FRIDAY June 28th, 2019!!!

Time to pack up!

I’m on the home stretch of publishing my next book about all the gems of wisdom I’ve learned over 30 some years and this trip should give me the solitude I need to finish “LIFE WISDOM”.

 

 

SATURDAY

We checked in to our accommodations for the week and then headed to the La Brea Tar pit park. This is one of my favorite places in L.A. Today was Latin Music day at the Amphitheater so we had an extra special treat while enjoying the park.

To end the day we went to watch Aladdin at the Chinese theater. It is such a beautiful place to enjoy films.

 

SUNDAY

We try to make Sunday’s our extra spiritual morning and beach afternoon. We went to the Studio City market and then to explore Simon Rodia’s WATTS TOWERS before heading to Venice for the day.

We ended the day by going to a Studio City pub called “Darts Darts Darts” to watch the men’s soccer team get past Curacao in the Gold Cup quarter finals. Then we took a pizza back home to close out the night with a movie.

 

MONDAY

I spent the morning working on my book and this blog before exploring the neighborhood. Tujunga Ave. is a lovely area with wild plum trees and Mediterranean flowers everywhere. One thing that was lacking was the presence of Orange trees.

I found this amazing tree house. It was three levels and included some ornate features like wood shutters.

 

I eventually found my way to the park and got busy with a full leg workout. There are several nice body weight machines at the Woodbridge park. There was also an outdoor workout group for us to mingle with.

V on scooter

We then got on an electric scooter and rode around the hood. There was this lovely rose plastered wall with tile steps and beautiful flowers down the road.

V on scooter

 

TUESDAY

Started the morning with some blog updates while loading the Dart Connect stream on my phone so I could follow the first PDC qualifier while hiking.

While I got caught up on the blog and photos I watched the USWNT defeat England in the Women’s Wolrd Cup. After the game was over I went and explored the area around the Universal Studios on a BIRD scooter. I learned not to get within 2 blocks of their riding dead zones. It took me 10 minutes to cross a dangerous intersection by the interstate that was under construction and then the scooter shut down saying I was too far out of the riding zone. I couldn’t shut off the billing timer until I returned to the safe zone. It took another 10 minutes to cross the intersection again and then the scooter gps didn’t report accurately so I had to go another 10 minutes back towards where I started before it would finally let me log out. I ended up paying $12 for $4 worth of a scooter ride.

Don’t get even try to go close to the boarder if you are in this situation.

I went back to the apartment and rested before my Tuesday poker tournament. The Tuesday night game in Sherman Oaks is one of my favorites. It is a $50 entry and the pot usually reaches around $1800 making for good payouts.

Due to the 4th holiday the turn out was a bit low but I still got 2nd place and made $360 to pay for my trip. I have made money at this game all four times I have been able to go.

 

WEDNESDAY

Today I was getting ready for our trip to Vegas so I stayed close to the apartment. I watched more of the PDC qualifiers and the USMNT beat Jamaica to advance to the Gold cup final vs. Mexico.

I spent most of the day doing different work outs in the park and having wonderful conversations with new friends. I met this very interesting Russian born model, psychologist and spiritual life coach women named Nakita. I’m helping guide her on a quest to establish a Spiritual Center similar to what I am forming in Hawkins Texas.

I picked V up from work and we went to dinner with actor buddy, Rod. We went to this lovely outdoor cafe again Aroma’s. It is decorated very similar to what we want to do at the Edom shop with this amazing pergola.

After dinner, we headed up the mountain to do some exploring during sunset. We found some lovely abandoned areas with the remains of unique structures. A few areas around the parks were being zoned to allow new homes to be built which added this cool ambiance from having the combination of the two.

Clarita Canyon

THURSDAY JULY 4th

We got up at 6am to load up. By 7:30am, we were on the road to head for Vegas for the World Series of Darts and Poker.

If you are not on the road early, the sub 4 hour drive becomes a 5.5 hour nightmare. We dodged all of the traffic and made it in under 4 hours. We had one slight moment of excitement that was a once in a lifetime experience. We didn’t really notice but we drove just a few miles to the east of one of the larger earth quakes in California in the past 30 years. This 6.4 earth quake was just west of the interstate to Vegas.

When we arrived we did a lap around town before scoping out the PDC Dart scene at Mandalay Bay.

We then went to Excalibur and checked into our room. We went to the pool for a few hours before going back to the Mandalay Bay for dinner.

We went to the Noodle Cafe and the world #6 PDC dart pro, Michael Smith sat next to us with his family. I took a few pictures and told him “I enjoyed his game; it was nice to him; and wished him some straight shooting in the finals tomorrow.” Michael said thank you very much and told me he was feeling good as he shook my hand.

After dinner we spent $27 each and went to the pool party and firework show. It was midnight by the time we got back to Excalibur so we called it a night.

Vegas fireworks partyVegas Fireworks

FRIDAY

Started the morning by getting an all day buffet pass for $38. The food was worth it if you go for all 3 meals.

I spent the morning watching darts and poker at the pool. Then after lunch I hit the gym until 3:30. I did a little more writing and then headed over to the Rio to watch the WSOP Main event action and play a little poker.

Upon arriving at the Rio there was a line of poker players being escorted to a new table assignment so I followed them to the hot zone. We walked through the casino gambling hall and rounded a corner to the entrance of the convention center. As I continued down the hall more WSOP signs and advertising was on display. The hall opened up to a grand entry area that housed all the WSOP clothing merchandise. Beyond the grand entry was the first entrance to the biggest room called the Pavilion.

As I walked around the tables in the Pavilion I was able to watch some of the higher profile players including Norm McDonald, Kevin Pollak, defending champion John Cynn, Jamie Gold, Shaun Deeb and Jesse Sylvia.

I was near Kevin Pollak’s table when one or two players started standing up at each table and quickly headed for the exits. I couldn’t understand what the commotion was all about but a few seconds later people near me started pointing at the ceilings!

We were experiencing a slight after shock and the light platforms along with any other lose items were swaying back and forth. I was moving around stretching during the 3 seconds of the shake so I didn’t even notice it. The WSOP Director announced that the players were to take an early dinner break and return in 90 minutes for safety reasons. The dealers had to stay at the table and guard the chips during the commotion.

I wanted to get to the ESPN filming area known as the Thunderdome before the convention center was locked up. It was possible that the tournament may be suspended for the remainder of the night and I wanted to experience the featured tables in the Amazon room so I worked my way through the 4,000 some players to reach the Amazon.

I had to wait for the next person to open the door in order to gain access into the locked area. Once inside it was amazing. The featured tables were highlighted by neon signs and surrounded by camera equipment and video screens. I took some video and pictures and then explored the rest of the area while waiting for the tournament to continue.

WSOP thunderdome

I spent the rest of the night, until 1am, watching the featured tables with Jamie Gold and Jesse Sylvia. You can see me in the background of the day 1c programming on ESPN! Vanessa was keeping busy with some entertainment of her own.  😉

Vegas buns

I returned back to the Excalibur to walk Vanessa back to the room from the lounge she was relaxing in.

SATURDAY

The previous 2 days were so busy with the PDC Darts and WSOP events that I didn’t have much time to play any poker myself. I jumped out of bed at 7am and headed to the Excalibur poker room to get some action.

At 11am it was time to check out. We loaded up the car and headed to Red Rock Canyon park West of town.

We made it back to L.A. about 6pm and went straight to a pool party at the top of Laurel Canyon.

After the party we went to check in to our new accommadations where V will be staying in L.A. before hitting the road for filming.

SUNDAY

We started the day by watching the USA women’s national team beat the Netherlands in the World Cup final. We then went to explore another new farmer’s market. This time we were at a Laurel Canyon / Encino market.

Encino Market

After the market we went to the Mediation Gardens on Sunset. It is one of my favorite Sunday destinations.

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After the garden, it was time to head to a sports bar to watch the men’s Gold Cup final against Mexico.

Soccer party

We ended the night by going to stand up night at the Comedy Store on Sunset. A few well known comedians were on the line up.

I went straight to the airport after the comedy finshed at 10p. Unfortunately the traffic was extra slow and there were no delays on my flight. The biggest problem however was that I was in such a hurry, I missed a sign redirecting me between two terminals and the next thing I knew I was passing through a security exit. This caused me to have to start the check in process all over and repeat the previous 13 minutes of the journey. Once I arrived to the gate that was listed on my ticket, the gate display said Orlando instead of DFW. I asked the service rep and she explained that the gate was changed from 39 to 34. I then gave up because after all the delays, I was already 8 minutes past the final boarding time.

By the time I made it to gate 34, the service rep told me the flight was departing and I would have to get in line for a stand by ticket. I quickly met 4 other parties that were about to begin the same tedious game of stand by with me. We didn’t know it then, but we would be playing 5 rounds of this game over the next 10 hours. Our original flights were scheduled around midnight and finding an open seat on any other flight would be left up to luck due to others missing their boarding as well. LAX to DFW is one of the most highly demanded flights because they transport a large portion of international travelors.

This father, son, wife and their dog were first in line. Followed by a young girl wanting to transfer to a sooner flight, a young man traveling solo and then me. There was also this elderly Asian man who would ask the same question over and over each time we were transferred to a new flight and gate.

The mom, dog and son got on a flight at 6am. The young girl got a seat on a 7am flight. There were no seats open on the 8am and 9am flights. The father, the young man and I all finally got a seat on the 10am flight.

I made it to DFW at 3:30pm and there were no seats available on the 5pm flight but I was given the final available seat on the 9pm flight. The 5pm flight was canceled due to possible lightning and I quickly took the opportunity to make friends with a businessman who clearly had his life together. We discussed sharing a rental car and he picked one other businessman to join us. There was no sense in me waiting around the airport for another 4 hours with the high probablility that the flight would be canceled anyway.

It turned out that the other passenger fella lived next door to my most recent customer out in the middle of nowhere Ben Wheeler country side.

We dropped off the Ben Wheeler man at his house and then siad our good-byes at the Tyler airport bringing my July Los Angeles adventure to an end.

Stay tuned for my next journey. In late July and early August I plan on taking my bi-annual birthday adventure to the Colorado Rockies, Black Hills and Sturgis motorcycle rally!

 

 

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