Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

SoCal trip day 3

Yesterday we had another rather low-key day, for LA. After another so-so continental breakfast at the hotel (supplemented with McDougall breakfast cups we'd bought at Whole Foods), we met up with Amy and her family for lunch at Swingers, a wonderful diner that features tasty selections of both vegan and omnivore cuisine. I had the day's special which was a vegan club sandwich, and a soy chocolate-peanut butter shake, and everyone else had pancakes. Thanks to Amy's sharp eye, I also enjoyed my first LA celebrity sighting: Jill Hennessy of Law and Order and Crossing Jordan fame. (Appropriate considering the number of L&O reruns we tend to watch while traveling.)

We spent a bit of time watching children's TV with Madeleine, then headed to UCLA to go geocaching. We decided to take the bus, so we can now verify that LA does actually have usable public transit (and natural-gas powered, at that). The first cache was located in a botanical garden which unfortunately ended up being closed for the President's Day holiday. The second cache we did find, after a bit of going in and out of buildings and up and down stairs.

boyziggy and I then went to an all-raw restaurant, Juliano's. I had heard of this place when there was a location in San Francisco, but had never gone as I'm not a big raw-food fan in general. This cuisine, however, was exquisite. I had a pasta made from zucchini, with mangoes and a nut-based sauce, and a deliciously sweet vanilla nut milk drink. Amazing what the chefs can do using only fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Later I tried to upload photos to Flickr, but Flickr was "having a massage" (one of their cute "web site is down right now" euphemisms). This downtime was only one of many computer annoyances on this trip, many self-inflicted. I didn't get around to printing any maps for the geocaches we hoped to do, and trying to get PDF maps from our laptop onto either of our Treos was an exercise in futility. boyziggy found a mobile-friendly version of the geocaching web site, but did not give the maps, only the coordinates and text description. Eventually I was able to get Google Maps on the Treo to recognize the compass directions, so that we'd have a map to the general area rather than having to rely exclusively on our GPS devices.

The other computer issue was not getting around to making mix CDs for listening to in the car. With over six hours of driving between LA, Palm Springs, and San Diego, we didn't want to rely on purely local stations. We had previously used a device that would play our iPods through the car stereo, but found them troublesome, especially in highly-populated areas where it is nearly impossible to find an open frequency. So Ziggy asked me to burn some CDs of songs, but I didn't get around to it. We ended up getting some blank CDs from Amy and Gary, and then trying to figure out how to either burn playlists directly from our iPods, or copy music from the iPod to the laptop first, something that Apple intentionally makes difficult. I found a command in iTunes that copied all purchased music, but this only got a couple hundred tracks and included a lot of Monk and Law and Order TV shows I'd already watched. Eventually I found a free program called Senuti which did the trick, and with a very nice iTunes-like interface to boot. But a little more preparation would have saved a lot of hassle...
Tags: geocaching, travel

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