Post work businessmen hurriedly rush past families playing with their kids and college kids cheers-ing their IPAs along the Del Mar Station in Pasadena. It’s an active scene but one soaked in perfectly from your vantage point on the patio of The Luggage Room. Taking the next sip of your freshly squeezed Greyhound you happily realize this joint epitomizes the devil being in the details. With the massive pizza oven catching your other eye it’s obvious where your group’s palette is leaning. You all collectively agree on the meat lovers Gladiator pizza but opt for the “healthy” gluten free route, of course. When the pie arrives it disappears almost as quick as the commuters darting past for their next train home. Eventually with no food on the table and your glasses emptied you realize it’s actually time to catch a train of your own.
Your southbound Gold Line express settles to a halt at the Highland Park Station only a few minutes later. The few blocks stroll to your next destination is illuminated by the neighborhoods newly vibrant night scene and the classic “Highland Theater” sign above. Just as your settling into the street cruise the glorious signage of Highland Park Bowl comes into focus. The seemingly endless guts of the interior filled with intricate antiquities of the buildings past life are the perfect backdrop to your evening. With a cocktail in hand you can then decide whether to lace up and work on breaking 100 or post up and listen to the familial crack of ball hitting pin. Conversation flows into the night between cheers of groups at the far lanes and the roll of the ball on the wood, a pastime far removed from the Internet era. When you’ve finished your rounds or won your game it will mark the time to depart on another train ride.
After the Gold Line takes you full circle to the Del Mar Station you pass through the sprinkler laden Central Park to the quintessential sports hub Rocco’s. You’re happily received by the pumped staff and more excited about the late night happy hour. A night cap vodka soda or wine pair perfectly with a few spicy wings while you continue the conversation that has seemed to never stop since this evening began. As you fade into the evening the Gold Line quietly slides on its rails off in the distance sending you the realization on what an adventurous journey it has been. Now it’s your decision to decide if it needs to end.