Celebrating Dad

Rickfest 2016.081

In the spirit of Father’s Day, I thought we would celebrate my dad.

To all of you fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! I thought for today’s post I would recap a weekend celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday.

My dad Rick turned 65 on May 22nd. For the seven years now, we have hosted a party that we call Rickfest. To help celebrate, my brother Nick flew home from North Dakota, my best friend Jessie flew from Sacramento, and my boyfriend Riley from Portland. I referred to my Brother/Best-friend/Boyfriend group as my B3. My brother’s friend and pilot mentor Charlie as came down from Seattle to join the festivities. We are so lucky to have people fly from all over the US to celebrate my dad.

Here is what we got up to.


The long weekend started with Nick and Charlie’s arrival. After flying Charlie’s airplane from North Dakota to Seattle to Los Angeles, Charlie and Nick were both ready for some relaxing. This of course involved cuddles with our dog Quincy.


Next, we all ventured out for some dinner. Charlie, who grew up in Beverly Hills, suggested one of his favorite restaurants Lawry’s. My entire family opted for the World-famous prime rib, but I choose the salmon. Although the meals were huge, every bite was delicious, including the three desserts we tried.


The restaurant has an old-timey feel and takes you back to that classic Hollywood glamour. It is a place in LA not to be missed for a nice dinner out!


I spent most of the morning prepping for our arriving guests. With clean sheets on the beds and fresh towels available, I took off to LAX to pick up Jessie. As Jessie’s plane arrived at 7PM and Riley wasn’t scheduled to get in until 10PM, she and I took to the streets of Venice to kill some time. First stop was In-N-Out, a California favorite.


Still needing to kill a few hours, we searched Yelp for a place to get a drink. We found a great new place called The Lincoln. With Portland-esque vibes, we enjoyed delicious drinks made by uber-friendly bartenders. This place was totally packed and was standing room only by the time we left.

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Although Jessie and I had just got back from Alaska two days before, it was nice to have a few hours together!


After scooping up Riley from LAX, the three of us went to a new favorite of mine in North Hollywood called Idle Hour. Shaped like a whiskey barrel, this bar offers delicious food and a wide variety of drink options.


Unfortunately, the back patio closed at midnight, so we again were forced to partake in standing room only. We all enjoyed a round of beer before calling it a (late) night.



Things got pretty interesting for our first full day together. My brother is a pilot and offered to take myself and my friends on an aerial tour of Los Angeles. The four of us loaded up into Charlie’s 1960’s Mooney and took off out of Whiteman Airport for an hour’s flight.


After a smooth take off, Nick took us over the Griffith Observatory, Dodger Stadium, and the Hollywood sign.


Jessie got to sit up front with Nick first and was given the opportunity to co-pilot the plane!


We then landed at Van Nuys and Jessie and Riley swapped seats so he could fly a bit as well. It was both of their first time being in, and flying, a private plane! As I told them, you flew to me, so the least I can do is fly you around too.


An hour later, still feeling a little giddy from the fun, B2 and B3 informed me that I had set the bar pretty high for the rest of the weekend.

After a little party prep at home and an hour’s rest, the three of us set off for Palos Verdes to meet for dinner with Riley’s aunt and uncle. Getting there a little early, we had plenty of time to walk around the different estates before meeting up.


We got dinner at Casa Arigato in Redondo Beach. This place was amazing. Riley’s uncle did the ordering for our table and we shared family style, except for Jessie who enjoyed vegetable rolls. Everything was delicious, but I have to say, the salmon nigiri was my favorite (can you tell that I love salmon?!). I also enjoyed a mule made with fresh ginger.


We then went back to Riley’s family’s place to watch the NBA playoff game where the Golden State Warriors came out on top in the Western Conference!


We ended our night at King Harbor in Redondo Beach.We walked to the pier and stopped off at Hennessey’s Tavern before calling it a night.



Today was the day of Rickfest 2016! Riley, Jessie and I grabbed lunch at the Canyon Grill golf club. We enjoyed their Sunday brunch menu with crisp mimosas overlooking the golf course.IMG_2940

While waiting for our food, a magician came over to our table. He was really amazing and by the end of it, we were all left contemplating reality. Like the disappearing coins, the breakfast burger also defied natural laws as it was out-of-this-world delicious!


Finally it was time for the main event! At 3PM our 50-some guests started to arrive. Rickfest originally started as a party for my father’s students from when he taught photojournalism at USC. Over the years, the group has increased to include photographers he worked with at the Los Angeles Times and even fellow students from his days at Los Angeles Valley College some 40-years-ago.


With so many photographers present, we love to set up a photo booth with lots of props! The silly pictures make for great party favors and even better memories.

We rounded out our fun day with drinks at Catcher in the Rye, another favorite of mine.


Unfortunately, we had really poor service and neither Jessie nor Riley liked their drinks! Mine, however, was delicious (Pearadise Lost).



We started our Memorial Day off at the gun range. Considering we are by no means an NRA family, we have a pretty impressive arsenal.


My family, Riley, and I (guns aren’t Jessie’s thing) took to the range to shoot from my dad’s collection. We started with the .38 revolver. Nick was 6 for 6 with shots.


We then moved on to the .22 rifle. We were shooting at 150 yards away and it was extremely hard to hear the bullets connect with all of the other shooters around. Let’s just assume Riley hit all 12. Believe it or not, my dad has had this rifle since he was 11-years-old!


The main shooting event was my dad’s AR15, built to be California-legal by my cousin Garreth. Not only was it Riley’s first time shooting a powerful assault rifle, it was also his first time at a gun range. Some kind of initiation, huh?

Overall, we did really well.


Riley, Jessie, and I then made our way to Hollywood to meet some friends of Riley’s from his undergraduate studies at University of Oregon. We went to Home restaurant, a great place in Los Feliz.


The 45-minute wait gave us some time to walk around. I love all of the street art you will find in LA!



When our table was ready, the five of us sat down for a great meal. The ladies all opted for salads (the apple pecan was stellar and I am not a big salad person) and the men indulged in some burgers (lamb and ahi tuna), both of which were completed in entirety. With great Southern California weather, the outdoor seating was perfect.


With a few hours to kill before Riley and Jessie would need to return to LAX, we decided to head to Manhattan Beach.


We walked all along the beach and through the main streets checking out the amazing houses. These multi-million dollar estates are massive and have great ocean views.

We also popped into Fishing with Dynamite to toast our weekend. The cocktails were amazing!

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It was a great weekend with great people! I am so happy that I was able to share my dad’s special day with Jessie, Riley, Charlie, Nick and everyone else that came out for Rickfest!


Happy Father’s Day, dad!

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How are you celebrating dad? Let us know below.




One thought on “Celebrating Dad

  1. Pingback: 8. Distance Means Nothing – From Brown Eyes

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