This is a continuation of our report on the socal trip commencing after we had said good-bye to Sam. It was a highly charged emotional moment but Trudy and we still needed to eat lunch and pass the time until we caught our flight to Portland.
Our next stop was at the road food reviewed and highly recommended Los Cinco Puntos mexican grocery and taco stand in East Los Angeles. It was very familiar to me as it was a lot like the texas barbecue belt. You bought meat by the pound, the rules were unclear( you did not need to be here if you did not know how to buy a taco) and the atmosphere very much like a dive. I ordered a single taco de carnita for a little over $2.00 and got a huge taco loaded with very hot spices, tons of guacamole and my pork. It was huge and tasty. There were a few outside tables( none inside) and all the usual mexican and american sodas were there(the place is more store than anything else.) The taco was huge and the photo from the review on the website here is accurate. Thanks to my good friend Dale whose review led me to seek this place out and to the wonderful folks at Los Cinco Puntos who made such a memorable taco.
Trudy and I still had 5 hours to kill and heavy hearts. I was partial to the Gene Autry Western museum in Griffith Park but we have a marvelous photo of Sam riding a rocking horse there when he was less than a year old and we determined we would be too sad. We headed west on the Pomona freeway and made our way the Donut shop in Glendora for a return engagement with fresh strawberry doughnuts. The donuts were just as wondrous the second time around( this time my pastry had 10 strawberries in it) and we reveled in the wondrous flavors and the joy of road food, where a small doughnut shop in a mysterious social town could provide such culinary delight.
We continued our meanderings and ended up in what may be the largest outlet mall in the world, Ontario Mills in Ontario, California. I had heard of this place when Sam's team was in the regional baseball tournament in Upland and Ontario but had not realized its immensity. There were 3 large hotels by the mall and outlet stores of all types. We decided to stop at Nieman-Marcus and even I realized the high qualities of the clothes there. We found nothing in trudy's size at Nieman Marcus but some very nice blouses at the Nordstrom Rack for Trudy. I'm not a shopper but it was as pleasant a way to pass the time as anything and I still can't believe the size of the place. Sam called us around 5p.m. and told us he'd had passed his driving test and was now a licensed California driver.None of us expected him to pass so quickly and i admit my surprise. It's another step in his evolution to adulthood and i guess i can be glad I avoided the over 100 hours of driving time with Sam Oregon would have required of me. And it is a symbol of the changes from a life in portland to a life in socal.
Ontario is a small airport. All the arirport shops were closed at 5(sic)and there were only about a dozen gates. it was a lot calmer than LAX. Trudy and i were glad to board the plane and start life without Sam at our home.
<message edited by mr chips on Sat, 12/22/12 11:52 PM>