Simon’s 1st vacation: Southern California – Day 1

Day 66

This is Simon’s first long distance trip by car.  Our friends Lynne and Joe are having a baby shower so we thought it a good time to see if we can travel with Simon.  It’ll be a four day experience.

We got on the road around 7am in hopes of meeting up with our friend Tiffany for lunch.  Simon is well fed, all dressed, and ready to go.  We didn’t realize how much more stuff we needed to bring with a baby (ie, his clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, bath soap, etc).


Although he looked wide awake, he soon fell asleep in the car and slept almost the entire way there.  We only needed to stop once to fuel the car and another time to change his diaper.  We had brought enough milk for the trip and I was pumping in the car so whenever he woke up, I just bottle fed him.



Unfortunately we did leave a little later than anticipated so didn’t make it in time to Los Angeles to meet up with Tiffany so we went to try something ourselves: Phillipe’s French Dip Sandwiches.  We had seen it on the Travel Channel as a place you must try in LA.  The lines weren’t as long as we anticipated so that was good but I was bad and didn’t order correctly.  Apparently you have to specify that you want your sandwich “dipped” and you can ask for “single” or “double”.  I assumed that they would at least give you the “au jus” on the meat itself or dip at least one piece of the bun into the sauce… but nope, just the meat on the bread and the hot mustard at the tables.  Oh well… we had one lamb, one beef, and a side of cole slaw.  The hot mustard was great, really spicy but the sandwiches were okay.  It might have tasted better with the sauce but not sure how much better.




After our lunch, we went to meet up with Tiffany at this store called Japan LA.  They have lots of Hello Kitty items and other cute things like Tokidoki and Crowded Teeth.


After shopping we went to a restaurant nearby to have some coffee and chat.  The place was kind of unprofessional.  First we told them we just wanted coffee and/or shakes, no food, and they said fine and to sit down.  When Ron wanted to order a shake then they told him the blender was broken.  When the waiter went back to check, apparently the blender was fixed but they were out of ice cream.  I wanted an amaretto latte but they were out of amaretto.  What the heck?!? I ended up ordering a hazelnut latte, Ron a raspberry iced tea, and Tiffany a soy latte.  The waiter brought Ron a regular iced tea then realized so brought the raspberry iced tea.  Tiffany was afraid they messed up her drink and used regular milk but we confirmed it was indeed soy.  So not such a good experience but we got a funny picture out of it.  Simon was being fussy and wanted to eat but for some reason would only start to eat while in this position:


For the evening, we headed to Torrance as we were staying at a Marriott Courtyard there using reward points.  The baby shower is tomorrow and is in Rancho Palos Verdes so this was the closest hotel in the area.  We also had to find a place for dinner and while searching Yelp, I came across this Taiwanese place called Ju Ju Shine.  It had rave reviews so we thought we’d check it out.

Here is their menu:



The lady owner suggested how we should order since Ron wanted this ground pork over rice dish, apparently the “rice” for the combination is that special ground pork over rice dish so it was a better deal to order the combination… not sure if that makes sense but if you go there, I’m sure she will help you.  They also have stinky tofu there even though it is not on the menu.

They also have some older Japanese comic books for you to peruse (if you can read Japanese) and when Tiffany first met Simon, she thought that he resembled this character.


This is some sort of soy sauce chicken served with three kinds of vegetables: lightly pickled cucumbers, stir fried cabbage/carrots, and preserved vegetables.  The soup is some sort of vegetable broth that was really good.  Then the special ground pork rice with boiled egg that Ron likes.


An order of their stinky tofu.  Smelled authentic and was really tasty.  The tofu kind of had air pockets in it so soaked up the sauce really well.  The outside was nice and crispy and the rest a bit chewy.


One of my favorite noodle dishes, Check-R noodles.  It’s very simple, just rice noodles in a broth with a boiled egg, some shredded pork, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and fried onions.


We finished everything but were pretty stuffed.  All this was less than $20 and she even gave us two ba-wan to go.  It is a quaint little restaurant and I’m sure if we lived close by, we would frequent it often.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and tucked Simon into bed.  Our hotel room had two Queen beds so Simon has a bed all to himself.


We had requested a portable crib and it ended up being a Graco Pack’n’Play with no sheets and no bassinet so we opted to have him be more comfortable on the bed.  It’s been a long day of traveling so we are all exhausted.

1 thought on “Simon’s 1st vacation: Southern California – Day 1

  1. tiff

    haha~ it was fun seeing you guys! that’s so funny that you found a copy of crayon shin-chan at the taiwanese restaurant!! that’s exactly who i was thinking of~ you’re gonna have to find one of simon’s older pics where his hair is slicked down and has his big, round eyes open…it looks just like shin-chan! =D

    ooo i’m gonna have to try that ju ju shine restaurant one day…that looked so good!


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