Everyone needs time away. Donald and I just returned from Los Angeles. His company sent him to a convention and the kids decided I should go along so they helped pay for the ticket to get me there. Maybe they just wanted to get me out of the house, but it was fun nevertheless. We stayed in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Avenue of the Stars. Now I didn't see any celebrities, but Donald did ride up in the elevator with Jesse Jackson. And yes, I'm serious.
The ride from LAX airport to the hotel was one to remember. I'm almost certain that Jason, our shuttle driver, once drove in the Indy 500. He sped between lanes without using a blinker once and somehow managed to stop at the red lights without running into the back of the car in front of us. I told Bethany he drove like a bat out of hell and that's a really nice way to describe it. I guess I could say like a demon was on his heels, but I'm sure you get the picture. I'm just glad it was Sunday night and the traffic was lighter than usual. I'm also grateful I was sitting where I couldn't see the speedometer.
We also rode chartered buses to get to the Los Angeles Convention Center where the exhibits were. It was about 45 minutes from the hotel. One night we went to a party sponsored by said company and our bus driver didn't know how to get us back to the hotel. Although he didn't drive as fast as Jason, he did manage to go down a one way street the wrong way. I guess he doesn't know Los Angeles very well. We dropped some people off at another hotel and after driving around for quite awhile (with him on his cell phone trying to find out where to go) we finally recognized some landmarks and told him where to go. We were all glad to get back to our hotel.
Another highlight of our trip was a meal at the well known Palm restaurant. Of course I had never heard of it, but enjoyed the experience anyway. Their web site has this to say: "In Los Angeles, there is no better place to see and be seen than at The Palm. The Palm in West Hollywood has been a staple with celebrities since it opened it 1975."
There were six of us at our table. Mary and her friend, both of whom Donald works with, Donald and I, and the two ladies who were paying for the meal. They work for a company who sells what Donald's company is looking to buy. I thought of my friend Susan because we had FRESH seafood. I'm quite sure she would have appreciated it much more than I did. I tasted crab, some kind of raw tuna (yuck), pickled ginger that went with something, and some seaweed; I just couldn't bring myself to try an oyster. They just looked too bad~! These were just the appetizers. I didn't get a salad since I had one for lunch. Then they brought a huge plate with lobster and filet mignon. A guy came out and broke our lobster for us (there may be a term for that but since I don't eat lobster I don't know what it is). Later he brought out lemon and squeezed it on our hands and gave us hot towels to clean our hands. That was cool and even though I didn't have lobster or butter on my hands I engaged in the ritual nonetheless. I really enjoyed the steak and the three cheese potatoes au gratin. For dessert we shared a piece of chocolate cake. It was four layers and was at least a fourth of a cake. It was really good, but by that time we were all so full we left most of it. Our waiter offered to box it up so we could take it with us; however we declined and left it sitting. I would have loved to bring it home to the kids, but probably wouldn't have been able to get it through security at the airport.
Once in the cab on the way to our hotel I mentioned I would hate to wash dishes in that place. I mean they use real white tablecloths and napkins, and used dozens of plates, etc. just on our table alone. Donald laughed and said only I would think of that after a rich dining experience.
I'm also glad they were paying, because our bill for the six of us totaled just short of $700. And that is not a misprint. I'm glad for the experience, but to be honest there is nowhere I can think of that I like well enough to pay $100 to eat there.
We walked by the Staples Center on our way into the Los Angeles convention center. Now we're talking~! Even though Los Angeles is one of my least favorite teams it was neat because the basketball players I do like have played there~! It looked just like it does when they show it on TV~! Can you tell I'm from small town USA?
Those are the highlights from our trip. I really enjoyed being able to go, but without question am just as glad to be home. I've already started laundry and now have to check the schoolwork the kids did while I was away. It's good to be home~!