← Day 1 in California

Day 2 in California  …  I woke up early in the morning with the baby.

Then the girls woke up.

They don’t keep a “vacation” schedule.

So, I got up and fed the natives before they got too restless.

Then I bathed all three of those monkeys.

Then I did laundry and repacked our bags.  They had become disorganized and we had all that freshly washed laundry to put back in there.

Plus, I had bags to pack for our day … clothes for any changes in weather, all the necessary baby items (clothes, diapers, wipes, toys … you know),  and snacks.

Texas Guy slept in a little.

Then he woke up, grabbed some coffee I had ready for him, and left to drive around, see the area, and take pics.

This is why he thinks you just “throw your stuff in the truck and go”.

Here are just a few of the great pics he took …

He returned just in time for breakfast.

Men seem to have an uncanny knack for that sort of timing.

Yvonne, my cousin’s wife, made a delicious breakfast!!

Ginormous waffles and sausages.


I wish I had taken pictures.

Why do I constantly forget to take pictures?!?!

Probably because I was too distracted by the delicious breakfast … and thoughts of how I  might be able to take Yvonne (and her waffle maker) back to Texas with me.

I did remember to get pics of the littlest monkey with her godparents before we left for the day.  Texas Guy took them for me.

We finally got on the road and we were headed towards downtown Los Angeles!

I have always liked going into downtown Los Angeles.

My grandfather, my father, my mother, and many other relatives have, and still do, work there.  It’s an area I have been to more times than I could ever count.  Dodger Stadium is nearby.  Union Station, so rich in history and full of romance, is right there.  Philippe’s, Olvera Street, Chinatown, City Hall, the Children’s Museum, The Bradbury Building, the garment district, The Bonaventure Hotel … I could go on and on.  …  But I won’t.  …  Suffice it to say, I was excited about the day!

Our first stop, Chinatown!

Somehow, we had neglected to go there before we moved to Texas and wanted to make sure we went on this visit.

My parents met us there.

We walked through shops,

bought a few souvenirs

The girls are hiding

and some Hello Panda snacks.  They’re little cookie kind of shells, with pandas printed on them, and have a filling of either chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.

Hooray for Hello Panda snacks!

I think it’s a great place to shop for all kinds of things.  It’s a great place to discover something new each and every time.  …  And it’s where I go to reconnect to that tiny bit of my Chinese heritage.

I have purchased my coin purses in Chinatown for years.  The zipper on my last one broke some time ago.  Texas Guy found some and bought them in a variety of colors in the hopes that they would last until the next time we make it to Chinatown.

By then, dinner was calling our tummies and we knew exactly where we wanted to eat!


A short walk and we were there!

What do I love the most about Philippe’s?  I can’t decide.  It might very well be the sandwiches though.  Mine is always beef, double dipped.  It’s the only way to go!  But, I stay far away from that hot mustard!  It’s definitely not for me.  Though many many people think it’s fantastic!  I like to wash my sandwich down with a delicious glass of lemonade and finish it off with a baked apple.  Mmmmm.

It's that good!

There’s more to Philippe’s than the food, though.  There’s the history – it’s been around for more than 100 years, it has survived all that Los Angeles and our country as a whole has gone through.  It’s the unchanged interior – the sawdust on the floors, the long tables with stools, the old phone booths, the order counter, and the uniforms worn by the women who serve behind the counter.  It’s the food that didn’t need any fancy update or gimmick to keep people coming because it’s just that good.  But, still the prices are good – the coffee that has gone up in price but costs just 9¢.

On any given day the place is full of all different kinds of people who have stepped inside from a city that is large, and crowded, and not always friendly.  And those very same people, strangers to each other, come in,  crowd in lines in anticipation of the food, and sit down at the long tables together, enjoying the food and appreciating the establishment.

On game day at nearby Dodger Stadium or Staples Center it is packed full and the view of the lines from the stairs off Ord Street is one of my favorites!  It is a sea of team colors!  And you can feel the excitement as everyone gets their feed on before heading to cheer on their team.

There is dining upstairs.  And on a hot summer day it can be a sweltering place to sit.  There is usually a fan set in each room, but it does little more than move the hot air around.  The view out the windows are not great.  But, I enjoy all the carvings people have left in the brick walls.  I wonder how long ago some of them were done.  The food is still just as amazing.  The cold lemonade, with ice cubes floating at the top and condensation dripping quickly down the outside of the glass, tastes even better.

And I am always, no matter where I sit, surrounded by the memories of my visits here starting as a very very young girl with my family.

Day 3 in California →