For about six months I’ve been planning Byron’s bachelor party with his groomsmen. On Friday, he finally walked off the plane and the party started.
Byron was so excited for all of this that he created a custom tumblr page for pre/during/post event media:
Obviously most of the photos in this post are cell phone camera photos that were uploaded to the site. Other than a few shots when we got moving on the boat I didn’t really take out my camera much.
Anyway, back to the beginning:
We first went to Paco’s Tacos for dinner after picking up half the groomsmen at LAX. Afterwards we headed to Yamashiro and listened to Byron (and each of us) reminisce about how he’d met us and each other and how we all fit together into his life. Apparently Yamashiro closes at midnight, who knew?
There was a lot of excitement for the weekend so there wasn’t much time left for sleeping before heading off to our next destination Saturday morning.
For breakfast we met up at 26 Beach in Venice.
Afterwards we headed down the road to Venice beach for surfing lessons.
Our instructors were a little late so we spent some time “studying” the other surfers from the pier.
The surfing was the only surprise we were able to keep from Byron, so he was pretty excited when he found out.
When we finally got our wetsuits on and a cursory dry fundamentals lesson hitting the waves was relaxing, at first. Most of us gave up on paddling and fighting the waves after the first hour or so, we were just too tired. Even so, a few of us (myself included) were able to stand up and ride a wave or two. Surfing seems (at least with the smaller waves) a bit easier than I thought. I’m sure if we had more energy everyone would have caught a wave.
In addition to learning how to surf I learned another important lesson: never bring your watch surfing as it won’t come back with you. The last few days after losing my watch have been the strangest time warp situation as I normally check the time often and now all I see in response to my question are some hairs and veins. This time warp began and got especially weird at our next event.
After surfing we headed to the marina where we’d rented a boat and a captain (pilot? Navigator? Skipper?).
We’d originally rented a different boat, but it was sold, so they gave us a bigger better one; a Beneteau 40. It had two bathrooms and three beds, which would ironically really come in handy later.
He took us out into the ocean, which strangely had turned from sunny an hour earlier to overcast and choppy.
I didn’t take any shots out there, these are all still in the marina.
On our way north past Santa Monica half of the party (including the bachelor himself) had to run to the bathroom to depart with the sea water we’d all swallowed a few hours ago. I didn’t vomit, I never do, but I did spend some time on my side in one of the beds. When we turned around and headed back to the dock the going was a little easier, and by the time we stopped the boat we were all hungry again. We ate homemade tacos and swapped stories (and turns taking naps for those who were able) for about three hours before turning in the keys and heading off.
Our next stop was Abbott Kinney Boulevard around 11pm. Sam and I have been to the blvd many times for art shows, but never this late. It’s a different (and thinner and hipster-er) crowd bar-hopping in that area. We first stopped at Gjelina for drinks and dessert. We became eerily aware that the area was a celebrity haunt at this time of night as areas in the restaurants became closed off to the normal folk like us. It became a little more obvious when some “celebrity” was on a rooftop shouting at girls to flash him. I don’t know who he was, but apparently one of the girls’ boyfriends recognized him as a “fuckin’ celebrity asshole.”
After Gjelina we headed to a completely packed bar down the street called The Other Room until last call at 2am before heading home; a good 45 minutes away.
Sunday I finally got up at 11am. I don’t know the last time I’ve been in the United States and slept until 11am. I was probably a lazy high schooler on summer vacation the last time I slept that late. That’s the kind of sleep that happens after flying to Thailand. And even after that I was still tired the next day because 5am to 11am is still only 6 hours. From Thursday morning to Sunday at 5am I’d probably gotten a total of 6 or 7 hours of sleep. Not each night; total over an almost 72 hour period. I got at least seven or more hours Sunday night, but added up that’s still only 14 or so hours of sleep in a 96 hour period. This resulted in my first experience with vertigo on Monday morning. Which would have been fun I guess except that I’d hit my head on the boat Saturday and, like the closet hypochondriac I am, I started to think I’d gotten a concussion. Thank goodness I get to work before most of my peers, or they would have thought I came to work drunk the way I was staggering around that morning.
But I’ve skipped over the last chapter.
After freshening up on Sunday morning we headed to The Griddle for some overwhelmingly good and plentiful brunch food. It is not an exaggeration when people talk about how huge the pancakes are, the pancakes are the size of pizzas. I got the Chicago something or other which is like a mashed up omelette full of great stuff. We gorged on this food after the last two exhausting days and downed a gallon of mimosas in the process.
We didn’t have anything in the schedule to fill the gap between brunch and returning Byron to the airport later in the afternoon so it was suggested we go to Manhattan Beach. It was a beautiful day, perfect for visiting the beach, but unfortunately everyone else in Los Angeles thought the same thing. After crawling the public parking for a while we decided to abandon that plan and go back to one of the groomsmen’s apartments nearby to swim in the pool and hang out with his wife and daughter, which, in a way, turned out to be a much better plan. We ate left over chips and drinks and chatted or swam until it was time to go.
An addendum to the weekend was that one of the groomsmen stayed at my place for a few more days. On Monday I joined him and another mutual friend at Beer Belly in KoreaTown, which holds the distinction of probably being the only great food place NOT serving Korean food. They have one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches anywhere, and everything (yes, they have the oreos too) EVERYTHING is fried.