Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 1


The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 1

**This is a recap of my vacation back to Southern California from 12/28/13-1/9/14.**

Seeing the familiar lights of Los Angeles from the window of that Southwest Airlines on that dark December night brought me to tears, and I sobbed with relief as the plane landed on the tarmac of LAX.

I was home again.

It had been six years since I had walked on my own familiar turf during the holiday season, and with the clouds I had anxiously waited to leave behind in Ohio, I was going to enjoy every second of it. After a relaxing evening with family (which included random conversations with Siri while eating leftover ribs), I hit the ground running on the first full day of my stay in Southern California.

First order of business: pick up my two-wheeled ride for the week. Here is that infamous 2012 Triumph Daytona 675R courtesy of my dear friend and personal cheerleader, Victor. (Just warning you, she's gonna get ridden hard through these next few blog posts.) I see that the Tech Spec tank grip pads I special ordered for her back in March 2013 fit just nicely.

After wetting my motorcycling appetite with some traffic weaving (had to dodge a car about 4.3 miles into the ride coming down Beach Blvd.) and a 35 minute freeway blast down the 91 West, it was off to dim sum in Lomita with my aunt. Of course, chicken feet were definitely part of this food outing. It has been a few years since I had a good dim sum so this was an extra special treat.

Bring on the good stuff. I'm Asian. Don't judge me.
After that, it was back down the 91 freeway to Pechanga Resort and Casino in my aunt's car, just like old times when we'd hang out in the desert on a whim. We spent a few hours on the slots and even got some pho noodles and Thai tea before coming back.

I hope that this fortune cookie is a good omen.

After we returned to Torrance, I jumped back on the Triumph and took a longer way back home via Carson Street to see if anything else had changed while I was gone. Upon seeing major construction at Del Amo Fashion Center, I made the rear wheel skid in disbelief. The main entrance I had used to enter the mall for pretty much my entire existence had been torn down. It was a bit of a shock to say the least, but I really hope they do a good job with the first major renovation of that section of the mall in over 25 years. (More mall improvement spoilers in a later post.)

When I returned back up to the house, it was time for some quick tool work. I have interesting ways of saying 'thank you' to friends who have, time and again, gone the extra mile to help me out. In the case of my personal cheerleader, it was another subtle accessory upgrade to his Triumph. Here is a fully installed RAM-B-342U Motorcycle Fork Stem Base with 1" ball placed strategically inside the hole of the fork stem. I ended up using this mount later to hold my smartphone to use as a GPS. Enjoy the add-on, kind sir.

Not too shabby of a start to this trip. Now that I was back in California mode, it was time to really pile on the miles.