Monday, November 28, 2016

LA and Tucson November 2016

 All Pictures are at the bottom!

A star is born, Opal Moon, literally a star is born! Yes, Opal Moon the daughter of famed Sara
Erikson and the infamous Peter Oldring well know from his world wide radio show, This is That.

Better late than never, yes Opal Moon was born over 5 months ago we finally made the trip west to see the beautiful rising star. Yes, just five months old but already an Internet sensation. Co-staring with her parent on the famous internet show Coffee with Sara and Peter.

Once we arrived in LAX we got our car and headed to the Oldring compound, not far from the Hollywood Hills. Our stay will be short as we are killing two birds with one stone and also visiting Chephart Yosh in Tucson, more on that later.

Once at the compound we were greeted by Maggie (the family dog), John, Opal Moon's grandfather, and Sara. Peter was recording an up coming show so he was in-dispose.

It was getting close to lunch time so we headed out for an awesome lunch, I am sorry I do not remember the name of the restaurant. While the food was fantastic, everything farm to table and prepared in a sustainable manner. The lunch was rather hectic, we were constantly being interrupted by total strangers. Each stopping and asking for autographs and requesting selfies. I was shocked how many fans got upset when Sara would happily let people take selfies with Opal Moon, but when she explained Opal Moon would not be given autographs, all hell would break loose. What did the fans expect, a five month old to sign her name. I had to remind myself we were in Los Angles, where reality is a reality show.

After lunch we decided it was best to just hang at the house, relax in the pool and catch up.

Dinner was unbelievable. Not many people know this but Peter Oldring prior to becoming a famous
entertainer had actually set his sights on the culinary world and attended the Culinary Institute of America also known as the CIA. In fact Peter Oldring was the first natural born Canadian to graduate from the CIA!

Sorry to digress, the point I am trying to make, is we had the best pizza ever, actually second best, but I do not want to hurt Peter Oldring's feelings, you know how sensitive entertainers can be. So lets stick with the best. A big part of why the pizza was so good was the oven.

Peter Oldring had contracted to have a custom oven built, by a world renowned brick wood burning pizza oven manufacture in Italy. Once built the oven was flown over and installed in Peter Oldring outdoor kitchen. Peter Oldring made many different types of pizzas. From your standard cheese with tomatoes sauce, to truffles and sausage.

After many piazzas and a little wine we decided to call it a night as it had been a long day.

Today we will be just hanging out and continue our bonding with Opal Moon. We did decided to take Opal Moon for a short hike in the Santa Monica Hills. One nice thing about Los Angles, as densely populated as it is, they seem to have a good amount of open space for enjoying the outdoors.

Opal Moon was fidgeting during the hike, while Sara Erikson blamed this on a cold, I think it was the nature of her stardom, and not having her entire entourage accompanying her. (see Pictures)

After the hike we decided to go tour of the Pure Light Candle Factory. As you may remember John Erikson, Opal Moon's grandfather had built a huge soy candle empire on the East Coast of the United States. With all the success John Erikson had on the East Coast, he was always frustrated that he was
never able to get traction on the West Coast of the United States. With the birth of his granddaughter Opal Moon he decided now was the time to grow the West Coast business. So he loaded up his truck and move to Beverly, Hills that is.

While it had only been five months, the Pure Light Soy Candle factory was humming at full capacity. John Erikson in just a short time managed to displace most other West Coast soy candle manufactures and had become the dominate player in the soy candle industry.

After the tour we headed to Hugo's in West Hollywood for lunch. What an experience, and not in a good way. Right from the beginning, with having to wait ten minutes just to park, to the poor service, and low quality food I would say, do not go to Hugo's if you are in Los Angles.

Back to the house for more bonding time and our last supper with Peter Oldring as head chef. Dinner
was black cod, also known as Sable Fish marinated and then cooked in an iron skillet over an open grill. Accompanied by green veggies, and potatoes. All prepared in Peter Oldring's gourmet style.

Another early night as we had an early flight to Tucson the next morning. We said our goodbyes and went off to sleep.

Off to Tucson and a visit with Chephart Yosh, it had been to long time since we had visited our good friend Chephart Yosh almost a year had passed. We will be spending the next four days at Canyon
Ranch Tucson. Once we arrived at the ranch it was off to exercise. Some people might refer to Canyon Ranch as fat camp.

Ross and Sue arrived a little after us. The four of us will be doing the El Tour de Tucson on Saturday. A 106 mile bike ride that circles the city of Tucson.

We enjoyed a great dinner with Chephart Yosh and had a great nights sleep.

Today Ross and Sue headed out for a warm up bike ride in the western mountains. Margarite and I will be borrowing bike for the ride from Canyon Ranch. We had arranged to pick up the bikes at 7:00
am and take them on a break in ride for size and comfort.

There were 12 other riders with us, we rode Sabino Canyon. The riders ranged from, could barely ride a bike, to advanced. The ride was short and sweet with a fairly significant climb at the half way point. We decided the bikes would be fine, not that comfortable, but fine for borrowed bikes. After the ride it was back to fat camp with classes from muscle max, surf set, to core conditioning and balance and posture. Finishing off with an afternoon half mile swim.

One day until the ride, we decide it would be smart to take the bikes for another warm up ride, Ross and Sue joined us for a short but hilly ride through Saguaro National Park East. It looked like all would be good for tomorrow's ride.

There was a craft show going on in Tucson plus we had to pick up our race registrations at the convention center so we decided to head downtown. Of course you can not go into downtown Tucson without first grabbing a Sonora Dog or two for lunch. This year we had our Sonora Dogs at El Sinaloense #5, to die for.

The expo had many vendors and was well attended, worth the time. The craft show had some interesting crafters, but nothing that got me excited.

Dinner was at the Flying V Bar and Grill as usually we all had excellent meals. The best part Chephart Yosh had a 25% off coupon.

We would be departing at 5:00 am for our ride so we called an early lights out.

Wake up call 4:30 am, off at 5:00 am, it was suggested you get to the race closer to 4:30 am, that seemed crazy to us and we found out it would of been. We reached the convention center where we parked at 5:30 am. We had a full one and a half hours before the start. Plenty of time to kill. We got the bikes and equipment ready and then headed to the start about a half mile away. We reached the start at 6:15 am. The elite riders had been camping at the start for many hours some with cots and sleeping bags.

We lined up at the back of the gold section, there were four starting sections, platinum, gold, silver,
and bronze. Each section was designated with a range of finishing times. It was an honor system, each rider was to pick their start section based on their best guess on how long it would take to finish the race.

The race started right on time 7:00 am. While at the start we could feel a breeze, we had no idea what we were in for. Of the four of us Ross the strongest rider took the lead with Sue right on his wheel. Margarite was next, but not close enough to gain any benefit from Sue's draft. I followed taking all the advantage I could get from Margarite's wheel.

The crowd thin fairly quickly and the course was well patrolled by the police, all the intersections were closed to vehicles. After 8 miles we made a right turn heading due East right into a 30 mile an hour wind. At this point Margarite and I lost sight of Ross and Sue, we assumed it would be the last we would see of them. From that point on it felt as if the wind was always on our nose no matter the direction we rode.

At the 23 mile mark Sue and Ross came up behind us, we did not know it but we had passed them while they stopped at a rest stop. They rode with us for a few miles before getting bored and taking off again. Both Margarite and I were starting to get saddle soreness and tight shoulders from riding bikes that were not fitted for us.

As we continued peddling into the wind, which felt like we were biking through peanut butter, we realized we most likely did not have 106 miles in us. Luckily for us, we had a plan B. Canyon Ranch was on the course at about the 47 mile mark. This was our new goal and we archived it easily. While neither of us were overly tired, we were both ready to get off those dam bikes.

We had a big breakfast / lunch and then went a did a balance class before the hot tube and shower. Ross and Sue both completed the 106 miles. Ross averaging over 18 miles an hour and Sue over 15 miles an hour. Great job to both.

Today Ross and Sue departed for their journey home rather early. Margarite, Chephart Yosh and I went for a hike in Sabino Canyon. Though I have hiked this canyon many times I always enjoy the unique cactus that grow in this area of the country.

After the hike we had breakfast before heading, back to the craft fair. Chephart Yosh had found a piece of art she wanted to purchase. There was also a very special art exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art we enjoyed.

After the downtown excursion we headed back to Canyon Ranch to just enjoy great conversation and solve the worlds problems.

Today it is off to parts unknown.



All Pictures

LA Tucson November 2016

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