Lately, Matt and I seem incapable of taking the same airplane on vacation. On the way to LA, he flew out in the early afternoon on Frontier, because he had a voucher for a cancelled flight to use up. I was flying Delta after work.
Since I have 24-hour parking in downtown Minneapolis, I decided to leave my car in the ramp and take the train, which is only a couple of blocks away. I would be arriving before Matt on the return leg, so that seemed to work out well. The airport was pretty much dead when I arrived, and the security people were barely paying attention to anything. I didn’t get scanned or patted-down, for the first time in a long while.
I got a sandwich at the new Surdyk’s at the airport, then climbed aboard my on-time, not-overbooked (!!!) flight.
We landed in LA around 7:30, and I found Matt near the rental car shuttle. We went to get the car and headed to our hotel, the Marriott at Marina Del Rey. It’s conveniently located near the airport and within walking distance of Venice. The hotel was super-fancy, way nicer than we’d normally choose, but his coworkers had picked it. There seemed to be some kind of ultralounge in the lobby, and an Indian wedding going on. The formal saris were kind of amazing.
We dropped off our bags and headed off on foot to Venice, where we had dinner reservations at 9:30. The place was about a mile away. As we headed down Ocean Drive, we suddenly heard a bunch of loud quacking, and turned to see these guys just standing in someone’s yard macking on a lady duck. They didn’t care that we were only a few feet away watching them.
We were very much underdressed for the Tasting Kitchen (their website says ‘casual’… not even close). We had a cheese plate, fresh bread, fries, and I had broccolini and lentils for dinner. We had a couple of cocktails, too, and their sidecar was the best I’ve ever had. Seriously, I’ve had some fantasies about it since. Also, our server was fantastic. We liked her a ton.
We walked back to the hotel after dinner, and this time it was past the ducks’ bedtime. Not to mention ours, since we’d sat down for dinner at 11:30 Minneapolis time!