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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui


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92262, Palm Springs

Vintage Porsche 356

Dear ——–,

The Cook family took its first vacation together this past weekend, packing the baby, the dog, our luggage, plus the baby’s swing and Pack n Play into the Mini Cooper. (We definitely needed the roof box.) We got a great deal on a room at the Riviera in Palm Springs thanks to Jetsetter. As we pulled in on Friday, we saw Porsche flags waving. What was that about? Turns out, there was some kind of rally for Porsche 356s — the first of the mass-produced Porsches — and we found them in all candy colors on the lawns the next morning.  To me, these cars pop right out of sun-drenched scenes in a Fellini film, driven by some Casanova scamp. The Riviera was an old Rat Pack hangout, so why not conjure up the Italian version? We ordered a little take-out from Trio and it was a good start to the weekend.

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90012, Little Tokyo

Wish tree in Little Tokyo

Dear ——–,
I’ve barely been out of the house since our daughter was born, but Bryan and I decided that we should try hiring a babysitter for the first time and go out for dinner for our 5th anniversary. We started at the Spice Table, a restaurant with southeast Asian specialties and an owner that used to work at Mozza. I had to try the Hainanese chicken and laksa because I wondered what the gourmet version of these humble comfort foods would be like. They were pretty tasty — less greasy, more focused, with sharper flavors. They also soared with the wine flight that our waiter recommended. After dinner, we took a walk around Little Tokyo, stopping to listen to an outdoor karaoke session (?!). After gawking at some mochi in the Mikawaya, I decided to pick up some imagawayaki, biscuit-sized pancakes filled with sweet red bean paste, for dessert. We stopped to admire a tree frilled with wishes on slips of paper. There was only a subtle breeze, but I was hoping one of the slips of paper would blow off, on its way to being fulfilled.