Tara came to visit us on Monday April 10th and stayed for 2 days. We had a girls day in LA which was fun and exciting! It was like we were in high school and college again aimlessly "wandering" (in a car) the big city looking for excitement and adventure! It all started when I picked up Tara from LAX. Her plane was a couple of hours late so the itinerary had to be shortened a bit. Armed with Yahoo maps and a semi-plan of action, we took to the wild and wicked streets of LA! Our first stop was the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Mann's Chinese theatre. We happened upon a meter and parked - with cameras in tow! We looked at all the stars of old and new. We happened upon some of our favorites and took pictures by them. We started walking and realized quickly that the Walk of Fame was more of a hike! It went on FOREVER and we walked several blocks before we realized we were hungry and needed to give up the quest for the end. With all the exotic eateries, we decided upon MCDONALD'S - our old time favorite. OK so you can't teach a old dog new tricks. Anyhoo, we walked to Mann's Chinese theatre and THAT was a sight to behold. There were people dressed as old movie stars (I took a picture with "I Love Lucy" for a small fee), famous characters in history, etc. People in LA are just as weird as on TV. One brotha came up to me and was SO CLOSE that I could SEE his breath (get what I'm saying?) Anyway, typical Tanya response was "you are invading my personal space - back away from the Tweety (I was wearing a Tweety shirt). We were awarded "Oscars" for our realistic portrayal of East Coast sightseers. Don't laugh - we have the pictures to prove it! After about 1 hour and a parking ticket later (he pre-wrote the ticket thinking that we would not be back in time to feed the meter), we decided to continue our journey. We traveled down the famous Hollywood and Vine. It was uneventful. It must have been the bomb back in the day. But now it looks like a bomb hit it!
The next thing to do was see the Capitol Records building. We went, we saw, we took pictures from the car, we conquered. "That's all I have to say about that!"
We (actually I was driving) took a wrong turn to get to Hollywood Center Studios and saw the Hollywood sign! We tried to follow the street as far as it would go so we could get as close as we could. We took pictures from the car which was an adventure in itself because the street was narrow and busy. It involved hanging out the sunroof and backing up, stopping traffic - well, you get the idea. I even made up this elaborate story that I was going to tell everyone how we climbed up the sign and claimed it in the name of New Jersey! That fell thru when I realized that anyone who knows me knows that I'm afraid of heights so that's that.
Being short on time, we had to forego the Hollywood Center Studio lots and the location of the Academy Awards and we did a drive by of the Kodak Theatre where the BET awards are filmed and the Hollywood Palace. It looked more like the Hollywood Hut! We also did a driveby of the La Brea Tarpits which way recommended by my friend Aimee (I miss you Aimee). We thought it might be a little pre-school/class trip style for us. However, when we passed it by accident (all the streets seem to go in circles), it looked so cool! We wished we had time to stop. Our final goal was Beverly Hills' famous Rodeo Drive! We knew when we were in Beverly Hills when everything started to clean up and look pricey! We saw the beautiful architectural phenomenon of a police station from the Beverly Hills Cop movies. There really are plastic surgeons on almost every corner. They have doormen in uniforms waiting by the curb. There were flowers and picturesque scenery. After 30 minutes driving around we found it - the luxurious, fabulous RODEO DRIVE. To quote my road buddy Tara, seeing it was anti-climatic! I expected miles of expensive designer boutiques and luxury shops. Instead, it was 2 BLOCKS!!!!!!! 2 BLOCKS!!!!!! In the movies and on Beverly Hills 90210 (yes, I caught a couple of episodes back in the day) it seemed HUGE, even larger than life. But it was only 2 BLOCKS!!!!!! Hell, 5th Avenue in NYC is more luxurious and dripping with fabulosity than Rodeo Drive!!! Needless to say we were both disappointed but we still had a great day.
The road trip ended in traffic going south to Oceanside. Everything in Cali revolves around traffic - how to avoid it, how to work with it, how to fight tooth and nail thru it. Fortunate for us, a carpool has a minimum of 2 people so after we left the LA area, we flew down the coast in the carpool lane! We arrived safely and soundly in Oceanside CA where the children were happy to see their Auntie Ta Ta. All in all, it was a wonderful trip!