This year marked the tenth year that Matt and I have been married. Ten years. So we decided to take a trip to celebrate. Our first destination of choice was NOLA. (New Orleans) Matt actually suggested it based on my writing background and my reading habits. Planning a trip for NOLA proved to be a difficult task for some reason or another, so we chose a different location, a location that Matt has been wanting to take me to for going on three years – L.A.
Specifically Manhattan Beach. For a pretzel. Yes, you read that correctly. Matt wanted me to go to L.A. for a pretzel.
A little background:
I love soft pretzels. Growing up in Germany I was spoiled by big, salt covered pretzels. The soft pretzels you find State-side simply don’t stand up to their amazing flavor and texture. Matt has teased me for years regarding my high regard of the German Soft Pretzel. He simply didn’t understand the difference…Until he went to Manhattan Beach on a business trip and had dinner at a place that served pretzels that were made and then shipped directly from Munich. He came home and all he said was – “I understand.”
So for the last three years Matt has said on and off that he wants to take me to the restaurant that served the pretzel and get my opinion on it. What better reason to plan an anniversary trip to L.A. for?
It started out at ohmygodwhattimeisit (3:30 a.m.) in order to catch a 6 a.m. flight. I don’t mind getting up early for flights, but this flight was less than pleasant with cramped seating and grumpy flight crew. (There were a host of other things that pretty much ensured we will never fly Spirit again.)
Arriving in Sunny L.A. at 7:30 a.m. we pick up our rental car. We find a Dodge Challenger on the lot and get it – Matt’s been itching to drive one. And we’re off for breakfast in El Segundo.
With time to kill before heading to the Hotel we head to Manhattan Beach. My first view of the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking. It’s a bit on the cool side and windy, but that doesn’t stop us from walking up the pier and watching the surfers catching a few waves. It was a typical morning in California and I totally loved it.
After checking in at the hotel Matt and I sort of collapsed in a tired heap and took an afternoon nap. A nap that was interrupted by a fire alarm, which had us bolting out the door and down three flights of stairs into the warm sunshine…to find no one else had even budged. Seriously, no one. Not a single person vacated the hotel… When Matt asked the front desk they shrugged their shoulders and said everything was fine. (We later found out that there was an earthquake that day and surmised that this must have been what set the alarm off. We didn’t even feel a rumble.)
I decided I wanted to visit a yarn store. Yes, I actually looked up the local yarn stores in the area and decided I wanted to visit one while in L.A. So we hop in the car and start to head in that direction. Just outside the hotel the car makes noises like it’s going to through something through the engine block. So we turn it around and go back to the parking garage and call the rental place…
Three and a half hours later we finally get a replacement car and I have made substantial progress on my vacation knitting. (We didn’t make it to the yarn store until the last day – before heading to the airport to fly home.) Tired and hungry we head back toward the area we were at that morning to grab dinner. We wait for a solid half an hour- typical for any Friday night at a restaurant. This is the place that Matt wants me to have the pretzel at. We order. Matt comments that the tea is served with orange slices instead of lemon. It’s a West Coast thing. The pretzel arrives. The entire day was worth it.
Places we visited/ate at on our trip:
Manhattan Beach Brewing Company – The Pretzel place.
The Original Rinaldi’s – A sandwich shop that we visited while hanging out with Jordan.
Manhattan Beach Creamery – Cute little ice cream and sweets shop just a little walk away from the pier in downtown. After walking up and down hills I deserved some ice cream.
The Kettle – We had dinner and drinks with Jordan and Katie here. The sign reminded me strongly of the Kettle chain that closed down in Norman. That’s where the similarities ended though. Amazing fried zucchini.
Disneyland – Just Disneyland not California Adventure. Amazingly fun. (My first Disney park ever.) We only spent a day there and didn’t ride as many rides as you would think. Highlights – Meeting Micky, Space Mountain, The FOOD!, the parade. Seeing Matt light up…
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House – A true diner. We sat at the counter and had a California Diner breakfast.
Rock’N Fish – So much good food. So little room. This was our last dinner in Manhattan Beach and it was amazing. Best Brusselsprouts ever.
Twist:Yarns of Intrigue – Yes, I did visit the yarn shop. And that is a whole other post on it’s own.