Final Chapter of the Play-by-Play

Wednesday, July 21, 2004, at 03:49AM

By Eric Richardson

As promised, here's the last installation listing all the things my mom and I did while she was out here visiting. We've already made it through Sunday night, so we'll start this chapter Monday morning. I'm still going for the bullet point approach, since it's quick and I've got a lot to catch up on today.

  • Monday morning we slept in a bit, then I picked her up around 11 and we made the quick drive up to JPL. I've been there a year and a half now, so we figured it was probably time for a family member to actually see where I work. My boss gave a little tour around my group, and then after eating lunch we made our way down to the auditorium and caught onto a lab tour that was just starting out from there.

  • After that we started out about 3pm and took a hike in the mountains behind the lab. We only went to Paul Little picnic area, but the 4.2 mile or so round trip was all we could fit in before dark.

  • Monday night we picked Miggles up from my apartment and made our way out to Venice for dinner at C&O Trattoria. It was a mixed-emotion visit to an old favorite, though I have to hold off judgement before I can say if it was an aberation or a trend. The food's still as great and plentiful as it ever was, but prices are up and a couple of little things just seemed a little off to me. Still a great value and great left-overs, just not quite the steal it once was.

  • Tuesday morning I picked my mom up and brought her back downtown. We walked over to the LA Flower District and made our way through an amazing array of plants and blooms.

  • Lunch was at the Angelique Cafe, which I've mentioned before. Good as always, and I've still got a half a steak sandwich sitting in my refrigerator next to the leftover pasta.

  • After lunch we did a little shopping, never wandering more than a block from my apartment, but still managing to find everything we were looking for. My mom bought a big piece of rolling luggage for a little under $20, and I picked up a vacuum for $50.

  • A little break at the apartment to watch the Cubs blow their game against the Cardinals, and then the three of us got in the car and took a little drive down Wilshire, turning north on Western and making our way into Griffith Park. We wound around hills, climbing via car to the observatory. There we exited the car to take in the view, one thing led to another, and eventually we were climbing Mt. Hollywood. While on the summit I got invited to Def Con, which would be weird anywhere but in LA. Here anything goes. I won't be heading to Vegas this week, though I might take up an offer to get comp'ed into ApacheCon later this fall.

  • Back to my apartment for leftovers, and then over to Kathy's (where my mom was staying) for me to get a bit of a hair cut.

  • Our final trip was over to Westwood to pay a stop at Diddy Reese for some ice cream sandwich goodness.

United's flight tracker shows my mom's plane to be leaving any minute now, so I think that wraps things up. It was a busy five days, but they were good ones.