Now, I have been planning this trip since September. I knew fairly early on in the year that it would be a long, boring, cold one, and that at some point I would want to visit friends in a warmer part of the country. So I bought tickets to go to LA, Vegas and back again. I was originally supposed to leave Thursday morning, but then a storm hit and I ended up leaving on Friday afternoon.
I got into LAX at 11 pm and Rachel came to meet me at the airport. She claimed that it was freezing outside, which got a big belly laugh from me, as 'freezing' to her was 65 degrees, a temperature I hadn't seen in months. I pranced around outside in a t-shirt for a while before I realized that I needed to drag my suitcase about 18 blocks to her apartment. There was no more prancing after that.
Thursday was Chinese New Year, and the LA parade was on Saturday. One of two things I knew I wanted to do it LA was go see the festival, so we did.
I got some Korean barbecue (very Chinese) and a rabbit netsuke (also very Chinese), and we tried our best to enjoy the parade despite the assholes who tried to make everyone else sit down so they could see from their chairs.
We had dinner with Alex and Chad at an amazing South Indian restaurant. Over the course of conversation, The Room was mentioned. By happenstance, I had a copy of the film with me, Rifftrax included. After dinner we had a screening of this remarkable piece of cinema, and enjoyed every minute of it. Ok, most of the minutes. Maybe not the ones where Tommy Wiseau was naked...
The first thing we did on Sunday was visit Whimsic Alley - THE Harry Potter store. Yes, they have a few Lord of the Rings related items, and a shameful Twilight room, but the majority is HP related. They even have a Great Hall in which to have children's parties. I could be 5, they don't know. I finally bought a Gryffindor scarf, since it was only $15 as opposed to the usual $40, and a St. Mungo's Hospital pin for Dave. My hope is that he puts it on his white coat.
Next we went to the George C. Page Museum, also known as the La Brea Tar Pit Museum. Interestingly enough*, the pits are not actually filled with tar. It is asphalt. Who knew.
404 Dire wolf skulls on display
Skeletons of a camel (smoking kills, kids) and a buffalo, I think.
On the way to the Santa Monica Beach we stopped at the 3rd Street Promenade to get Rachel new sneakers and me some Pink Berry. We also found the violinist Josh Vietti. We ended up staying for an hour to hear his entire performance. Among other feats, he managed to play the only version of Pachelbel's Canon in D that I have actually liked. You can listen to said piece and a few others on his website, and I fully recommend doing so, and maybe buying his album.
We finally made it to the Santa Monica pier, which happens to look a lot like Super Silly Fun Land from Despicable Me.
We had arrived in time to watch the sunset, as you can see.
I kinda wish I knew who those two are, so I could send them this photo.
I don't know what is happening with the kids in this photo, but it looks so sad. The boy on the right later walked away from the group and sat by himself.
By the time we left the beach we were all really hungry, so we spent another hour and a half changing and finding a place to eat. By the time we got to an In-N-Out Burger, I was close to eating my tour guides. While we ate, all I could think about was how good those burgers were (Shut the fuck up, Donny!).
Afterward, we walked up and down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, looked at the various hand prints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, and were accosted by some creep. That last part was just me.
Monday morning we went to Beverly Hills to 'window shop'. This amounted to laughing at the insane prices and styles of most of the outfits we saw. One wedding gown in particular looked like it had been constructed from "newsprint someone bought at Michael's" (Rachel). Newsprint and a lot of giant, fake, taupe roses.
We saw the headquarters for the WGA (Writer's Guild of America) West and stopped into the library to take a look at a script (The Fellowship of the Ring, naturally). Lots of random capitalization, exclamation marks and unnecessary sentences. Weird. The librarian who checked our IDs had once lived in Syracuse while her husband taught at VPA. LA really is the second home for SU grads.
We moved on to the farmer's market on 3rd and Fairfax and saw this guy reading over a script with his agent. I was a bit too excited about that.
The Grove was right around the corner so we went to look at the shops. Also, The Grove looks like this:
Finally, it was time to go to the taping of the Late, Late show with Craig Ferguson! I was the 4th to last person admitted (the show only has an audience of 104) and he was visibly exhausted (which is allowed, since he is a new father). The show was still really awesome and if I can find all of the clips, I will put them in a separate blog post.
Rachel was in class while I saw the show, so I made my way back all by myself. I knooow, so grown up!
Just an extension of Monday, really. I was awake by 3:30 am, Chad was a darling and drove me to the airport and I flew to Las Vegas at 7:30. Sin City, here I come!