We are celebrating Linda's birthday this weekend. It's a big one - milestone, so it deserves much celebrating. Originally the plan was to go to Europe, specifically London and Paris. We kept our eyes open for good airfare, but there were no absolute steals. Then I got a new job and it would have been awkward to ask for that much time off right after starting, then Linda fell down a flight of stairs and broke her leg in three places, requiring surgery, so walking around European city streets was improbable.
So we are celebrating by taking her on a mini-European trip here in southern California. Last night we took her to dinner to a lovely French restaurant to kick things off. It was lovely and gave us the chance to try foods we don't normally eat. I had a soft-shelled crab appetizer and rabbit for the entree. cimblog(tm) ordered the escargot for her appetizer, and that was delicious. For dessert we ordered three types and shared - creme brûlée, chocolate mousse and an apple-caramel thing. All of it was delicious.
For today's adventure we took the metro to downtown LA, as though we were in London taking the underground. It was all an adventure. Not very British, but adventure nonetheless. There's an amazing dive-diner on what is considered Skid Row, called The Nickel Diner. The food is uh-MAZ-ing.
Then we went to the Bradbury building, a historic, beautiful building, famous for being in many different films, including Blade Runner. We explored some other stores, including a huge music store - instruments, not CDs, and the Grand Central Market.
Then we took the train back to our car and drove to Disneyland. We had dinner here at the hotel after we got settled, and are now just hanging out. It's been a busy, fun day. Linda has known only that we had a whole weekend planned, but nothing else. We told her to pack a bag and be ready this morning by 10. She doesn't yet know what is planned for tomorrow, though its obvious that Disneyland is on the agenda at some point.
The saddest thing I saw today was this-
a homeless man on the train, tightly clutching a pile of newspapers that would probably serve as a makeshift blanket later tonight. There was a dignity about him. He stood straight and tall in his ragged, well-worn clothes. At first glance, he did not appear to be more than an older gentleman with some newspapers and a couple of plastic bags. At closer inspection though, his feet were slightly too big for his shoes and his socks were in tatters around his heels. As he exited the train, I quietly handed him five dollars. I know there are more important things than socks, but my fondest daydream of how to spend my millions of dollars I don't have or ever will, is to wear a new pair of socks every day. That's the definition of luxury to me. I would be a wreck if my feet were as uncomfortable as his must surely have been.
The happiest thing we saw was just a few minutes ago - Disneyland fireworks from our balcony. Lovely.