Archive | 9:00 pm

Back to Life, Back to Reality

6 Jun

It’s chilly (high 50s) and rainy, the Yankees have now beaten the Red Sox two nights in a row, the post office didn’t actually hold my mail while I was away, there’s almost no food in my kitchen, and I have to go to work in the morning — without an umbrella. This can mean only one thing: vacation is now officially over.

Just wanted to close the loop on my travel journal and let you know my flight home was more enjoyable and more comfortable than the flight out to L.A. was. I actually slept for a chunk of it and managed to read an entire (double) issue of Entertainment Weekly. Stopped at Noah’s for a bagel on the way to LAX … and that was basically all the excitement I have to report for the day — if you don’t count the fact that one of my coworkers was also on the flight coming back from L.A., which was fun.

So, yeah … to quote the Soul II Soul song, “Back to life, back to reality.” Please excuse me if I don’t seem happy about it.

Hollywood Swingin’

6 Jun

You might say I spent my last day in L.A. seeking stars.

Started off by driving down East Altadena Drive to number 1675, to make sure the Walshes’ house was still there. It was, just like I remembered it. (Phew!) Snapped a couple pictures and drove away, so as not to arouse suspicion (there were “neighborhood watch” signs all over).

Then I went to the downtown area to see the Walt Disney Concert Hall (which was still under construction the last time I was here), and find Union Station (which was not what I expected, based on the music videos and films that had been shot there) and City Hall.

After that, I headed on over to Hollywood, to Paramount, to have lunch with Todd (who works there) and our old friend Ross, who was meeting us there.

Then Rebecca (who also works there) gave me a tour of the back lot, pointing out all the historic sets and buildings, and let me pick through her free DVD collection. Suffice it to say, I walked away with six or seven titles, everything from The Naked Gun and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to, ahem, Laguna Beach: Season One. (Hey, it was free!)

And of course, I saw lots of cool stuff on the lot and took lots of pictures.

Oh, and I did have a star sighting: Brandy. (Alright, so maybe it wasn’t Tom or Julia, but it was somebody. And no, I didn’t ask to take her picture; she was there to work.)

Then I drove down Melrose Avenue and decided to head up to Hollywood Boulevard, where I walked around for a bit, checking out (again) the Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, and that general area.

Got into a “thing” with two guys dressed up as Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper in front of the Chinese Theater who didn’t like me taking their picture without giving them a tip; the Storm Trooper actually waved his finger at me from across the street to tell me not to take the picture!

At night, I headed back to Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers play the Mets with Todd, Tiffany and Kerri. (The Mets won, 4-1.)

And then, after filling up my car with gas (which cost me $40!!!) I stopped at 21 Choices for some dessert (think Cold Stone Creamery, except with soft-serve yogurt. There are 21 choices of toppings. I had “Kit Kat Cookie” with M&M’s mixed in. Yum). It was a sweet way to end what has been a really relaxing, really fun, and just really great vacation.

It has been four years since I went away anywhere (my 3-day weekend in Chicago doesn’t count), and I guess I just forgot how nice it was to get away and do fun things.

Getting on the plane to come back home is going to be really tough, as is getting up on Wednesday to go to work.

Of course, I do have one thing to look forward to: Wednesday is my birthday! So, although my vacation is over, I am returning to a celebration and am looking forward to being another year older.