Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Dad! Look at that man in the back."

The flight was pretty smooth and on time, so things were looking good on our recent trip to Los Angeles to visit our son who recently moved there from Seattle.  The plane from Rapid City to Salt Lake City was nearly full and made up of seemingly uninteresting people.  You know, like us. However, during the connecting flight from Salt Lake City there was a movie star sitting in the row right in front of me. I could tell because her hair was perfect.  Okay, so I don't know that she really was a movie star, but if she wasn't she should have been.  This just added to the excitement about the trip which was increasing with each new Delta air mile I accumulated.  Soon we would be there.  The Left Coast. Tinseltown.  La-La Land.  The City of Angels.
After arriving our first stop was downtown to meet our son's co-workers and see what a view from the 51st floor looks like.  It looks like this ...

Not a view we are accustomed to, but pretty impressive just the same.  From there on to Bottega Louis where we gazed longingly into their amazing bakery display counter.

I was thinking "one of each," but I said "no thank you."  We already had our treat for the day. 

Now on to Hollywood, where we just missed a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel show by about an hour and a half. This car was parked outside of his studio. You would think he could afford something a little bigger.  But it probably gets pretty good gas mileage.
Predictably, there were a lot of TV and movie characters roaming around posing for tips.  All seemed to be getting a lot of attention.  Except for Wonder Woman.  She looked a little lonely. 
Spiderman was also there, and Batman.  The character getting the most attention, though, was Homer Simpson.  Sad day for super heroes.
The following day was Disneyland.  The happiest place in the world, where age truly doesn't matter.  Of course we had to ride one of our favorites -Splash Mountain.  Brian, who is kind of a joker anyway, decided to act like he was sleeping at the moment of the big drop when they take your picture.

After the ride the photos are all displayed on video screens in a lobby area where everyone can view them and decide whether or not to buy their picture.  In our "log" with us was a dad and his two daughters.  As we were looking at our picture up on the screen the oldest daughter said in an alarmed voice "Dad! Look at that man in the back."  She didn't know we were standing behind her, and was embarrassed when she realized Brian was right there.  Her dad reassured her everything was fine, "it's alright, honey, he was just really tired." 
Of all the ways to describe Disneyland, "Creepy" would not be one of them.  Even the Haunted House ride is more fun than creepy.  But there is this little place tucked away near the entrance that is not a typical Disney attraction.  You walk in from the clamor and clatter of a modern amusement park to a 1930s style bar that seemed to be right out of a movie.  The problem is that the movie is "The Shining."  Even the bartender looked like the ghost that Jack Nicholson had those weird conversations with in the movie.
"What will you be drinking, sir?"
"The hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd."

To add to the effect I ordered a "Side Car," a drink popular back in that era.  Just the fact that it was even on the menu added to the overall atmosphere. Even the lighting in the place was a little spooky.

Other observations I made on this trip included the fact that there are many opportunities in California if you know where to look.  Including simply looking out of your car window.
Seems legit.

And where else would you find a combination cafe/art gallery/hair salon?  This place was next to our hotel.  It's called Nue.  Actually it was a pretty cool setting for morning coffee.

Another interesting place was just across the street.  Interesting only because it's true.  This has to be the miniest Mini Mart I've ever seen.

 Notice there's only one parking space, and that's for disabled customers.  I guess if you're not buying gas, you're not shopping here.

I haven't even scratched the surface of things we saw and places we went.  There was the world's largest record store.  The vintage clothing / costume store.  A lot of beautiful people, and some not so much. Tom Bergin's Tavern, the oldest Irish pub in Los Angeles. And, of course, the beach.  We don't get much beach time around here so even a short visit was wonderful. 
I can understand why so many songs have been written about California...California Nights, Warm California Sun, California Dreaming, and of course California Girls.  There was also the traffic, smog, and too many people.  But those things don't change the fact that I want to go back.  There's so much still to see and do.  I bought a map to the movie stars homes but didn't have time to use it.  If anybody plans a trip soon you can sure borrow it.  Maybe knock on a couple doors and see who answers.  Back in my radio days we called Desi Arnaz (Lucy's husband) and he actually answered the phone! So, you never know.