L.A. Bachelor Party

I spent three days out in Los Angeles two weekends ago for the bachelor party of one of my oldest and dearest, [Ross Richie->], who married [Johanna Stokes->], his lady love of 7 years, last weekend. I left Thursday along with [Ben Mengden->], my traveling companion and another close long-time friend. Ben was not only great company but also a phenomenal help getting everything organized and making the trip possible.

We rolled into Ross and Johanna’s new house on Thursday night and enjoyed a tour of their digs (really neat!), a tasty dinner, and some Gears of War before falling into bed. On Friday, Ross had to work and Johanna was busy setting the house, which they had occupied only 6 days, into order, so Ben and I set off on a hike to the beach. Between the beautiful weather, the chance to explore unfamiliar territory, the scenic beach, and the hours of uninterrupted conversation, this was one of the highlights of the trip. Returning that evening, we all compared notes on our days, enjoyed some more food, and toddled off to dreamland.

Saturday was the bachelor party, which Ross’ best man, [Andy Cosby->] had organized. We started at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, a Los Angeles institution in which I’m pretty sure we were the only white people, where I had — wait for it — chicken. And waffles. Excellent.

From there, it was on to Hollywood Park, a nearby race track. Though the horses weren’t actually running there, a few of the guys bet on races around the country while I admired the slightly seedy opulence of the place, which felt very much like the sort of spot Sinatra and Co. would be right at home. (Aside: like some demented dream of Marcel Duchamp, the restrooms featured the most urinals in a row that I had ever seen in my life.)

We then piled in cars and headed to the marina to board a sport fishing boat and cruise out into the Pacific for an afternoon on the water. Riding the sun-soaked waves with a fishing pole in my hand and the fresh wind whipping past made me think “L.A. might not be a bad place to live!” Unfortunately, it apparently made several other guys think “You know, I really like dry land,” and “Maybe I shouldn’t have had chicken and waffles,” and eventually “Please, someone kill me now.”

Ross hooked a shark, a sting ray, and a few other smaller fish, though only the latter of these made it onto the boat. Several other folks hauled in a variety of mackerel and other fish. I, being a charitable soul, merely fed my bait to the hungry submarine fauna.

The final chapter of the day was back at the house. Andy had contracted with a professional Texas Hold ‘Em dealer to run a card game for us. Unfortunately, “Big Al” seemed at least as interested in telling jokes as he did running the card game, and was eventually sent packing so that we could administer our own game. Poetically, Ross and Andy were left at the table after everyone else had dropped out, and they agreed to split the evening’s pot. Spent after his winning streak, Ross collapsed onto the couch and fell asleep while the remaining celebrants slowly trickled out of the house.

On Sunday, we poked town a bit, got a few wedding chores knocked out, and headed for the airport to enjoy a few days back in Texas before returning for the wedding. (Wedding account coming soon…)