In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dave: Mexican and Korean Tacos

We left Lark and Linden in the Bay Area. Lark will be staying with the Jurisichs, Linden with the Wicinas family. They are flying home, unaccompanied, on Tuesday. We are worried about that, but I guess it's a growing experience--for them and us.

After getting the kids squared away, Pamela and I blasted down the 5 to LA, arriving just after rush hour (meaning about 1 AM). Ha ha. That's a joke. There is no end to the rush hour in LA! We got there around 7 PM and decided to visit our favorite burrito stand, Tito's Tacos. It was as filling as every. We even remembered the details of our typical order Perhaps the only difference is that everyone now stares at their phones while they wait for their food. I'm not sure that's an improvement.

Then we headed over to the Gentile's, who welcomed us to their home with typical easy-going hospitality. It was great to visit with Karen and Ralph. Their lives are on the cusp of some changes. Noah is about to leave for college. Karen has started a new job in San Francisco, and they are pondering how to set up a new pattern for their lives that allows for Karen to work while Ralph keeps a foothold in Los Angeles.

The next day Pamela and I did a drive-by of Frank Gehry's Disney Hall, which was wonderful. We were supposed to meet Bruce Favish for lunch in Santa Monica but we were also intrigued by a phenomenon we had read about, Korean tacos.

Pamela got online and determined that one of the Korean taco trucks would be on the west side this afternoon. So we set our navigation system and prepared our taste buds. Our plan was to eat a little pre-lunch.

We arrived in a parking lot behind a non-descript office building in Brentwood. There are a few people hanging around. After a few minutes they all start queuing up. Pretty soon there are 35 people standing in a line in a parking lot, but no sign of the truck. It's supposed to show up at noon, but noon passes and no truck. Lots of people consult their phones. Word goes out that the truck is delayed 30 minutes for mechanical problems. One of the reasons I had heard about the Korean taco trucks was because they are often cited as one of the first practical uses for Twitter. The crowd can tell you when the blessed truck is in your neighborhood. We saw this in action while we waited.

Pamela and I had a few minutes to spare and this was such a strange event we decide to wait it out. Finally the truck rolls up. The driver apologizes but everyone grovels and says, "No problem." Clearly these people LOVE these tacos and don't want to mess with the driver.

I have to say, the tacos were incredibly good. Slightly sweet, fairly spicey, excellent meat. A most unique taste combination. We only had one each. I could have eaten five. Although it was just a few bites, it was one of best meals we have had on the whole trip. No wonder people are lining up in parking lots.

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