Monday, September 05, 2011

Los Angeles Trip - Day 2

Reposted from my old blogsite...
Los Angeles Trip – Day Two
September 21, 2008, Sunday

Elai dropped off Elle and I at Elle’s apartment after our Saturday evening dinner.  We were to meet the following day, Sunday, for lunch.  Elai would be attending church with Joshua while Elle and I would go to Elle’s church in downtown Los Angeles.  Back at Elle’s apartment, we spent time talking till past midnight… so much of catching up to do, lol!  But we had to catch some sleep or we’d be droopy-eyed the next day.
Sunday morning, Elle and I prepared to go to church.  We first had breakfast of coffee and toast.  Elle attends at Angelus Temple on Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.  Their Sunday morning service is at 10:00 am at the main sanctuary.  I was excited coz Elai was telling me that their praise and worship segment was like watching a concert, and they had a dynamic pastor who preaches really well.

Elle and I walked to church.  The weather was a bit chilly, I was glad I had my pashmina with me.  We passed by a park with a pond, fountain and ducks swimming about, before we reached Angelus Temple.  As we neared the church, I saw a lot of people coming from different directions, also heading the same way we were.  This was a mega church, Elle explained to me, where literally thousands attend every Sunday morning.

The praise and worship portion of the programme was indeed, as Elai said, like watching a concert.  They had a great band, really good singers and amazing visual effects.  It was also touching when Pastor Barnett asked the youth who came by bus to come onstage and give testimonies on how the bus ministry helped bring them to church and keep them off the streets.  Pastor’s sermon was based on the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand.  He stresed how Jesus made a miracle from something little, feeding five thousand with just five loaves and two fishes.  And that he also can make a miracle out of our lives even if we have little left in us.  We just have to give to him whatever we have, be it so little, and he can turn it into something big and meaningful.

After the service, Elle and I walked to the nearby park and took pictures while waiting for cousin Ly, hubby Lester and daughter Lee Anne.  We didn’t have to wait long, they arrived at the park just as soon as we found a park bench to sit on.  With them was an elderly lady who was looking for a room to rent and wanted to see Elle’s apartment.  We all went back to Elle’s and after the inspection, Lester drove the lady home and came back for us. Elai arrived at Elle’s too.  It was time to go to lunch.

Lester brought us to Zankou Chicken in Burbank.  This Turkish resto brought back for me fond memories of my stay in Riyadh, where Turkish eateries abound.  We ordered roasted chicken and salad.  The food was very good, the conversation even better.  It was like we haven’t seen each other for ages and had a lot of catching up to do.  Ly and I are especially close coz my son Mojie and her daughter Lichelle were classmates in elementary.  It was a satisfying lunch with excellent food and company.

We went to nearby Vons to buy coffee and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to take back to Elle’s place.   Tito Mon and Tita Isa would be meeting us there after the wedding anniversary they were attending that morning.  We rested a bit, chatted, had coffee and ice cream.  Next agenda for the day, a walking tour of downtown LA. 

Elai and I had been googling for interesting sights to see in downtown LA.  One which sparked our interest was the Walt Disney Concert Hall because of it’s unusual architecture, so we decided to go there and see the surrounding place as well.  We were not disappointed, the Walt Disney Concert Hall was indeed an amazing sight to see.  Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the building was opened in the fall of 2003.  We took pictures from different points of view, while admiring the matte stainless steel curvaceous exterior of the building.

We went on to the Museum of Contemporary Art.  We didn’t go in though, just took pictures at the plaza where there was on display a huge piece of sculpture made from what looked like parts of airplanes. 
Then we walked on towards California Plaza and sat down at the benches overlooking the Water Court.  Tito Mon and Tita Isa went to nearby Omni Hotel to use the restroom. 
We saw an interesting structure on the other side of the water court so we decided to inspect it.  It turned out to be Angels Flight, a landmark funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of downtown LA.  It was not in operation though due to an accident that happened several years back and they had to put in additional safety features.  But it was announced in early 2008 that it will reopen soon.


The sun was starting to set so we decided to head back to the parking lot in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall where Lester parked his new van.  Elai and Tito Mon left their cars at Elle’s apartment and we all rode in the van.  It was nearly dark, time to think about dinner.
 Thai fare appealed to all of us so Lester brought us to the Thai resto that they frequent in the area.  The food there was good and we ate with gusto enjoying each other’s company. 

The evening ended all too soon.  We had to get back to Elle’s.  I was to go with Tito Mon and Tita Isa to Kuya Joey’s to sleep there for the night.  In the morning we were heading back to Fremont.
When we got to cousin Joey’s housing complex, he was waiting for us at the gate, motioning us to enter and park the car at his designated parking slot.  

It has been more than a year since I last saw him and Tita Gloria during their visit in Manila.  I was happy to see them and looked forward to his stories, not so much the content but how he comically relates them.  Tita Gloria looked not a day older than our last meeting.  Arlene, their daughter, was staying with them as well as Arlene’s daughter.  Kuya Joey was a bit miffed that we didn’t give him a chance to take us around and just made him the “innkeeper.”  But he was happy to have us in his home.  We settled down for the night, eager for the morrow’s trip back home.

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