My dear readers (or whoever reads this thing), my apologies for the delayed entry. I assure you that I have not been kidnapped by midgets and shipped to Siberia in a sealed drum, neither have I vanished from the blogosphere. My lil' laptop-that-could has been in the "repair shop" (AKA the able hands of my uncle) for routine maintenance. Not to fear: it is up and running again. And so are the pictures.
Los Angeles has been treating me well, even if has rained the past four days in a row (the alternately incensed and surprised reactions of native Angelenos is quite amusing, I must say). In any case, I will do my best to recap:
Since it was a sunny 82 degrees, we decided to trek out to Venice Beach. Before hitting the sand, we stopped at Yashima, a Japanese restaurant with savory udon and soba noodles. My cousin told me that she first heard of this place from her cousin years ago. Kyle had a cute kids' meal that was served in a three-layer interlocking bowl that was shaped like a baby cub. I thought it was an ingenius idea. Oh, the Japanese and their innovativeness. Most of the clientele looked like young adult co-workers on a lunch break.
I ordered una don (eel over rice) combo, which came with a choice of hot or cold soba -- I opted for the cold. Daikon, seaweed, tempura flakes, wasabi and a small green bottle of soba sauce accompanied the dish. I emptied out the tempura and used that container for my soba sauce, since I wanted to do it the 'traditional' way: Dunk a serving of soba into the sauce and slurp it up real quick. I had a grand time trying out my technique (sorry, my picture didn't come out right, but you can get an idea of how it looked here).
My cousin ordered the tempura udon, a classic choice.
Venice beach was a beautifully relaxing and peaceful time. I got to engage in one of my all-time favorite activities: people-watching. Bicyclists zipped by in massive numbers. It must be a popular pastime here. There's nothing better than laying out on a stretch of sand and letting all the distractions and cares of the day float away with the cry of the seagulls and the waves lapping on the shore. I took many pictures of the sea, beachcombers and palm trees. Everyone from wiry-yet-spry old white dudes to tattoo-sporting Latinos, college/high school students and an inordinate number of females jogging with their canine friends graced the beach.
P.S. I've attempted this entry three times and somehow my pictures refuse to integrate with the text today, so I will post the pics separately as I am running out of patience with this moody laptop. I swear, it has a mind of its own.