Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flights and Food and California


After a few quick days at home, it was time to gear up for another busy month at work.

We had dropped off the airplane back at maintenance after landing from Dallas a few nights before, so that was where we picked it up this evening for a night flight to Van Nuys.

Bye, Pearl. I’ll see you in a few days when I get back! And then…I won’t see you for weeks!


Gladys was ready and waiting for us. We still didn’t get anything fixed permanently after this visit, unfortunately, (but we did this past week…knock on wood!). But these guys work so hard for us to find the problem and try to solve it.


First we departed Willy Gateway Airport, where our maintenance service center is based, and flew home to pick up a few passengers. It’s an eight-minute flight.

We departed there for California around 8:30 PM tonight.


Phoenix is such a large city…the fifth-largest in the nation, in fact! It has been a nice place to live. I’ve been here over six years now!


I apologize for the blur. This was on final to Runway 16R at Van Nuys. Night pictures can be tough enough, but trying to hold still when it’s windy and, thus, very bumpy, is next to impossible!

Still, I wanted you to see what I look for at night when trying to find an airport. Luckily, since we’ve been to Van Nuys about a gazillion times, we know exactly where to look.


Once on the ramp at Castle and Cooke Aviation, we got our passengers on their way to the hotel with their bags.

Then we watched this cute little Citation arrive just behind us. It’s such a busy airport!


We’ve only been coming to this FBO for the past month or so, but we have plans to be here often! They have been wonderful, but we have to talk to them about waiving their minimum purchase for fuel. In a smaller jet like ours, and on such short flights from Phoenix, we usually can’t take three-hundred gallons of fuel!

I think that we’ll be able to work out a deal, though.


Gladys looks good on this ramp, so we need to stay.

We will be here for two nights, which means that I have all day tomorrow to grab some yummy food near my favorite place to stay while in Van Nuys!


That same little Citation that had just arrived looked pretty next to the Van Nuys Tower, so I tried to capture it in a picture.

Sometimes, our eyes just do a better job of seeing things!


Around 10:15 PM, we were finally in the rental car and on our way to the hotel. This late at night, traffic was pretty decent. There are very few hotels near the airport, so we traveled about seven miles to our usual Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills.


About half an hour later, we were checking in for our two-night stay. Cool lobby, huh?


I’ve been here so much this past year of work that they actually know me by name now! I like it…a personal touch never hurts!


After a great night’s sleep, it was time to head out for a bite to eat. A few weeks before, I had finally tried Leo and Lily’s Café, and their breakfast sandwich was calling my name again today.

Luckily, it agreed with my healthy goals.


It’s just a short half-mile walk from my hotel to arrive at this fun little eatery. With a grumbling stomach, I knew that I was in for a treat.

Aren’t the trees lining the street so pretty?


Soon enough, the sign came into view.


Because the sign told me to do it, I turned to my right and saw this. Ta da!


I love the menu. I am actually reading it now more than I ever have in person. It sounds like there are some other yummy options than my usual Americano Sandwich!


Like these Multigrain Cinnamon Pancakes. Yum! How have I missed those until just now?! I guess we know what I’ll get next time that I am there…


I had the gouda cheese last time and wasn’t a fan, so I swapped it out for a slice of cheddar. Muuuuuuch better.

Luckily, the potatoes were so salty that they were inedible. So I didn’t waste any calories on those!

Too bad. I’m rather a fan of potatoes.


While waiting for my meal, I enjoyed this magazine that my sister had given me while visiting Dallas a few days before. My house wouldn’t be able to quality as “country,” but I always love looking at new ideas!


I love how the bill was presented in a mason jar. What a cute idea! Maybe I can use that next time that we host a dinner party…

Just for the record, we don’t really charge our guests.

But that could be pretty funny, huh?


In other happy news, the car wash that I walk past every time that I’m here has apparently been painted for a new-and-improved look.

I approve. In case they are avid readers of mine and are concerned about my opinion.


This part of town actually has some cool crosswalk technology. For your viewing pleasure…a crosswalk button.


Much later that same day, it was time to grab a healthy lunch. I knew exactly where to go, yet again.

California Chicken Café is my favorite place to eat when visiting this part of town. It’s only a short walk from the hotel and is pure heaven.


I thought that it was a gorgeous day, but it kept the locals inside for lunch. Normally the balcony is as packed as the inside eating area, but it was only sixty-three degrees today.

So I had the patio to myself. Even after showering! (It was Thursday, after all).


The restaurant is cafeteria style, which I love. You stand in line while taking a gander at the incredible menu selection. When you’re hungry, it all sounds good.

Luckily, I knew precisely what my lunch order would be today.


I ordered and then headed outside to enjoy the not-so-warm temperatures.


And then this arrived.

Let’s just say that it was a good thing that I was alone today. I don’t think that I would have been very good for conversation because I was too busy stuffing my face.

Cooked rotini pasta, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, pita chips, feta cheese, and a little drizzle of light ranch dressing. I get it on the side so I can control how much of it I eat.

The California Chicken Salad is by far my favorite thing here. Give it a try if you’re in Los Angeles. They have several locations!


I wandered around for a few hours, just to get out and breathe that beautiful California smog air and enjoy some sun.

I knew that my salad had been filling, but that I might need a little something for dinner later. So I popped back into California Chicken Café to get a few of their salads to-go.

Later that evening, when my stomach demanded food, I ate this delicious fresh fruit.

Man, I love fresh pineapple.


And then, for less than two-hundred calories, I enjoyed my favorite salad there. In case you’re wondering, this Broccoli Pasta Salad is out of this world. I always crave it, whether I’m in California or not!

It was a nice day off in Van Nuys, wandering around and eating yummy (and healthy!) food.

Tomorrow, we’ll head back home for a day before making several trips back and forth between home and Van Nuys over the next few days.

Busy month indeed! Stick around. There might be more pictures of food…

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