Friday, April 03, 2009

Field Trip

Yesterday The Rev. and I packed up the little one and headed north to Los Angeles. A friend from high school was giving a talk and having a book signing at a small book store on the Sunset Strip. I knew The Rev. would not want to go just for a 10 minute face to face with someone I haven't seen in nearly 16 years, but I told him we could go to Pann's Restaurant first for fried chicken and waffles and then drive the 20 minutes to see Heather. This would be Lucas's first extened road trip, and after clocking in nearly two hours in his car seat he was ready for some fried chicken.

We first went to Pann's after The Rev.'s return from his Mexican experience, and we have been talking about their fried chicken for the past two years. I recall Willard Scott once speaking about being a judge at the Memphis in May BBQ cooking contest, he told the interviewer that after a while you think you cannot look at another piece of smoked pork, but then, when you leave the experience all you can think is , "Must. Get. Smoked. Pork." The Rev. and I feel the same way about Pann's. We haven't overdosed on it by any means, but as of late we've been looking at each other and saying, "Must. Get. Fried. Chicken." So off to Pann's we went and we immensely enjoyed our fried chicken. And all I can think of at this moment (even after Sunday brunch) is the next time I will get to sink my teeth into a chicken wing fried to a crispy, golden goodness.

Our road trips have been rare, due to the nature of our schedules, and our trips to Los Angeles even rarer. We have both traveled there for our jobs on separate occasions, and given our tastes of L.A. traffic, we don't travel there if we don't have to. The trip was unfolding spectacularly well, and we left the restaurant with plenty of time to make it the bookstore. It was literally a straight shot down La Cienega to the Strip, and once we got there our lives of suburban domesticity came out and sucker-punched in the face: no free parking. We drove up and down, looking for a place to park, or at least, a place that would take a Visa card, because who in the world carries cash with them these days? I can think of two people in my life that would always have cash on them, and unluckily for us, they weren't in the backseat of our car. Most of the available parking demanded ten bucks in cash, and my frustration mounted with the lack of ATMs. After the fourth u-turn down a street, I just so happened to pull out and cut off a squad car carrying two of L.A.'s finest. And I promptly got pulled over.

I was fully expecting a ticket, and I will admit I deserved one for the fit I was subjecting The Rev. to as I drove. Instead, the officer gave me a mini-lecture on the importance of "being cognizant while operating a motor vehicle." and then directed me to a public parking lot a few blocks away that actually accepted ATM cards. As he pulled away, I turned to The Rev. and said, "You are so laughing on the inside right now, aren't you?" He responded with a laugh, and we found the public parking lot a few minutes later.

I did get to see my friend, and due to the courteousness of the staff, they actually directed us to cut the line because I was carrying Lucas. I think she was suprised to see me, and we had a few good minutes to catch up. She mentioned wanting to get back to California, and I hope she does come back. I would be happy to show her around, and I won't get pulled over again.


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