Thursday, February 16, 2012


On Saturday night we headed over to Steve and Danica Childs's house in Pasadena. I don't have a lot of pictures to show you because that would be creepy of us. Not that I wasn't tempted. Suffice it to say they live in a charming bungalow in a beautiful neighborhood and they have a yard full of amazing succulents and cacti and citrus and even a passion fruit vine. I ate a passion fruit from their yard. Between the beautiful setting and the excellent company, it was tempting to cancel all plans of ever returning to the great frozen north.

When we arrived, well after dinner time, the next-door neighbors were in full party mode--celebrating a baptism, I think? Alas, we'd missed the live mariachi band and had to settle for the DJ's very eclectic music choices. Sometimes I wish I'd been born into a party culture. Then I remember that I would be expected to throw big, expensive, elaborate parties. And then I think that just inviting a family over for dinner every once in a while might not be too bad after all.

I love that Nels immediately made himself right at home in the office/guest room, as though this Eames recliner were his birthright.

We had such a treat on Sunday morning. We got to go to Steve and Danica's church (Ecclesia, which meets in the beautiful Hollywood Pacific Theatre) and the speaker was Danica. How about that?

It's normal for us to be running a few minutes late for church. It's not normal for us to have to drag Nels down the street because he's trying to read all the names in the stars on the sidewalk on the way into the building.

Danica is an engaging teacher. The sermon was practical, insightful, entertaining, and straightforward enough that even Nels could track with it. When I asked her about it later, Danica told me that she'd never thought about giving a sermon until her fellow elders approached her and asked her to consider it. Turns out she's good at it. This makes me hope that I have some latent, as yet undiscovered, remarkable talent. Fingers crossed.

Willem and Thorne (the Childs's eldest daughter) had a rather stormy dynamic throughout our visit. She enjoyed being up in his business and he spent much of the day reporting his dissatisfaction with her behavior to the grown-ups. Thorne grabbed Willem's hand on the way out of church, and it was quite a sight to see the two of them walking hand-in-hand down Hollywood Boulevard.

After church we went to eat at Wurstkuche and we saw lots of street art along the way. We always enjoy looking at the NY street art on our friend Peter's blog, so it was fun to see some in person. We don't get a lot of it here in Camas.

Nels saw this and asked, "Does this say 'Winnie the Pooh?'"
"No," I said, and swiftly changed the subject.

Here Willem is eating a granola bar against his will while we wait to get into the restaurant for lunch.

Our bratwurst at lunch were outstanding. And there was no way we could pass up the Reissdorf Koelsch Wheel. We've never seen this outside of our time living in Cologne. Cheers!

After we ate dessert across the street at The Pie Hole (yummm... Mexican chocolate pie), we spent the rest of the afternoon out in the backyard. As the day cooled down, we enjoyed a proper pot of tea and a fire in the outdoor fireplace and then ate a delicious steak dinner. All of this hospitality was managed around Danica's speaking duties, sleep deprivation (their darling baby daughter doesn't sleep through the night yet), and terrible colds.

I might have sent us away, but I am so glad they didn't.


Auntie Nannie said...

Go Childs Family!

I attended a conference at their church last year. What a cool building. Did you see the original cartoon murals on the walls downstairs - I think they were painted by Warner Bros. artists.

Great post and pics, thanks.

Gypmar said...

No, I didn't see those, Nancy...I love the faded grandeur of the place, though! All that history.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish we lived closer together so we could have more adventures more frequently. Such fun having you guys around!