Los Angeles – Palos Verdes, Dinner and Pampering

I rented bikes with one of the guys I had previously cycled with before.  This time instead of heading towards Venice beach we opted for Palos Verde area in Torrance. The area up from Torrance beach is nice. One of the aspects I love about London is that you can see where the villages were before they became one massive city, the same is true of the beach front in LA. each area has the appearance of a central street in a conglomeration of sleepy beach towns that have since melted in to one giant metropolis. You can see what would have once been summer beach shacks converted in to modern-day everyday lodgings sandwiched in between imposing and looming abodes. We found a Trader Joe’s grocery store nestled in the main commercial area up off the beach along South Elena drive and Avenue I. This particular version of the organic and different selection store was smaller than any other Trader Joe’s I have previously been in. We made a few purchases as the goods are reasonably priced. It is in the same vein as Whole Foods with lower prices and a different selection. I chose a champagne mandarin vinegar, a jar each of pineapple salsa, fig butter (which apparently does not include any actual butter) and cookie butter (not sure if it is made from butter it just sounded decadent). I like to purchase items like these that are unusual from the selection at store I would normally frequent and present them as hostess or thank you gifts. My friends really seem to enjoy it when I bring something that says I thought of you in (insert city here). From the rather dead surface streets of Palos Verde we would our way towards the water and along the beach bike path from Torrance beach to Redondo beach. A short fifteen minute ride. The directions we had received from our hotel concierge were cryptic at best. While we did manage to find our way to the beach we had to stop a couple of times and compare her directions to the map app  “city maps 2 go” I had downloaded last year as a featured free download. I believe the app is now a nominal fee but I really like it. You choose the maps of the cities you wish to download when you have access to data, For me this is in Canada, and you download the map to you phone and it is always available offline in airplane mode. The problem with google maps and the maps app already loaded on the newer apple iOs is you need to open it when connected to the Internet and then the area is saved but is limited. I have had instances where I have wandered off my planned map and on to the shaded grey of unloaded map area rendering it useless. The  city maps 2 go is a full map always available.

I ended up peeling off from my co-worker’s exploration as I needed to boot it back to the hotel to meet my sister and her boyfriend for dinner. One of the perks of being a world traveler is when family and friends spread out across the four corners of the earth I am able to still see them from time to time. My sister is in the process of moving down to LA to go to school. I am immensely proud of her for picking up her life and moving to a foreign country for a couple of years to pursue a dream of hers. I cannot imagine how scary it must be. Even though we are good neighbours in Canada, the United States is still a different country with different customs, laws, population, and politics. I think my sister will come back to Canada after her schooling is terminated a ——- woman.

We decided to head back down to the Redondo area and chose the Cheesecake Factory for our early dinner. We ate earlier than usual as she had to drop her boyfriend off at the airport. It was for the best as the Cheesecake Factory can get very queued up at meal times. She and I both opted for the skinny-licious chicken tacos. My sister had hers served with the salad mentioned in the menu which wasn’t one of her favourites it turns out. It was lettuce with pickled veggies adorning it. I chose to got he super healthy substitute the salad for fries route. It had been a very long time since I had had the traditional American side dish and I could not resist them this night. The tacos arrived as a set of three for each of us. I have no idea how one is to eat all three. I over did it eating two a taking the third for lunch the next day. The food was good but as always I find this particular restaurant’s positions to be an overindulgence. I would share this platter with my sister next time and convince her the fries were necessary over the unpleasant salad. One thing her boyfriend ordered which you do not see back home was an Arnold Palmer, a non alcoholic drink consisting of half lemonade and half iced tea  I concluded it must be very popular at this place as quite a few tables around us were ordering them. The iced tea I should note is not the sweetened tea one gets at home in Canada, here that particular drink is called sweet tea. An iced tea in the US is a glass of chilled unsweetened orange pekoe tea with a side dish brimming with granulated sugar so the drinker may sweeten their drink to their liking.

Since we had eaten so early and my sister had to depart for the airport I opted to walk to the Rite-Aid drug store near Redondo beach, just up Beryl. I had forgotten to pack a clear nail polish and was in dire straits as I had snagged my hose on the inbound flight. To avoid further laddering if my tights I needed to apply a layer of polish to them. On the way back to the main road I passed the South Bay nail salon which offers  $28 for Mani/pedi. I had heard of this place frequently from many a crew member but had never been until this trip. The price was right and they do not used the dreadful callous shredding razor, instead they buff it out. There is an additional charge of $5 if you wish to have a special gel applied to get as close as possible to baby soft.  The advertises price was low but beware of add one besides the gel you can add an extra long massage each 5 minutes is $5 and buffing the nails rather than having them painted was additional $3.  My feet were feeling the long day I have had and I splurged on an extra long foot rub. It was worth the money. The other nice thing is that there were huge banks of seats. No one walking in waited to be pampered. I think this will be on my list of things to do in LA more often should I frequent this destination as the nail polish lasted quite a while and my skin was soft for days after.