Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: April 2014


Quick Bites: Umenoya Ramen Company (Torrance, CA)

Now that I'm back in Southern California, it's time to explore some of the local eats that popped up while I was gone.

Umenoya Ramen Company is a hole-in-the wall eatery with, well...ramen. I rode here with a friend at 9PM on a Sunday night, a time when most restaurants are closing up for the evening. At this place, the night is just beginning (they're open up to 3AM on some nights). Don't expect any frills here, just good soup and a few motivational posters.

I started dinner with some fried calamari with a side of spicy mayo. This was very delectable, and it was all tentacles! That's the best part right there, in my opnion.

Tonkatsu ramen was the main course, and it was a huge bowl of goodness. It was very flavorful and the meat was very tender. Needless to say that this disappeared quite quickly.

If you're looking for a good bowl of ramen at any hour, this is a great spot to hit. Umenoya is located on the corner of Lomita Blvd. and Crenshaw across the street from Torrance Crossroads. I'll go back for seconds.

Umenoya Ramen Company on Urbanspoon


Quick Stops: Squire's Castle (Revisited) in the Winter

As part of my "farewell tour" of NE Ohio before driving back home to Southern California in February, I had to see a favorite local destination one last time. And the timing couldn't have been any better.

On the day I drove out to the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation, it had snowed overnight with very little wind, leaving a beautiful coating of undisturbed powder on trees and on the sides of the road. For the first time in a long time, winter was romantic again.

I took the long route through the park toward Squire's Castle, stopping to admire this wonderland of perfectly clear roads and snowy pathways. In some areas, people were riding their horses on the equestrian trails parallel to the auto route. When I reached the castle, I threw on my Yaktrax walkers and trod into the knee-deep, snow-covered field to capture some breathtaking shots. Just enjoy the photos...I know when to shut up and let the images talk.


Gateway Arch Observation Deck at Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park (East St. Louis, MO)

One of my last [casual] stops in my drive back to Southern California was East St. Louis, IL, the bordering city to St. Louis, MO. In particular, I was there to visit the observation deck of the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, one of the best places to see the Gateway Arch in its entirety.

And here's a cameo of my 1999 BMW 528i wagon stuffed to the gills with some of my worldly possessions.