LA side trips

While in town for the wedding, we took the opportunity to explore LA. Some googling later we found this nice patch of wilderness called Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space just a short drive northwest of Santa Monica. In the summer it's mostly a rolling sea of grass flecked with shrubs and the occasional oak, but atop one of the many smallish hills is a locally well-known grotto by the name of Cave of Munitz. The climb is steep and a bit precarious at places but nothing beyond the skills of a determined lay excursionist, and in fact, slightly piqued our interest in bouldering.

After the hike we met up with M+J, who never let a visit go by without a few feasts. This time, we got to try Sugar Fish in Santa Monica (who knew sushi with warm rice could be such a winning pairing), Park's BBQ in Korea Town (where dining under a photo of Psy's ludicrous grin made us feel like celebrities just by virtue of getting a seat here), and Mama Lu's in Monterey Park (how do we spirit 50 frozen soup dumplings for $18.50 back to Boston by way of France?).

And finally a trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens in the moneyed 'hood of San Marino. Our favorites by far were the absurdly large succulents in the desert garden.

Next stop: Dublin