So Brian, Bill and I decided to have a Fun Day. I mean, what else to should a trio of teachers do when the summer is here?

Mr. Crockwell rolled in with a personalized ironic shirt. A close inspection of his crotch also revealed...

...Brian's school ID. The funniest part is that it appears Brian likes what he sees.

Meanwhile the Real Slim Brian was in the process of finalizing the day's schedule.

Eat your heart out, Ross Gellar.

Because they don't call me Superfly for nothing (usually I have to pay them).

Our first stop was the Starling Diner in Long Beach.

Their French toast was voted the best for 2007 by the OC Weekly.

Yeah, in 2010 it was still that good.

Brian hit up the GPS for our next stop.

Bill went the so-20th century-paper route.

Escorted on either side by palm trees we headed off under the beautiful Southern California sky.

We aimed for the marina but ran into traffic from Ocean Blvd construction.

Brian saw a minivan hang a turn into an ally and, figuring it was a local, followed suit.

Uh oh, a truck blocked the ally. Evasive maneuvers, Mr. Sulu.

Then, just as soon as it started, BAM! We were out of the traffic.

Back at the marina.

Out of the minivan for...

...hydrobikes, baby!

When we changed into our water attire Bill discovered his shorts were too tight. Apparently it's been years since our pasty young friend has touched a body of water. No need to zoom in on his crotch this time since it's obvious Brian likes what he sees.

Ready to hit the water.

Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

Bill thought it would be funny to wear a life jacket. He was right.

Brian tested out his hydrobike on the dock.

Then it was pushed into the water.

Bill was ready, with life jacket.

Me, without life jacket.

Off he went.

Bringing up the rear.

Me and Lorenzo rollin' in our hydrobenzo.

This was a perfect day.

Ramming speed!

Creative hydrobiking.

As I decided to board Brian's vessel, I soon realized that pirate hindsight is 20/20.

Thankfully Bill came to the rescue.

We hit the Naples canals.

All hail to the Captain.

Us again.

We had the water to ourselves.

Where are you going, Gilligan?

We decided to stop of at a little beach.

Bill jumped off in a spot he thought was more shallow.

I took note of Bill's mistake as I pedaled in.

And decided to take advantage of the water's depth.



It takes a lot to impress these boys.

Brian needs to watch his back better.

As we headed out there was one last chance for some hydrobike fun.

Bill discovered a new skill.

Time to head back.


I tied up my hydrohooptie.

Then Bill showed me how it was done. Boy Scouts, I assume.

Can't a guy get a little privacy while changing in a parking lot?

From Long Beach it was time to head to Irvine. Just follow the orange ball.

OC Great Park?

What is this I see?

Aw yeah, hot air balloon.

This is how you ride a bike.

This is not, however, how you ride the handle bars.

When we tried to register for a balloon ride we were told we were too late as they end day flights at 3:00. After asking again Brian was told there was one spot left for the final ride. It was decided the three of us would Roshambo for it. Bill went out like a bitch, leaving the final spot to Brian or me.

Brian learned a lesson this day: Don't bring paper... a scissors fight.

Table for one, please.

Come to papa.

The view from the man with the last ticket.

The man with the last ticket.

Goodbye Earth.

My balloon mates.

Feeling like the King of the World I started asking the pilot if there was any way he could find time for another ride because my friends had missed out. He actually sounded annoyed that the office hadn't radioed him that there were others waiting. He said he'd check when we got back to ground.


God's-eye view.

OC Great Park.

Established in 1942 this was originally the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro that consisted of four runways that could handle the largest aircraft in the U.S. military inventory. While it was active, all U.S. Presidents in the post-WWII era landed in Air Force One here.

Straight up.

Straight down.

After a radio conversation the pilot agreed to take one more flight.

Let the record show, I take care of my boys.

Even better, they let me on again. Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

It was at that point I remembered Bill was deathly afraid of heights. That's the face of a Nervous Nellie.

Bill: "I'm ok. Just not looking down."

Bill refused to look down even as we landed.

Brian tried to make him feel better.

By the time we got back on the road and I was starving. I was already hungry after the hydrobikes but the other two weren't ready. Seeing as we had no idea what was in Irvine, and that we were in slow traffic on the I5, we had few alternatives. Then I was struck by inspiration:

Knott's Berry Farm!

I had to be careful not to get run over by Ghostrider.

Bill introduced us to a hidden garden that was hella humid.

I was so hungry I resorted to sample fudge. I don't even like fudge.

We waited in line for the famous Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant but after 10 minutes the line wasn't moving. So I figured if you can't eat 'em, ride 'em.

Then the answer hit like a thunder bolt from Zeus: the Knott's Bakery!

Eclair, son.

Eclair skillz, with a Z, son.

Bill and his oven-warmed cinnamon roll.

Brian went the bear claw route.

Must have been from a California Grizzly.

Next up, a Florentine dipped in chocolate.

Then my chocolate chocolate chip cookie became my next victim. Did I mention I was hungry?

I even finished Bill's macaroon. It wasn't very good, though, so I see why he gave it away.

I have no idea what the hell is on his finger.

It was after 4:00 at this point.

Welcome to L.A. rush hour traffic.

Pasadena or Los Angeles?

The City of Angels it is.

The iconic Los Angeles City Hall provides a glimmer of hope that we would reach a destination at some point.

Preferably Hollywood.

How do you identify a Bingo lover.

That's how.

Getting closer.

Yay, we finally got off the freeway. Oh dammit....

We headed to Hollywood Blvd to find something to do.

We pondered taking a sightseeing tour on one of those doubledecker buses, but the shortest one was two hours long. We had just spent like what seemed that long on the road so that idea was nixed.

Then we looked up at the glass wall of the 5th floor of the Renaissance Hotel.

We headed across the street from Hollywood and Highland.

That glass wall protected the Renaissance Hotel's pool.

Highland Avenue.

Hollywood and Highland from whence we came.

The Hollywood Hills.

A closer look and you can even see the Hollywood sign.

From salt water to chlorine.

Quite refreshing.

A lifeguard probably would not have allowed my camera in the pool.

Brian and Bill were finished.

I was not.

Then back through Hollywood and Highland to the minivan.

It was time for dinner so we decided to go north.

I mean, we went waaaay north. Like Santa Clarita north. Why?

No need to contact your Internet provider or adjust your computer monitor. You read that correctly: Farrell's!

All this way and you know we went Farrell's Zoo! Yes, the one that serves 10 people.

The manager herself prepared this one for us.

While the excitement was palpable, I had one problem: look closely...

...I don't recall inviting this dude into my picture.

I almost couldn't wait.

Brian found a memento.

As it should be.

Let the gorging begin.

It was at this moment I realized all we had eaten today were sugar-based products.

Oh well.

Bill dispensed with the spoon for the ice cream scooper.

This picture still makes my mouth water.

Unfortunately, at that point my mouth was numb from the spoonfuls of ice cream being shoveled into it.

I would estimate that we took it down at least 60%, then the sugar in our systems rebelled and (I say this with deep-seated shame) we were finished.

It was a beautiful end to a long day.

Unfortunately, Bill's constitution couldn't handle the Farrell's Zoo on the ride home, forcing me to hang out the window at 80 mph to save my adenoids, much to Bill's enjoyment.

As long as the drive was to get there, thanks to Bill it seemed so much longer going home.

Here's the Google Map that charts our day's travels. The start and end points, A and G, are Brian's house.