Who knew LA & Wrightwood could be so much fun?

Recently, my brother, Don, visited me in Los Angeles. We started off the week by trying the Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack on Melrose Avenue. Delicious and

ink.sack_

inexpensive food! We were both very stoked.  My brother is a foodie and always has a list of restaurants he wants to try when he is in town. His choices never fail!

Next up were Make Music Pasadena and the Pasadena Chalk Festival. I don’t know if the music fest will be an annual thing, but it was pretty neat. There were a whole lotta bands. I won’t even lie and pretend I had a clue who any of them were. I had heard of Dengue Fever because their song One Thousand Years of a Tarantula was placed in a season finale of the show Weeds. It was a pretty awesome ending. We watched Dengue perform and then moved onwards to the food trucks around the corner so my brother could enjoy Nom Nom and I could nosh on a sandwich from the Lobsta Truck. Also there were the Grilled Cheese and India Jones trucks, but I can hit them up another time!  All of them have awesome food, I must say.

After dinner we were off to Dodger Stadium. It took us no time to get there from Pasadena.

Dodger-Stadium1
Sorry boys, I’m a White Sox girl!

What took forever was getting INTO the stadium. Geesh! The White Sox were in town playing the Dodgers.  We won!  Seeing baseball with my brother rules! Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Pretty cool! One odd thing was the organist played “Alone Again.” It’s weird, right? The other odd, but VERY LA thing is the special parking for Lexus owners.

Dodger-Stadium-parking
Well…..Excuuuse Me!

Since you know you are wondering, I’ll tell you: There were no incidents at all at the stadium. Everyone was well behaved and nice so don’t let the very unfortunate incident last year keep you from checking out the ballpark!

A few days later, we had dinner at Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake. Another Top Chef find by my brother. Service was amazing! Food was incredible! AND and and and … they have Macarons!! Holy S***!! I definitely scared the staff with my cookie obsession thing.

Finally, we hit an Angels vs. Giants game at Anaheim Stadium with another friend of mine.

Charlies-Angels-of-Anaheim-II
My brother’s “Charlie’s Angels” pose.

I love going to that stadium. It’s so efficient to get in and out!! Plus, the White Sox are usually there when they are in town, so I have learned to love that place.  And it was a great game!

The next weekend, my cousin, Lisa and I went whale watching with Newport Landing in Newport Beach. lisajenn_whalewatchingNo whales (I never ever see whales! wah!) but we did see dolphins, which is always cool and we definitely enjoyed the boat ride! Cousin time!

 

Last, but definitely NOT least was my trip to Wrightwood to enjoy their annual Mountaineer Days.

mountaineer-days

I had a fantasy that there would be a gaggle of cowboys, but knew that wasn’t what it was about at all. It’s a family-oriented event with stage coach rides, rock climbing, gold panning, cowboy reenactment shows, live bands and plenty of booths showcasing businesses in the local community. I talked to a few folks in the Chamber of Commerce booth. They love their town and were hoping I was going to stay a few days. Not this time, but most definitely in the future!  I checked out their local bookstore, Beverly’s Books. Of course, I bought a book called, “The Wild West”.  Buying books everywhere I travel seems to be my “thing.”

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I enjoyed the sweet greyhounds up for adoption and the adorable bobcat kittens

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My name is Cat. Bob Cat.

that normally reside at Forever Wild Sanctuary.                                                                  At Applewood Court, I bought some maple flavored fudge from a man with a kitten nose and whiskers painted on his face (he was probably VERY excited about that.)  Just as the cowboy show started, I had to hop on the stage coach to catch my ride. Reenactments are always SO cheesy and bad but I can’t stop watching and loving them!!!!

The Wrightwood Historical Museum was open, so I popped in to look at all of the pictures they have displayed. I loved the woman that was working inside and made sure to chat her up a bit about the history of Wrightwood. Sumner Wright is considered to be the “Father of Wrightwood,” though he was not the first IMG_1241person to live there. He ran his family ranch, Circle Mountain Cattle Company and also had an apple orchard! Don’t miss the goodies outside and in the back of the museum!  They have old signs from the town, a 1930s cabin replica and a few other fun things.

The hunger pains finally got me and I meandered down to Joe Mudd’s Pie & Coffee and Guitars, apparently. IMG_4152 I grabbed a sandwich and a fantastic slice of walnut pie to go.

I just had to take the 2 Highway home since I had never explored that way. And holy smokes! I stopped at least 80 million times to check out the scenery.IMG_1281It’s just beautiful! I took a ton of pictures and totally ate the walnut pie instead of saving it until I got home. oops.

Here is a shout out to a vendor in the video:

The hair pieces on the mannequin heads in the video are by Grace Design (909) 288-8288. She was really nice and the hair pieces were really amazing. Very tempting, but IMG_1230I’m too lazy to dress up well enough to warrant wearing one. The heads all have names on their necks so people can explain which design they like when they order! She is in Fontana.

 

 

Signing Off!!  – Jenn                                                                                                                                       IMG_1257

 

 © 2012 Dart and Map All Rights Reserved – Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

I thought I was in heaven, but found out it was Spring Training


I have always wanted to check out Spring Training, but assumed it would be extremely expensive. Why did I never even LOOK at the prices? Oh. Because I am a total dufus. I was so convinced I would be disappointed that I was afraid to even look! DUH! Ticket prices  depend on the ballpark/team, but the parks are small and there are no bad seats. The cheapest is $8… EIGHT DOLLARS! Double DUH to me! Nay, triple duh.

Due to a car accident (someone else caused), I had a free rental car from Enterprise for a week (unlimited mileage!!) and decided it was time to see some baseball in Arizona!  Sara and I arrived in, uhm, beautiful Glendale, Arizona with no hotel booked. (See? Still have not learned our lesson.)  We drove around the endless strip malls aimlessly for a bit, until we decided on Ramada Arrowhead Towne Center for the night.  When our stomachs started to growl, we met up with a friend of mine at The Lodge in Scottsdale, AZ. They had fried pickles. You heard me! FRIED FRICKEN PICKLES! The food was great and the view of the good looking baseball players sitting next to us was great, too.

The next afternoon, we were off to the Peoria Sports Complex for the Chicago White Sox @ San Diego Padres. I was in such an excited daze that I liken my behavior to a pinball machine. Thankfully, Sara was there to keep me from running into things.  The stadium is crazy small. We had seats behind HOMEPLATE for only $20!! Are you kidding me!?!?!?! Oh.. And check out our view!

Yea. That’s the White Sox and they were that close to us!  In front of us were a lot of scouts with their radar guns.

This ballfield was a bit on the quiet side. I am used to loud music to get the fans pumped and that wasn’t happening here. I still LOVED it, even though Sara and I were sort of reprimanded for leaning on the railings and standing on the wrong side of the walkway.

 

I even ate a hot dog!

That evening, we ate at Bobby – Q. I definitely recommend this place! It was delicious AND was NOT in a strip mall! We made two incredibly awesome new friends there that kept us laughing all night. There is a lounge in the room next to the restaurant. Not at all my type of music, but WOW was it crowded for a Tuesday night!

Ramada only had one night available, so we switched to Thunderbird Executive Inn. I highly recommend this place! Very nice! It is on a college campus, which is different. It was clean, quiet and close enough to the ballparks for us! We got free passes to use the very nearby YMCA for our morning workouts, too. Rock on, Sara, for this find!

The next day was Anaheim Angels @ Chicago White Sox at the Camelback Ranch. This felt much more like a regular game. There was music to get everyone excited for the game and it was noisier.. Oh, and the Sox won. : )

After the game, there was a Senior Stroll. As in Senior Citizens. So you can understand why this photo is so hilarious!

I hated leaving the ballpark, but…

alas.. there was one more game to attend that day…

Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.

We high-tailed it to Talking Stick and grabbed our tickets. My friend works for the Rockies and was able to take us on a tour of the facility. We got a behind-the-scenes tour that rocked!

We trained hard where the ball players train hard.

 

 

 

 

And we learned hard lessons about

not following the rules!

 

The last day, I was DETERMINED to meet the White Sox. It seemed logical to me that they would warm up at the ballpark at which they were to play. I was wrong. Duh, again. We did find them at their own park, watched them do batting practice and patiently waited for them to pass so I could meet a few.

This was a very amazing experience. Watching baseball on tv or even at a big ballpark is absolutely awesome, but seeing them in small parks and having access to actually meeting them is priceless. I highly recommend this trip for everyone that loves baseball!!

aaaaaaaand PLAY BALL!!!!!!

Jenn

© 2012 Dart and Map All Rights Reserved — Copyright notice by Blog Copyright