Sunday, February 1, 2015


  What a month, and what a start to 2015! Both my fiancee’s birthday and mine blew the top right off of January.
  It all started on the 14th, when my lovely lady surprised me with a birthday limousine. I had never been in a limo before, and that was the impetus for the whole thing. Inside, the limo was stocked with all manner of drinks, both alcoholic and non. My complete shock and amazement kept me in a bit of a dizzy dream state for a while.

Yep, that's a pretty "What the Hell is going on here" kinda smile

  After a quick stopoff at Yogurtland for some chilled deliciousness, the driver took us to pick up our friend Jalin.


  As we began to roll to our multiple planned destinations, it was present opening time! Jalin brought a whole bag of amazing goodies and activities, including glow sticks and bracelets, snacks, tasty rum, and a hilarious hand-made coloring book depicting “Bear’s First Limo Ride.” Inside, there were even activity pages, and a word search!

  Reen bombarded me with a trove of amazing gifts, including a set of “Bear Hands” oven mitts, and a brand spankin’ new Galaxy S5 Phone!
Over the next couple of hours, the limo drove us around to some of the most famous sites around LA. First, we hit the Hollywood sign, then, we headed down to Mann’s Chinese Theater. It was tremendous fun playing Rich Guy, because every time we hopped out of the limo, we drew stares. At Mann’s, we made a big splash, and then two of the costumed characters out front jumped into a picture with me. I’ll call them “Stinky Catwoman” and “Angry Storm.” Catwoman had the worst breath in Gotham, and horrified me by kissing me on the cheek. Storm used her mutant powers to be pissed that we didn’t have any money to give her as a tip, even though we didn’t ask for her to jump into the photo in the first place.

Angry Storm and Stinky Catwoman
Walking like Egyptians in front of The Egyptian

  Next, we drove into Chinatown for a brief look at the Dragon Gate, and then we hit up LA Live downtown. I don’t think I’d ever been down there in the evening. It reminded me so much of Times Square in Manhattan. Huge billboards, neon, tons of people milling around, restaurants, events.

Dragon Gate, Chinatown
Confusion at LA Live

  In true Hollywood fashion, we next stopped off at an audition for my girl. Jalin and I spent our time in the limo discussing world travel and completing the all important task of putting together our glow-stick jewelry.

Post audition glamour

  About an hour later, we were on our way again, and headed to a late dinner at a speakeasy called Next Door Lounge. Typically, you need a password to get in, and my arranged password was “Indiana Jones.” Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the guy at the door didn’t ask for it, and just let us in. Maybe he saw the limo and thought we were too important for a password. Or maybe he just didn’t care. Regardless, the place was awesome! We had some delicious food and drink and enjoyed the live jazz band. At the end of our meal, they brought out the chocolate cake that Reen had been toting around all night. I made my birthday wish and blew out the candles. It was pretty much the best birthday ever.

Next Door Lounge
Delicious dinner
Bear cake!

  Fast forward ten days later to the 24th, when I got to return the favor for Reen’s birthday! There was no limo, but I did have an entire day planned out, and we had amazing weather to top it all off.
First stop was Santa Monica pier, because the beach is one of her fave places.

She got me a limo ride, I got her this. Even Stevens.

  After a delicious lunch at True Food, we headed to our next stop, which was the Hollywood Costume Exhibition next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This was AMAZING. We thought it would be neat to see a few Hollywood costumes, but were blown away by the number they had housed there. Everything from Charlie Chaplin to Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra to Indiana Jones and all of today’s modern superheroes. It was fascinating.

  Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed, so I don't have any cool pics to show. I highly recommend it, though, if you are in the area in the next month before the exhibit closes.
  After that, we headed over to dinner at Lala’s Argentine Grill.

Photo credit: Random Stranger

  We enjoyed some pretty delicious steaks and sides, and then walked down the street to see an 8:00 improv show at The Groundlings.
The show was mostly hilarious, with only a couple things falling flat. The best part was the very last improv of the evening, when a character came into the audience and grabbed my fiancée and took her onstage.

No pictures were allowed, so this is all you're going to get.

  At first, I thought they were going to pick me, and I freaked out, but then I got to enjoy the next few minutes as Reen became part of a farce based around the ridiculousness of the Cirque du Soliel shows. The whole place was roaring with laughter, and it was the perfect capper to an amazing day.
Okay, maybe the pefect capper was the VERY last thing we did in the evening, which was to enjoy a big slice of the gluten free chocolate cake I baked her.

Yes, it was chocolatey and delicious!

  There you have it. Two epic birthdays!