Admittedly, I'm not the world's most graceful handler of detours. I like to know where I'm going and when. And how long it will take to get there.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, is doing it's best to school me in the art of the alternative route. Case in point, The L.A. Marathon.
Every Sunday I have a standing date with my girlfriends, Emily and Kendra, to go to yoga. Not just any old yoga either, Power Yoga. It's hot, it's hard to breathe, and it's one of the best things that has happened to me this year.
It affords me time, each week, to see my friends. We chatter nervously on our mats before class, catching up on the week's highs and lows. After class, and after we've changed out of our soaked yoga clothing, we toast to each other's athletic accomplishments with OJ-free Mimosas at brunch(to Emily, "What a beautiful half moon pose you have..", to me, "way to not fall off your mat today").
The yoga gives my overworked mind a break and a chance to focus on something other than my troubles of the real or imagined variety.
And, it is lifting my bum to heights unattainable for me even when I was in my twenties.
I hold on to this time with my best death grip. I hate missing class.
And wouldn't you know it..
today I missed class.
Partly the fault of an alarm malfunction, also known as -I didn't set it, but mostly because the entire city came to a halt to make way for the marathon this morning. It's participants make their way from Dodger Stadium, 26 miles to Santa Monica, where my class lives. What it meant was that the city was divided into two halves, north and south, and, that I couldn't get down off my hill. I shook my fists at the sky(and at you runners) and then I recalculated.
I wouldn't be able to make it to yoga but I could attempt to travel to the East, to the other side of town. I rerouted my directions and gave my Sunday plans a new destination. As I loaded myself and Olivia into the car I sent out a hope and a prayer that I wasn't on the verge of making a terrible decision. My gamble was on the 101 and that it could safely and swiftly deposit me in Koreatown where Elliott's mother was holding the third installment of her baking extravaganza known as La Weekend, in the lobby of the Ancelle building.
The highway part of the 101 moved freely, it was the exits that made me shudder. They were jammed for miles. I nervously took a place in a long line of automobiles headed for the Western exit and crossed my fingers that the 1/2 mile wait would be painless. I inched along slowly, visions of cream biscuits dancing in my head. I tried not to panic or turn my fingernails into nubs. Forty five minutes later I was rewarded for my patience with rockstar parking outside of the Ancelle building and I made my way into the lobby.
I was welcomed by the seductive smell of freshly brewed coffee.
As they adjusted from sunlight to indoor light, my eyes zeroed in on this week's spread. Since the menu changes each week I wasn't quite sure what I would find.
Elliott and Fred were already camped out with Eduardo and Besito. Olivia joined them.
The Beatles cheerfully sang their way out of an iPod dock and filled the room.
Ellsworth was just finishing up her cup of coffee as I walked in and handed me her mug(the coffee is free at La Weekend if you bring your own cup).
It saved me a dollar, a dollar that I could invest in the sweet and savory treats Kathy Emerson and Annie Boxell artfully arranged across a clean, white tablecloth.
My eyes, wide and unblinking, traveled along the table. There were baking dishes with Bene Breakfast Quiche and Buttermilk Pie. I peered into a jar full of Left on Reds, cream biscuits with pimento cheese in the middle. There was a basket of Cafe Breads, pie plates featuring Byrd's Spiced Apple Cake, Divvy's Carrot Cake, Brownies and Sweet Potato Pie. My eyes settled themselves on Lavender Lumples. Kathy's lumples are one part creamy biscuit mixed with one part blueberry muffin, dipped in sugary white frosting. I was no stranger to her lumples and no fool either. I started ordering. They were my first purchase and the last of the lumples, so, I thanked the traffic gods for my fortunate timing.
While Annie tallied my goodies, I helped myself to the coffee and was excited to see that they'd included a non-dairy creamer option for the likes of me. I settled on the floor in a sea of mini dogs(pups are welcome at La Weekend) and took one last look at the gorgeous lumple in front of me. What happened next, I can't say exactly, all I know for sure is that I came out of a dizzying cloud of all things delicious to find not a crumb left behind on my plate.
I was licking traces of frosting off of my fingers when I spotted my friend Andy walking into the lobby.
Suffering from a budding baked goods addiction that took hold of him last week when he crossed paths with one of Kathy's Lavender Cupcakes, Andy, too, braved the mean marathon'd streets of Los Angeles to make it back for his second week of La Weekend. And for a lavender fix. Less than thrilled to hear that I'd wiped out the lumple supply, he more than made up for it by ordering a full week's worth of pies and biscuits, putting my stash to shame. Andy explained that he'd only made it to Wednesday with what he'd purchased the previous week and that was, simply put, unacceptable.
Impressed by Andy's style and buzzing from my coffee, I was flooded with a wave of pure happiness that rivaled my post-yoga high. I promised myself that I'd make up class tomorrow and that I'd see everyone back at Gramercy Dr. next week.
After class of course...
Oh! And I sold two aprons at La Weekend. How's that for a little detour in my Sunday plans?!
701 Gramercy Dr.
Los Angeles, California
(Saturdays Coming Soon)
See you there!