Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The summer wind

Ah, remember back when it wasn't below freezing for days on end? Me neither. You know, a lot of people like to shit on living in LA, but one good thing about it is that it has a Mediterranean climate.  It actually snowed here last night and stuck. Silver lining: we were able to justify renting a Zipcar to go visit the baby in the NICU later on today.  Thus far, when it's cold but dry, we've been taking our scooters. Riding a scooter in 20-degree temperature is not fun. 

At least it wasn't this cold on Monday.  We originally had not planned on heading into the craziness of the Inauguration festivities, but I ended up getting invited to the Canadian embassy to watch the parade from there (it's down on 5th and Penn, so the parade goes right past it) and we figured that free food and booze plus readily available bathrooms would make this worth checking out. 

I had done an embarrassing amount of research to figure out the best way down there. I was worried that the metro would be crazy so I had several different bus options at the ready, plus a plan C that involved dropping our scooters off at my office and walking a dozen or so blocks to the embassy. Totally didn't need any of it. We got on the 70, took it through an empty downtown to 6th and NY Ave (end of the line on Monday), and walked what Google said was a mile but had to be less than it in about 10 minutes.  Easy-peasy.

We got to the embassy and as soon as we walked through the security check were handed a pair of red and white mittens with maple leaves in the palms. This forced us - and every other non-Canadian there, apparently- to take multiple pictures of us waving at the camera and showing off the maple leaf.  They had food and, more importantly, drink ready, as well as a few Jumbotrons showing the inauguration.  I will say that maple-flavored Crown Royal is an acquired taste, but I appreciate the ice luge that they served it on.  And without any question, the longest line of the day was for Beaver Tails (essentially flat donuts. DELICIOUS). 

We watched a little of the ceremonies but spent most of our time chatting. My favorite thing was that they had the embassy fenced off but some wily person - a smoker no doubt - had put the fencing about five feet outside the embassy property. This meant that smokers could step over the planter that denoted the end of the Canadian embassy and smoke without having to go through security; it also hewed to the letter of the law, which says that Canadian federal buildings cannot allow smoking on their property. 

We got there around 11am and made it until 3pm. The parade hadn't actually started by that point but I'd made a tactical error and tried out one of their punches featuring vodka, lemon juice, sugar...and maple syrup maybe?  It's kind of hazy.  I had held off until late in the day because I had been told by several people how lethal it was but I eventually cracked and had a few glasses. That plus four hours of standing on cold pavement killed any interest I had in waiting around for the parade. We walked up to Gallery Place, hopped on the metro (again, no problem), and were home in half an hour. At which point I crawled into bed to recuperate. Hooray peaceful transition of democracy!


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