Month: April 2013

Havana Eva

There’s a movie named after both our daughters:


So, there’s a movie named after me, Troy, (starring Brad Pitt as me, good casting!), a movie named after Gay, Happy Gilmore, a movie named after Havana, Havana starring Robert Redford who I assume plays her father (another brilliant casting choice), a movie kinda named after Hudson, Hudson Hawk, two movies named after Eva, Eva and Eva, and now a movie named after both Havana and Eva.

If I weren’t dumb and unable to see obvious patterns, I’d trademark the titles “Gay Troy”, “Havana Hudson”, “Hudson Eva”, etc.

Southern California

We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Legoland. It’s no Disneyland and Hudson was disappointed to find out that it’s not just a big pile of Legos to play with. Havana went on every ride, Hudson refused to go on any rides and Eva was too little to go on any rides. 5 hours there was plenty for me.


Then we drove to San Diego through normally heavy California traffic to see White Labs, one of the two US yeast companies. They have a tasting room where you can get the same beer fermented with different yeast strains to compare the yeast. I also got a quick tour of the facility.


Ale Smith, one of my new favorite breweries, is a few minutes away so we stopped there and I picked up some beers (barrel-aged Wee Heavy and Old Numbskull!) and a shirt. Their tap room was packed with people!


Then we drove back up to Escondido for dinner at the Stone Brewery and Bistro. It’s a great place with a big garden area outside. The food was okay but more upscale than a typical brewpub menu. I was surprised at how many non-Stone beers they had — I was expecting a lot of Stone one-offs and there was a couple cask versions of their beers, but for the most part, it was a standard Stone beer list. I had Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and the May version of Enjoy By IIPA.

Los Angeles

We drove to Long Beach for lunch at Beachwood BBQ, a well-regarded beer brewpub and beer bar. The food was great, the best food we’ve had on the trip and I’m not a big barbeque meat person. Then we drove to Placentia to The Bruery but we got there an hour-and-a-half before they can serve beer in their tasting room (which is a nice tasting room). So we just bought some bottles of beer they don’t distribute to WA and drove up the road to Noble Ale Works, a recommended newer brewery. Their tasting room is much lower-rent but the beer wasn’t bad. We left, got the kids some ice cream and sat in traffic until we got back home.

Note about the car culture: Because Southern CA is one big suburb, everything is 45 minutes away from everything else! I’m surprised that restaurants have restrooms in them — I think Californians wouldn’t mind getting in their cars and driving 45 minutes to use one. It’s no wonder traffic is so heavy here. There’s lots of sports cars even though you rarely get above 20 MPH on highways; it must be Californian wishful-thinking. If southern CA is any indication, Maserati is one of the top car-makers in the world. I’ve never seen so many Quattroportes not in an episode of Entourage.


I begrudgingly went to Disneyland and planned to hate it. But I was impressed, especially with California Adventure and Cars Land, for the construction alone. I was not expecting that level of attention to detail and clever design. I highly recommend the “VIP Tour” — a Disney person guides you through the park, tells you the history and points out interesting things but most importantly, gets you right into the rides without having to wait in line (mostly); it’s basically FastPass but without requiring a reservation.



Mrs. Incredible was more incredible in real life…