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Road Trip days 22-28: Los Angeles, part IV

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I realize that I left something out of my previous post, something that bears mentioning despite the low-quality iPhone pic that serves as the sole source of photographic evidence. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’d shuffled around our eating days to make the most of LA’s offerings, which meant that when we got back from Sequoia we had literally not eaten for two days. And what better way to break this fast than a visit to the Griddle Cafe for a dinner-plate-sized stack of buttermilk pancakes filled with brown sugar-baked bananas, walnuts, caramel and streusel, topped with yet more caramel, streusel and whipped cream. And yes, I put maple syrup on that. It was obscene, but utterly delectable; the combination worked perfectly, and the gigantism meant that each bite was a different combination of ingredients. My friend had a ‘light’ version with just the bananas, which wasn’t half bad either. The lack of extras may be why he got about two-thirds through the stack while I stopped at the halfway mark, but more likely he was just more stubborn (his agonizing over stomach pains lasted at least three hours after the meal). Either way we both did better than the native at the table next to us, who ate an eighth of his stack and then asked for a box for the rest. I kid you not.

The Golden Ticket

Our days on the West coast were coming to an end, and I find it hard to describe my feelings about it. Relief, melancholy, jaded indifference. We’d been on the road for so long, and then subjected to the laid-back LA atmosphere, that it was hard to relate to the concept of going back to work. So I mustered all my newfound Pacific Vegan Silver Screen superpowers and went with the flow; “bugger this relating to imminent events, let’s just enjoy the city.”

Chinatown

I’m not sure why, but the idea of a cathedral for some undefined matron protector really appeals to me. I guess in part because it reminds me of a great book I read a few years back, but the mysticism and symbolism also just clicks. The place ended up being far more modern than I’d expected, but in light of the city’s young age that’s probably a good thing.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

The last thing my camera saw on our trip was a view from the wonderful (and free) Getty center in the hills above Los Angeles. Not entirely inappropriate, in my opinion. Goodnight, Hollywood boulevard.

Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard

Written by Martin

2011/02/10 at 05:27

Posted in Food, Places, Road Trip

Road trip days 25-26: Sequoia National Park

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After a few days in the city we headed out on the road again, driving North on Highway 1, AKA Pacific Coast highway, towards the giant trees at Sequoia National Park. We got a late start due to some car hassles, and therefore didn’t make to the really gorgeous side-of-a-cliff segments like Big Sur, but nonetheless got a very positive impression of the California landscape. In addition to shaking things up now and then, plate tectonics creates a lovely array of hills and mountains, and the longitudinal layout of the the state teams up with such changes in elevation to produce a very varied climate. To be honest, this last sentence reminds me of the adage “a picture with worth a thousand words”, so here you go:

The Golden State

Speaking of a varied climate, it was pretty weird to have been on the beach the day before, and then suddenly finding yourself in a snow-covered winter wonderland…

O RLY?

The sequoias were unrealistically big. With their striking red bark and mismatched size-scale they reminded me of cartoon trees photoshopped into view. Or, dare I say, Feralas. Cartoonish or not, it was truly astounding.

YA RLY!

The largest sequoia, and indeed the largest tree in the world, is General Sherman. I couldn’t quite decide whether to expect something ridonculous or just a marginal increase over the already gargantuan sequoias scattered all over the park. It turned out to be the former… 84 meters tall, 31 meters around at the base and weighing in at more than 6000 tonnes, this thing is a monster. Those are huge pine trees around it in the photo, and little teensy tiny people.

General Sherman was the biggest of the bunch

Written by Martin

2011/02/02 at 06:37

Posted in Road Trip