MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY!

MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY!

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HAPPY MONDAY from JoshWillTravel!

Happy Monday Morning from the beautiful San Fernando Valley!
You’ve got a green light for a great day!

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Ventura Boulevard in Encino, California

10am: Currently it is 59°F (15°C) and sunny with a 7mph wind.
1pm: Currently it is 65°F (18°C) and sunny with a 13mph wind.

Here are some things you can do TODAY (right now) that require minimal effort:

FOLLOW the BLOG> www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com (YOU ARE HERE NOW)
LIKE our facebook page> www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel
LIKE our other facebook page> www.facebook.com/theatreinashland
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Happy_face

HAVE A NICE DAY!

Previous MONDAY Blog Posts:

Monday. Blue Monday>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/monday/

Monday! Monday!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/monday-monday/

A Case of the Mondays?>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-case-of-the-mondays/
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Here are links to our most recent Blog Posts:


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Echo Park and DTLA


 

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There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

Yes! There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

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The Black Bear Diner in Tarzana, California

We were tired, hungry and driving down Ventura Boulevard last week, when much to our surprise and amazement, there was a Black Bear Diner in Tarzana!

Located in the space previously occupied by CoCo’s, Season’s and Bob’s Big Boy in Tarzana Square on Ventura Blvd just east of Reseda Blvd, we have a Black Bear Diner!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We are a big fan of the Black Bear Diner and enjoy eating at the restaurant in Medford, Oregon when we are visiting in Ashland. They are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and there’s also one in Midwest City, Oklahoma. They are currently adding new locations and will soon be opening in Katy, Texas (according to their website).

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We were so happy to see a Black Bear Dinner in the Valley and to have an easy decision on where to eat dinner. We pulled right into the parking lot and started taking pictures for this Blog Post. It was late and after the dinner rush and not very crowded at all. There were people at about 40% of the tables and they were mostly finishing up. The counter was empty and we chose to sit at a table at the back of the main dining room where it was quiet and there wasn’t any waiter traffic.

We were seated immediately by a young host/cashier and greeted promptly by our waitress (or female server if you’re particular about the job title). When we asked how long they had been open they told us almost three weeks. Our waitress had worked at the previous restaurant CoCo’s in the same location, which had closed long ago.

Everything was new and “fresh” with the familiar decor that is part of their brand and a constant throughout the chain. A large WELCOME sign and statues of Black Bears greet you out front and there’s a beautiful vintage-style jukebox available in the lobby for patrons to play classic American music of their choosing. They have a merchandise display and food products available for sale at the register too.

The board-of-fare is All-American “stick to your ribs” Food, and it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. We decided to keep it simple and test the American cheeseburger basket.

On The Menu: American Cheeseburger with Fries (in a basket)

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As you can see, the burger and cheese were presented on the basket, not on the paper, which may sound particular (and it is) but it’s important for some customers (like us). We ordered it with lettuce only, but there was no lettuce on the burger and we didn’t want to wait for a server to come, get the lettuce and then bring it back, before eating….

The cheeseburger was fine, but not great and a little bland. The fries were great and served very hot. We only had water to drink and ate the food quickly because we were really hungry. We finished and paid at the register and we were happy and no longer hungry. The service was fast and aside from the food presentation and missing lettuce everything was fine and we will return again.

NOTE: Our waitress left after putting the order in and bringing us barbecue sauce and mustard, and another server brought us our food, but the lettuce was ordered and missing from the meal.

We didn’t have dessert, but they do have a great dessert menu (with pics):

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Desserts Under Glass!

Black Bear Diner – 18355 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356 
“Down-home chain serving all-day American comfort food & desserts in a woodsy setting.”
OPEN 6AM-10PM everyday of the week
We also asked if they were going to have late-night hours, but they didn’t know yet…

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Take home some sauce and/or dessert!



Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

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Wednesday night we went for dinner at Davenport’s in Encino. We wanted to try a neighborhood restaurant we had never been to before. They opened last year in the space formerly occupied by Dupar’s and John L. Groats on Ventura Boulevard west of Woodley Avenue. And so, on a cold winter weekday evening we made a reservation for 7:15pm.

Parking is in the rear and the lot was full. There was a line at the host station, located just inside the front door and the restaurant was packed at the sushi bar, long bar, bar dining  area and dining room. The outdoor patio was empty because it was “effing” cold and there was a nice wind blowing through the courtyard that even the outdoor heaters couldn’t warm. We know this because the reservation was made for “Outside”, even though we didn’t ask for the patio. When we asked to sit inside, the hostess seating us said there was an hour wait for a table and we almost left and went somewhere else…

Instead we went inside and found the manager and explained the situation. He was very understanding and they found a nice table in the corner of the dining room for us in a very short time. BRAVO! 

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The restaurant is divided into different spaces as mentioned above: there’s a sushi bar, long bar, bar dining area and formal dining room/private party space where we were seated. the interior is very nice, albeit a little crowded when the place is packed. If you’ve followed my Blog you know there are more than 20 sushi restaurants in the neighborhood, so a restaurant with a sushi bar (and raw oyster bar) is nothing new and the prices for sushi and sashimi were higher than most. They were offering a combination sashimi and oyster plate for $42 when we offered the specials by our friendly waiter.

We decided not to have sushi or oysters, knowing that we were going to have a big meal and instead just started with their tasty cornbread and bread & butter. They have some nice appetizers but again we didn’t order any know the entrees were large. We did share an $11 Caesar salad, but ended up giving it to another member of our party because they added kale (WE HATE KALE) without mention of it on the menu.

We had the BBQ baby back ribs ($29 for a full rack) and they were delicious! Fall off the bone and cooked really well. The BBQ sauce was tasty and we substituted sautéed asparagus for cole slaw. The fries were tasty, but they weren’t served hot enough. We ate a few of the ribs at dinner and took the rest home and ate them with hot (reheated) fries for lunch the next day, and the ribs were delicious the day after too!

Or party also tried the lobster roll, lobster (Cobb) salad and the ribeye steak. We also tried a glass of red and a glass of white wine, which were both excellent choices. And everything they served us was very well prepared, visually appealing, very tasty and super quality food! We tasted the brownie sundae dessert which was shared by our party, and it was wonderful but we were full and didn’t want dessert.

NOTE: We LOVE dessert and the brownie sundae was good, but the meal service had taken a long time and we were tired of sitting, a little claustrophobic, and really ready to go before we even ordered dessert.

The service was good, just a little slow because it was slammed, crowded and the layout of the restaurant makes it harder to serve. We never had to wait very long for our waiter,  and he did an excellent job tending to our requests.

On The Menu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs with fries and sautéed asparagus, cornbread, bread & butter, Caesar salad, Lobster Roll, Lobster Cobb Salad, Brownie sundae and a coke

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

All in all, it was a very nice dinner to celebrate the end of Hannukah and the Winter Solstice (see our previous Blog Posts) and we left happy, full and with leftovers in hand. It was a good dining experience at a restaurant we had never been to before, and we would definitely return for another meal.

Davenport’s16120 Ventura Blvd, Encino 91436 (at Woodley Av)
http://www.davenportsrestaurant.com

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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Pretty Christmas Tree at Davenport’s!

 



 

Get Baked for Festivus!

Get Baked for Festivus! It’s National Cookie Day!

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JoshWillTravel’s Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is entered in the
LA Times Holiday Cookie Bakeoff.
There is no prize, just recognition for the cookie.

Please check out the recipe and vote for me!
You can vote once every 24 hours! Thanks!

VOTE FOR Voting has ended.
VIEW OUR RECIPE HERE>  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/festivus-chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

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JoshWillTravel’s Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Festivus chocolate chocolate chip cookies with double vanilla ice cream sandwich!

 

Post-Playa Depression!

Post-Playa Depression!

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Black Rock Desert, Nevada

So, it’s been a month 2 MONTHS since we got back from our road trip….

We didn’t go to the L.A. Decompression event or any of the other local “Burning Man” related post-event activities. Instead we saw Pete Townshend’s Classical “Quadrophenia” at the Greek Theatre (see our previous Blog post) and went to the L.A. County Fair.

And we bought a NEW AUTOMOBILE!

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“You Get A Car!” – “You Get A Car!”

And then DEPRESSION set in….

There are almost finished Blog Posts almost ready to publish, and we can’t even finish them. We haven’t told the stories of Burning Man and the Total Solar Eclipse of the Sun.

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JoshWillTravel Eclipses the Sun!

We cleaned Vanessa (the van) and cleaned a bunch of stuff and did laundry, and then cleaned a bunch of stuff including our bike (which we didn’t leave on the Playa).

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We’re still not done cleaning stuff…. and we have too much stuff.

It’s raining!! It was raining briefly just now (4am Friday morning)

We were in Ashland, Oregon for a week, between the Eclipse and Burning Man, and have a few stories to tell. We lost most of our pictures from the first part of the trip when we crushed our iPhone and we’re still pretty bummed out about that.

We had such a good time on our summer trip and then we got home. We were SO HAPPY and we didn’t expect the post-adventure “return to real life” to be so difficult to process.

9 days in the desert and other “interesting” experiences during our 3 weeks on the road.

We haven’t been able to get stuff done. Feeling sad and lonely all the time….
except for our three dogs, who are our constant loyal and loving companions.

The current Government and political climate are also contributing to our depression and anxiety. There is no end in sight. We don’t even want to talk about it or blog about it.

If you are interested in politics,
please visit www.facebook.com/USADumpTrump 

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And it’s the Holiday Season…. Thanksgiving is next week!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/grandmas-cherry-cheesecake-recipe/

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake – Thanksgiving 2015

 

We cooked a nice dinner tonight (Thursday).

On The Menu: Stirfry shrimp, sautéed asparagus, brown&wild rice and an iced espresso

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What’s for Dinner?

That’s all for now.
It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m going out on this beautiful day.
Posted on Monday Morning.


p.s. Saturday afternoon we found this painting at Goodwill while “Thrifting”:

 

We also found an unpriced PYREX pie plate and when I asked “how much?” they wanted $6.99, so we passed.

NOTE: Actually we found 2 Glasbake and one PYREX glass pie pans that weren’t priced and took them to the Manager who was standing nearby with a Clerk. He instructed her, “Go look these up in the Back and if they’re Pyrex jack up the price, jack it up.” This happened right in front of me. When she came back the 2 Glasbake pans were taped together and marked $4.99 and the PYREX pan was marked $6.99. So, NO THANKS.

We did buy this signed, original painting titled “Bernie Sanders and Moth Orchid” by Peter Gullerud for $7.99 though. He’s an ex-Disney animator and fine artist, who confirmed Sunday via email that it was indeed his work. SCORE!



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Shadow of a Man – Total Solar Eclipse in Madras, Oregon

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

NOTE: Still working on the “Road Trip” and “Burning Man” Blogs, be patient.

There’s a new place to eat in town! Fat Sal’s is open and located in the old Johnny Rocket’s space on the corner of Ventura and Balboa.

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Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Indoor and Outdoor seating available. The Patio is covered now so you can sit and watch the cars go by in the shade. Parking is still limited in the small lot, but there is a lot of metered street parking (8am-8pm everyday except Sunday) available nearby.

There’s a big menu on the wall.  Order at the counter and wait for your number to be called (actually they give you a pager). They’re makin’ sandwiches over here!

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NOTE: They have a bunch of flat screen TELEVISIONS (with all the games on) inside!

Signature “Fat” sandwiches & burgers, salads & wraps, fries, sides, and shakes are the board of fare. So, I had a Philly Cheesesteak and it was a good Philly Cheesesteak.

They have 2 digital “self-service” soda fountains with many beverage choices. On a sad note, they charge 25 cents for sauces (WHICH IS STUPID AND BAD FOR BUSINESS). but when we asked for mustard for our sandwich and BBQ sauce for our onion rings, he gave us a plastic cup of each and told me it was “on the house”.

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And the “Big Fat Fatty” Challenge for $49.99!

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“Big Fat Fatty” Food Challenge!

ON THE MENU: Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings with a Dr Pepper

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Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings!

The Cheesesteak gets a thumbs up and the burgers got a thumbs up too. The fries were limp, undercooked and not good at all, but the onion rings were terrific. Nice mixed Encino crowd checking out the new place, most likely will stay in business for awhile.

Fat Sal’s – 16901 Ventura Blvd (at Balboa Blvd), Encino http://www.fatsalsdeli.com

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!



 

Burning Man! Wednesday night update

Wednesday night update

Back in Los Angeles.
The Aftermath!
We’ve been cleaning for a week!
Everything was so dirty and dusty.
And it doesn’t come off with water, or soap and water….
Everything has to be washed with a distilled white vinegar solution to remove the Playa dust and dirt. It took three days to clean all the crud off my little bike!

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It took a whole day to clean Vanessa (the cargo van). We cleaned it, and then cleaned it again, and then took it and had it washed, and then cleaned it again. Vanessa was returned the next morning cleaner than when we picked her up.

And we’re still doing laundry! We did three days of laundry (clothes, sleeping bags, etc.) and we washed the inner tent and rainfly today, now there’s only the outer tent and a little bedding left and then some stuff we want to re-wash again.

We double bagged all our stuff and still had to clean everything! We had plastic baggies inside bigger baggies, inside trash bags and things still got dusted.

All our metal items (flashlights, cooking stuff, tools, knives, etc. in addition to our bike) had to be cleaned thoroughly because the alkali dust will quickly rust and corrode anything metal.

In addition to cleaning, we’ve been eating good food and sleeping in our nice comfy bed. And spending a lot of time with our three dogs, who really missed us a lot too.

The best thing about Harrah’s in Reno was the Chinese food and the breakfast buffet, in addition to air conditioning, running water, a toilet, a hot shower & bath, clean towels, and a king-size bed to sleep in.

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Post-Playa Pool Party in Reno, Nevada

We’ve laid out and written some of the first Blog, but we’ve been really busy and really tired since returning home. So, hopefully this update will keep you interested in reading more.

We dropped off the three “disposable” cameras we shot of Burning Man today for processing, printing and scanning. Hopefully it will be worth the money and we’ll get some good pics from the cameras. We remember shooting pics of our camp, the Phoenix burning at sunrise, some mutant vehicles, art, fire, and Davina the Dragon. Not sure what else is there, so we want to see the pics too!

So tired, we went to bed.  MORE TO COME SOON!

 

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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HOME SWEET HOME!

HOME SWEET HOME!
Home again after 3 weeks road tripping!

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Home Sweet Home! Encino, California in the San Fernando Valley

Oakland, California (Piedmont)

Prineville and Madras, Oregon for the total eclipse

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Total Eclipse at the Motel 6 in Madras, Oregon

and 6 days in Ashland, for some theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
(“Julius Caeser” and “Merry Wives of Windsor”),

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Ashland, Oregon

Burning Man in Black Rock City (Black Rock Desert), near Gerlach, Nevada

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Make a playa dust angel! Ring the bell!
A Burning Man Radical Ritual! Sunday 4pm

and then Reno, Nevada for two nights!

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Reno, Nevada!

With a stop at Manzanar on the way home to Los Angeles on Hwy 395 south.

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Wednesday Sunset at Manzanar

Great trip with pics and blogs to follow: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

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Vanessa (the van) and the Sunset (and Moon rise) at Pyramid Lake in Nevada

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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I’m so happy!
Danced in the rain at Pyramid Lake at sunset on Monday
and watched the full moon rise!

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Sunset at Pyramid Lake – Nevada Sky

 

 

 

Why don’t he write? And other questions answered.

Why don’t he write? And other questions answered.

San Fernando Valley Sunset over the Sepulveda Basin

Apologies again to my loyal readers! Sorry, we’ve been busy. Haven’t written a new blog since mid-July and it’s August 6th already. Real life has intervened in our internet fantasy.

First, the bills from June’s midnight Emergency Room visit are coming in and they’re BIG BILLS! Even with good insurance, the 8 hours in the hospital is running about $400 per hour right now…. and all I did was lay there. (And we didn’t even get kissed along with the screwing) I’m not a charity case, but we might have to start a “GoFundMe” page!

Second, it’s summertime in Los Angeles and we have to care for 3 dogs. And it’s been really hot, so the little beasties are inside most of the day and we are responsible for keeping them safe, happy and entertained. It takes a lot of time and is very distracting from important things we have to do, including writing new stuff for the Blog.

Dog Days of Summer in Los Angeles

And Third, we have BIG NEWS! JoshWillTravel is going traveling soon. We aren’t going to tell you about our next adventure yet, so be sure to FOLLOW us here, on Twitter, on Periscope, on Instagram and Snapchat, LIKE us on facebook, and be sure to watch and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: The JoshWillTravel AdventureScope!

The beauty of Tuesday Afternoon: “I’ve got a Golden Ticket!” (and vehicle pass)

No, really, we aren’t going to tell you yet. Stay tuned!

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Another Shot of the San Fernando Sunset over the Sepulveda Basin

Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Yesterday there were two car chases involving the Los Angeles Police Department within an hour. The first was only broadcast for a little while, but was KRAZY out of control.  He was driving like a madman and had a couple of collisions along the way, almost hitting a pedestrian or two, until the suspect lost control making a turn on a surface street and crashed head-on into a telephone pole and steel fence.

Suspect in Custody:

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Tiene un accidente!

And the second one was over before the helicopter arrived, with the suspect surrendering after running from the San Fernando Valley to Central LA.

Suspect in Custody:

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Over before it began….

Two hot pursuits on TV in a hour is a good chase day, and there were also televised pursuits on Monday night and Tuesday night too.

BIG THANKS to the news and the helicopter pilots and reporters!
BIG THANKS to the LAPD for their hard work!

NOTE: The Police have helicopters and radios in addition to guns and a gang of armed uniformed (and undercover) soldiers. Chances are good you will go to jail if you attempt to run from them. However, everyday people still take their chances and for that we thank them for the entertainment.

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And You’re Busted!