We are home. Twenty-seven days of living out of a 20-inch carry-on. 19,211 air miles. Two stays with the kids in Los Angeles and four hotels. I will write a recap of the trip later this week, but wanted to share our weekend in Los Angeles with our two favorite grandchildren.Lucy grows more precious with every moment. She loved the new dresses we found for her in Hong Kong. Lucy, 13 months, is about ready to walk.
To celebrate our return, Lisa and Lenny took us to dinner at Crossroads, a vegan restaurant on Melrose. The chef is famous for "cheeses" that he makes from nuts. We sampled several and decided the creamy/spreadable versions were our favorite. We had a pizza with a dollop of what looked and tasted exactly like an herbed ricotta. Very impressive. Another dish we tried (this is a small-plate/sharing restaurant) was a vegan interpretation of Oysters Rockefeller - oyster mushrooms on artichoke leaves (instead of oyster shells). Garnished with kelp "caviar", the appetizer had a seafoodyflavor... and I did not have to go to the emergency room due to my shellfish allergy. Win-win.The restaurant is super attractive (though a bit noisy) and every item we tried (artichoke mushrooms, pizza, cheese plate, spicy chickpeas, truffled potatoes, "crab" cakes, lobster mushrooms fashioned to resemble fried shrimp, and several desserts) were really very good. They have a full bar (thank goodness gin is vegan!) and our server was very informed and friendly. The "thing" here on the weekend is the "seafood tower", which contains no seafood whatsoever. Instead of using meat substitutes, Crossroads usually relies on mushrooms and other plant-based ingredients to replicate the seafood experience, with seaweeds to nail the fishy flavor. Of course, anything deep fried is going to be delicious, right? Crossroads was a very interesting dining experience, especially since we were with this most attractive couple. Thank you, Lisa and Lenny for a great evening. Bubba and I had babysitting duty Saturday morning while Lisa, Lenny and Leo went to a birthday party for one of Leo's pals. Lucy and I made a pizza (it was vegan; made of felt) and enjoyed a little quiet time before the household returned.
The reason we ended up staying a few days in Los Angeles, before returning to our home in Oregon, was to watch the kids while Lisa and Lenny attended a wedding Saturday evening. I made One Pot Mac & Cheese (with REAL cheese) for the grandkids and a nice tomato and avocado salad. This is the first time I have cooked in nearly a month.Thankfully, I can still use a knife and have a stable of tried and true recipes on this website. I kid you not, Lucy ate a third of this salad. Her brother had one tomato half and one slice of avocado. Lucy also gobbled up a lot of the cheesy pasta. I've never seen a child (all 16 pounds of her) eat so much food or get so excited about food... though I may have to accept some of the genetic pool responsibility for this trait. The main event Saturday night was the Duck v Michigan State game on national television. It did not have a very good outcome, but the score was only fair - we beat MSU in Eugene last season. (My Driver does not see my side of the fairness of the home team winning philosophy.) Anyone notice anything new? We can babysit Lucy for hours now because she has finally decided to take a bottle. Finally. Finally. She will only take this particular brand of bottle and the bottle can only contain oat milk. Not breast milk or formula or anything else. Lisa is very happy to be able to leave Lucy occasionally for more than two-or-three hours now - especially since she left her with doting grandparents. Yeah, Lucy!
Lucy was in bed by seven o'clock and Leo made it til the 4th quarter before crashing-out like the Oregon offense on the sofa (Duck jersey replaced by Spiderman pajamas).
We watched Lenny's boyhood team, the Washington Redskin's lose before heading to the airport Sunday, and arrived home in time for Rosh Hashanah dinner.
A long trip. A great trip. Started and finished spending time with our family in Los Angeles.
Trip recap coming soon... well, as soon as I get over this dang jet lag.
Until my next update, I remain, your Oregon correspondent.