Taking an alternate route to I-5 this morning, we went through a foggy Napa Valley.
And Lake Berryessa. Jimmy and I cycled this country last fall.
Sean and me @ Lake Berryessa:
Rolling on to Crater Lake:
Scott and Jaclyn Fujita have become a very special couple for Michel and me.
I have been to their house above Carmel Valley twice in the past six months. It is a very special place.
The most beautiful part of California and the most beautiful family (twin daughters – Delilah & Isabell).
Sean joined us to get some footage and to grow his relationship with Scott.
Kyle, Kath & Finn took a day off work to join us for the day.
Kyle and Scott remind me so much of each other. They are both introspective, honest, and courageous enough to voice their opinion even when it may be unpopular. Somehow they both are able to do this without completely pissing people off. It’s like I have two brothers here today. Grateful. I am a very lucky boy.
Scott barbecued steak and chicken kebabs and Jaclyn made some amazing guacamole and ranch dip.
All the families sat together in the dining room as the sunset across the Valley. Just before sunset we went out on the property to get the perfect sunset view.
After sunset we decided to red neck out a little bit we stretch the new winch and then did some for 4x4ing on Scott’s side property. Sean got some great video footage of this.
The boys had a late night hangout session in the van. Moments like these are so special and value to our friendships.
We chose to keep with tradition and all slept outside.
Good pals, Jaclyn and Michel happy to see each other again.
“I’ll walk to the ends of the Earth with you.”
We’re on our way to visit the Fujitas in Carmel Valley. Scott told Steve about a river he should check out – so we found it and parked and trekked down to it. Steve used his walking stick for the first time – and though not perfect, it did the trick. We crossed a bridge and followed a rocky path to get down. I dipped my toe in the water and it froze, so I stayed on the side bundled up in my sweatshirt and wool socks. Steve pushed forward and got in the water – not as graceful as he once could but pretty dang close – and swam into the icy river. He had a look on his face of utter happiness and satisfaction that I haven’t seen in a while.
I sent a text to Fujita with the pic below and he texted this back:
“He might need to search for his nuts when he gets out of that water!”
All I know is when we were walking back up the hill to the car, we felt like great. Like we took life and punched it in the face. And it felt good. Really good.
Well. Looks like Camping and his Family Radio were wrong again. We woke up unraptured in Marina Del Rey (MDR) which is like a little bit of heaven in the overcrowded, smogy, City of Angels.
We rested today. Michel had breakfast at Maxwell’s with Rachel (good friend from CU Boulder) and Kevin (studly, tuna melt eating, husband) then relaxed on the beach.
MDR is a pretty sweet beach because the Venice pier is about 1/2 mile north and people don’t really venture past the pier. This leaves MDR feeling like a private beach. In the middle of a city like LA… that’s heaven. Thanks again Señor.
In the afternoon we went to JD and Kristin’s house in Hermosa Beach. JD is one of my best friends from Gonzaga Prep.
He and Kristin have hosted me in Hermosa over the past ten years or so. I remember staying there when Christian was not even a teenager and their beautiful daughters (Olivia 7, Amelia 5) were only wishful thoughts.
I have been very lucky to have friends like these. Not to mention, they love NOLA.
We BBQd for Christian’s 20th birthday. I have many great memories of BBQing in their backyard, listening to PJ and enjoying each others company.
We stuffed ourselves with JDs famous ribs, meaty artichoke with dill dip, “Grandma’s” chili dip, “Omar’s” cole slaw, and a massive fruit plate. “non-special” Brownies & Ice Cream for dessert!
Much the same this time. Janna and Grandma joined the fun and gave us some recipes for the road.
Great Day in LA today.
Steve had a morning session with Master Bruce Sun. If you haven’t met him – here he is in March in Nola.
He’s a Chinese Wu Tang monk who has a gift for healing and is one of the most giving people we have met. A gentle, kind soul. He’s amazing. Almost like a real life Jesus Chan.
Afterwards, Steve Sr, Steve Jr, Bruce, and I went out for lunch at Fred Segal’s burger joint called Umami.
This looks like the cover of the record if those three boys were in a band..
After that picture Bruce told us that when he was little his dad wouldn’t let him sit on the grass because he was worried he’d get worms in his anus.
Here, I into a college housemate that I haven’t seen since ’99 named Heather Henniger.
For dinner, Bruce took us to eat Peking Duck. We were the only non-Asians in the restaurant. It seems like he ordered one of everything on the menu. The Peking Duck reminded us of the Babi Guling (Pig Roast) we went to in Indonesia. But luckily, the duck skin didn’t have hairs on it like the pig skin. And it tasted like cracklins. Steve ate the duck feet. That had toenails. I swear. There’s a foot picture included in “Local Flavors” page.