Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

PART 6: DAVID AND SANDY ON THE ROAD – LA LA LAND AND BEYOND

Since we got to Los Angeles  around 3 in the afternoon, before David’s friend Michael (from whom we planned to “mooch” a place to stay) was home from work, we drove around a bit for him to show me a little of the town.  Stopped in the Sherman Oaks Galleria where they filmed lots of movies (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” comes to mind) and I bought a few postcards. David had worked in a building next door and said he used to visit the food court during his lunch hour. In its present iteration, the Galleria contains nice restaurants, stores and the Arclight movie theaters where my kids and I now attend first run cinema every time I am there to visit – but I digress. David drove down Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, where I took pictures, etc. and marveled that I was at last in Hollywood!

We returned to Michael’s around 5 and what a really nice place – apartments in a gated courtyard with a pool in the middle,  I thought – just like on “Melrose Place” on TV. (I was definitely star-struck – ha).  Michael’s a very nice guy – old friend of David’s from when he lived here a few years ago.  Michael is a counselor and I hoped he and David would discuss David’s illness and maybe Michael could offer him some comforting words.

I called my friend Chad who he asked me to have dinner and go to a movie. We reminisced about the “Passenger 57” goings on (I was a “featured extra” and he was production assistant during its filming near Orlando and we became friends). He drove me around town a bit and we had dinner at Tony Roma’s by Universal Studios and went to the huge Cineplex Odeon there to see “Sneakers”.  (You can see how long ago this trip was, by the age of the movies we are discussing!)  We saw a poster for “57” on display in the lobby and both got excited.  Can’t wait for it to open to see all the work we both put into it! Chad brought me back to Michael’s around 1:00 am and said he’d take me on a “sampler platter” tour of Hollywood tomorrow.

David came in right after I did from a bar where he was hoping to run into some old friends.  Apparently, he located a couple since they are meeting us for dinner tomorrow night.  Michael came in around 4.  David and I are both sleeping on his L-shaped HUGE sofa, feet-to-feet. The next morning, David, Michael and I walked down to Sunset Boulevard to have breakfast.  I know I must be in LA when the menu offers tofu and avocado and sprout omelets!

Chad picked me up at 12:45.  We all took some pictures in Michael’s courtyard and then we were off.  David and Michael were going off on their own expeditions and Chad wanted to show me “his” Hollywood. Over the hill and down Melrose Avenue past all the trendy shops and cafes,  by LaBrea tarpits, down Wilshire Boulevard, to Rodeo Drive.  Chad parked his car and we walked on Rodeo, took a few pictures and wandered in a few of the fancy shops.

We took a long drive around Beverly Hills, Bel Air, etc.  Down Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards.  Took me to the Samuel French Book Store where I could have spent all my money on movie and theater-related stuff.  Bought T-shirts for me (“I act therefore I am, I audition therefore I may be”) and Mandy (“ I can’t, I have a rehearsal”) and a coffee mug for Erik that had “screenwriter” on it.  Got a free bumper sticker that read, “I brake for auditions”. Fun.

This will be my star!

Parked again near the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and walked on the sidewalk of stars and Chad took a picture of me on a blank star saying it would be mine someday. Ha.  Funny how our ambitions and life itself changes. Recently my son took me to some of the same locations and I was surprised at how some things had changed and others had not.

We drove up to Griffith Park Observatory by the Hollywood sign and saw a beautiful view of the cities of Los Angeles and Hollywood and directly below our vantage point, a deer meandering through the woods. Neat.

A blurry Hollywood sign

Chad took me back to his apartment in North Hollywood to show me his photo album from “Passenger 57” and we shared our memories of working on our (for both of us) FIRST feature film production. We met David, Michael and their friend Al at Micelli’s Restaurant and enjoyed a nice meal (Italian) while servers serenaded us. Hated to say goodbye to Chad at the end of a fun day.  He got kind of choked up and so did I.

Later that evening, David drove me up to La Canada Flintridge area to see the lights of the city stretched out below.  Incredible – looked almost as if we were in an airplane coming in for a landing!  The place where we stood was totally dark and quiet – eerie but fascinating and beautiful.  It was a really long drive and by the time we got back to Michael’s we were both exhausted.  A long but wonderful day. My first – but not last it would turn out – visit to Los Angeles!

To be continued…

PART 5 – ON THE ROAD WITH DAVID AND SANDY – CALIFORNIA, HERE WE COME

I remember thinking that this must be the ultimate goal of David’s trip, the Grand Canyon, but it turns out that we had only just begun!

My Impression of the Grand Canyon - 36"x24" - Acrylic - $900

When it finally got too dark and cold to safely wander around the edge of the canyon, we drove down to the IMAX theatre and watched a fabulous movie about the discovery of the Canyon. We stopped just outside the populated area, got out of the car and looked up at the stars.  There were no other cars on the road and no lights from anywhere but the sky.  The brightness and abundance of stars was incredible.  We just stood there in total silence and awe and looked at the heavens.

Then it was back on the road.  We had thought about going to Las Vegas (we could see a glow in the distance from all the lights on the Strip), but decided to just keep on to California.  I wasn’t much help driving, kept falling asleep.  Poor David was exhausted when we finally found a room in Barstow at 4 am. This time we each had our own double bed, so we slept soundly and comfortably (and with no more embarrassment!).

I woke up around 8 and David finally got up and was ready for us to leave the Motel 6 by 11!  I like to let him go at his own speed since he is the one who knows how much strength he has on any particular day.  The way the past few days have gone, though, I think he has a lot more energy than I do!

Kind of interesting for me to visit this desert town, since years before I had almost moved here.

We drove into what we assumed was downtown Barstow and had breakfast in a little cafe that seemed like a favorite hangout.  The locals were right: it was nice and not too expensive.  We drove through lots of desert and mountains and it was neat.  Kind of pretty in its own way but very dry.

On our way to Los Angeles and I grew more excited. Hard to believe I finally made it to California and LA after all these years of hoping to come here.

I guess I am having a few of my own miracles on this trip.  Excited to be in California for the first time, not knowing that in years to come I would return many times to visit my precious kids who both live here!

Thanks to David, I am experiencing all kinds of new places and people.

To be continued…

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