Friday, July 6, 2012

Culinary Adventures: Pasta and so on

The foodie days continue at the casa de Pinto.  Booze is my responsibility as always, and we have a recent addition: 

Jameson 12 year
The 12 year is like the "sport" version of a sedan.  It's pretty similar, but everything's nicer.  Little smokier, the taste is more complex, the finish is longer.  Costs a bit more, too. =)

While I drank, the others busied themselves with making me dinner.
Busy kitchen
Some assembly required

It wasn't all work though.
The helmet is definitely necessary.
After a bit of work and a bit of fun, it was time to eat.
She's totally not burning her hands right now.

Kevin, Chaco, Solstice and Santa Monica

Chaco is one of those folks that went from "frisbee friend" to just "friend."  We used to play pick-up all the time in SB.  Melch played with her on the Skirts.  We went to Dargan's.  A lot.  We stayed at her parent's house for tournaments.

Chaco went to Davis for vet school.  While in Davis she accrued several pets, a degree in veterinary medicine, and a fiancĂ© by the name of Kevin.  Chaco and Kevin came to visit us for Solstice.  They also got married this last weekend, but that's another adventure.  I'm behind.

Chaco and Kevin joining us at Dargan's
The old-timers tell it that Solstice used to be a parade where semi- and fully-naked hippies ran down State Street upholding ancient Druidic ideals such as drug use and the love of colorful fabric.  Fiesta was for the celebration of our Spanish heritage.  Nowadays, the two parties tend to blend together a bit more, into something along the lines of "let's get drunk and party in Alameda park."  I'm all for keeping up the old traditions, but the new variation works okay for me as well.

I think I saw this hiding among the rocks at Stonehenge.  Happy Solstice!
Nice view from the balcony
Either way, we got some food and beers and hung out at Melch's office, which overlooks State St.  We watched the parade, went to the park, and met up with friends.  I don't have any photos, but we joined the usual suspects for some Mexican food and generally had a good time.

Sunday was my first cross country flight.  To a normal person, that means going from one side of the country to the other, but in the tongue of the FAA, it means anything over 50 nautical miles.  You have to have so many hours of dual (with an instructor) and solo (on your own) cross-country flying before you can get your PPL.  The destination was Santa Monica Airport  - SMO.  Here's a little video of the flight:

It was a fun flight.  Got to fly down the coast for a bit, see Malibu from above and run the pattern over the concrete jungle of LA.  They have a neat asian restaurant at the airport, so we parked our plane out front (literally) and went in.  I got a relatively sane dish of fried squid, but my flight instructor opted for grilled scorpion.  He graciously offered me one.  It wasn't terrible, but I probably wouldn't pay for one again.

Trusty 17L, could use a bath
The flight home was even better than the flight out.  We took off from Santa Monica at sunset and flew towards the setting sun over Malibu and the Channel Islands.

Santa Monica Pier
 I got my first night landing in as well.  Not a bad weekend, all told.