Journal Update: There and back again, Los Angeles style.

June 8, 2011

Where to begin with my long weekend excursion with my wife and friends. I guess is to start by explaining the reason we went. My friend Zack made a movie Scalene, that was premiering at the Dances with Films festival out in West Hollywood. My wife and I are involved with the movie (she even has a bit part in it) and Zack is a good friend of ours so that was that. Great excuse to go out of town without the kids to an exciting place!

We left for Los Angeles on Thursday evening so that we would have Friday morning to hike.  The flight out was not very eventful.  We arrived late, went to bed later and woke up at the crack of dawn.  We stayed at the Andaz in West Hollywood.  It was a really nice hotel right in the middle of where we wanted to be.  A great thing about the hotel was we had complimentary Popchips and diet drinks.  Very forward thinking hotel right?  Healthy choices abounded while we were there… However, I failed to mention that we stopped at an In and Out Burger upon arrival to LA.  I have wanted to visit that place everytime I have been out there and this time since I was on vacation I MADE it happen.  It was great, not mind blowing, but a good burger.  I am happy I can now say I have tried it.

Our first day we drove out to Malibu at about 6 in the morning.  We got there and ended up having to eat breakfast at a Starbucks there because apparently breakfast is not served till 11am there.  I had some greek yogurt with honey and a little granola.  It was a good breakfast for our hike.  We first went to Zuma beach and I showed my wife the good views there with just a short little hike.  She loved it and it was a beautiful way to start the morning.  After that I took her to Solstice Canyon and we hiked the majority of it.  About a 5 mile hike and very challenging uphill at the beginning.  I think my wife was suprised at the pace I could set while hiking.  It was such a great thing to experience this hike with her since I wanted to share my experience from the Biggest Loser Resort with her.  She really understands what I did more now and it actually brought us much closer.

After the hikes we went to the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge and I introduced Jennifer to several of the trainers and other staff there.  It was great to show her where I stayed, and she was surprised how many people knew me still and how nice everyone was.  I told her it was like a family and support system out there and now she understands.  They are so great simply because everyone there actually cares about you and your health.  We left the resort to go to eat at a place called the Urbane Cafe in Agoura Hills, CA.  It was recommended by some nice people at the resort and it was a great healthy place to eat.  We loved the food.

After lunch we went and visited my friend and trainer from the resort Michael Castrogiovanni and we did a kettlebell session, which had quite a bit of kettlebell tossing in it.   Michael has kind of pioneered the throwing techniques and unfortunately is leaving to resort and traveling for awhile.  He has really helped me change my life and I know we will stay in touch.  Jen took some videos I will be adding in below here.

In the evening we caught up with my father in law and went to a place called Carney’s to eat some hotdogs and fries.  Not healthy I know, but we were in a hurry and sometimes the father in law gets to choose.  After that we went to see X-men: First Class at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on the walk of fame.  The theater was amazing and the movie was great.  It was everything I expected.

After the movie we took Jen’s dad to In and Out since it is a right of passage apparently, and then off to bed.


Saturday morning we were out and about around 6:30AM.  This time we found a little latin inspired pastry cafe.  We both had a great breakfast burrito with some of the locals.  It was a great beginning of the day.  We went and hiked at Paramount Ranch, and tooled around the old western town and hiked.  It was a much easier pace compared to the day before and I think Jen was happy about that.  It was fun and a decent workout.  Also, it is another hike I did while at the resort.

We went back to West Hollywood and showered up after the hike.  We met up with my father in law and went to the Newsroom in Hollywood.  I had heard good things about it from several people and it is a big healthy eating establishment.  I had a thai noodle dish, but was not too thrilled with it.  The service was pretty bad, but the menu was very diverse.  I would try it again.

That evening was the world premiere of Scalene so we went and had Sushi with the cast and crew at Sushi Dan.  We introduced Jen’s dad to sushi that night and he enjoyed some of the fried rolls.  It was pretty good food, and great company.

The premiere was great and we were both really happy for Zack and the crew.  We ended up heading back to the hotel afterwards and crashing.  The days of hiking and working out were catching up.


Well Sunday was a much more relaxed day.  We decided we were going to hike up to the Hollywood sign and that is what we did.  It was actually a pretty serious hike up.  The whole thing was about 5.5 miles round trip.  We got pretty high up and under the sign (about 500 yards downhill from it) and took some pictures and enjoyed it.  Just accomplishing that was great and the views of LA and the sign are just amazing.  I recommend it to anyone going out there that likes active things.

We went to an organic pizza place for lunch called Pizza Fusion and it was great!  I had a founders pizza which had olives and other great things on it.  I loved having it on a whole wheat crust.  I think overall it was a hit among the people that went.

After lunch we went on a bus tour of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.  It was a great relaxing experience.  We just sat on top of the bus and let the tour ramble along.  We met up with the guys for dinner at Baja Fresh.  I had some great fish tacos and nachos for dinner.

Finally we went to see the new Brad Pitt/Sean Penn movie Tree of Life.  It is not really my type of movie, but Zack and Kevin loved it.  I tend to prefer a less artistically rendered storyline so take my lack of love for the film with care.

Monday was pretty much just a travel day back home.  We left at 11AM California time and got to the house at 9:30PM Indiana time…..  So there we have it!  All caught up.  Hopefully I still have readers after going so radio silent over the weekend.

Entry filed under: weightloss. Tags: .

Journal Update: Not perfect, but I will take it! Kettlebell videos!

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  • 1. Kent Moeller  |  June 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    What?? No full Zuma or Reverse Zuma?? Disappointed !!!

    Great job Dwayne. Makes me miss the Resort.

    • 2. Dwayne Phillips  |  June 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Yeah I would have done Zuma, but my wife was already struggling at Solstice. The hike to the Hollywood sign was intense though.


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