they braved Friday night traffic on the 10 to head back to Burbank. (Luckily no one needed anything from the closets over the weekend.) So our weekend started early. We ended up going to the Granville Cafe (Mrs. Henson, have I ever thanked you for introducing me to this restaurant? Because THANK YOU.) and having sweet potato fries and a banana split. I think there was some sort of meal in the middle there, too, but you know, priorities. We caught up on our lives and then wobbled back home to collapse.
Saturday saw us up and moving WAY early. I think we were walking the dogs by 9:30 am. My original plan had been to get up around 6:00ish and prep a pie that I’d tuck away for later in the Week of Hosting, but I had been glutened the previous Tuesday (GRRR), so I didn’t really get to sleep until about 6AM Friday night. So, you know, no pie. :-/ But we got up and walked the dogs. Wolf and Five had their big breakfast all planned out, but the place they wanted to hit couldn’t accomodate me, so Honey and I found a local place that could, and now we know an awesome breakfast place to suggest for next time! Yummy!
After everyone was fed, we met up and hit the road to Griffith Observatory. The last time I was there was before the remodel. Man! The whole place is GORGEOUS. And I don’t just mean the remodel. I mean All Of It. There are ellipses etched into the sidewalks to show the proportions of the planets and their orbits. There are incredible views of the LA basin. There are TWO theaters— one planetarium with for-pay tickets and one little theatre (named after Leonard Nimoy, *sniff sniff*) that has free shows. And there are LOTS of people. And it’s free. Thank you, residents of the City of Los Angeles: your tax dollars at work. And I think those dollars are doing an amazing job! If you are visiting Los Angeles on a whirlwind tour, make sure you hit the Griffith Park Observatory. It’s a beautiful landmark holding the history of Los Angeles, and it’s got a great view of the Hollywood sign!
We spent the whole afternoon looking at exhibits and movies, and just checking out the scenery. Finally it was time for Wolf’s birthday dinner. Honey and I decided we should celebrate it a day early, since all the good places would either be closed or crowded for Easter. So we took her to Hugo’s, a lovely restaurant— the kind with candles and tablecloths— in Valley Village that caters to vegetarians, vegans, and folks with gluten intolerances. I was actually a little in shock as I looked at the menu— there were so many options I could have that I was overwhelmed. I’m used to … much less. There were so many viable choices I actually couldn’t decide between about five different dishes. (I landed on the pasta bolognese, one of my favorites before I had to give up gluten.) The whole experience was heavenly, and I think Wolf enjoyed herself, too.
Sunday was homemade cinnamon rolls (BOOYAH!) with cream cheese frosting, a cheese and meat tray, Easter Bunny chocolate eggs, board games, and MEAT. Lots and lots of meat at Samba, in Universal City Walk. It’s a Brazilian Steak House where the waiters walk around with
skewers swords of meat. “Would you like some tri-tip?” Garlic steak? Pepper steak? Bacon-wrapped chicken? Bacon-wrapped bacon? Or my absolute favorite, Picañha, a heavily seasoned, fatty meat that is pure mouth-joy. Can I get another piece of that one? How about one more? They just keep bringing you meat and more meat until you’re ready to pop. For the record, Samba does NOT cater to vegetarians or vegans. But they DO carry cheese bread poofs that are naturally gluten-free, since they’re made from tapioca flour. I’m tellin’ ya, this is my kind of place. Also, sangria.
The weekend rolled to an end far too quickly, but it was filled with everything wonderful: family, fun, rest, and OMG! food. Good food.
We should do it again some time.
Side note: Two nights later, my mom came to visit me. She and I also had a lovely weekend hanging out, right up until the point where I remembered that she was no longer corporeal. She left then, and I cried. It was heart-rending to lose her all over again, but at the same time, it was really beautiful to just have some more time with her. I’d like to do that again some time, too.
Photo by … the photographer at Samba.
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