I understand that a lot of not-Geeky-being people aren’t going to understand that title. Whatever.
Verily, we have established something over the years here in the Realm and it is that California knows how to party. California. Knows how to par-tay-ay-hey.
On this visit I attended several parties and they were kickass. That actually took up the majority of my time there. So in the interest of respecting my friends’ and relatives’ privacy I shall simply leave it with that: The parties kicked ass.
Partying wasn’t all that I did, of course. So here are the other things that, for some reason, I have a clearer memory of.
The plane ride was surprisingly not-horrible. However, when we finally arrived and waited around at the carousel thing something occurred that would later prove to be the start of a disturbing trend: Everywhere we went on this trip, there would be at least one screaming/crying child. I’m not even kidding. Mind you I don’t dislike (most) little kids, but I think we can all agree that an entire day at the mall or a fancy restaurant MIGHT be a bit much for you if you’re two.
Speaking of shopping, we checked out Puzzle Zoo, the nearly legendary toy store for big kids, and Wild About Music, a neato music themed store with art made about and by musicians.
We also had great fun burning ourselves out driving around Malibu Creek and the Santa Monica Mountains. They’re very beautiful but also easy to get lost in. Thing is, with views like this, you’re not going to mind getting lost all that much:
Who knew there were such pretty views in Malibu? Can you see the deer?
We went shopping in this place called Fashion Island. It’s in the general Orange County area and, honestly, it’s just a mall. However, it is a very beautiful mall. But it’s also boring as heck if you are a small child.
Go figure I discover the Chuck Jones’ Fine Art Gallery almost immediately (in the Koi Pond area); sure as a lab rat in a maze. Go figure it gradually filled with a lot of clueless adults thinking this was some kind of kiddie place to entertain their bored little brats and blah blah blah (enter Mr. Glass’ “THIS is a piece of ART!” rant from “Unbreakable” here). Grr. Argh.
Afterwards we went and we saw the movie “Fever Pitch”.
In Glendale, California.
Bunch of Bostonians watching a Red Sox movie in Glendale, California.
Who then went on to visit Sonny McLean’s, the home base of Red Sox nation West.
I don’t have to tell you how great all of this was.
The next day, we visited the LA County Museum of Natural History. The next day, we finally, after missing it for various reasons all the previous trips, hit the Getty Center. Both places were immeasurably awesome. I entered the LACMNH hall of dinosaurs and got my first real sense of awe since I was, like, ten-ish. Sadly, I had not yet mastered the art of taking pictures inside a museum. Here’s the one that came out OK:
I was totally overwhelmed by the Getty museum. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The gardens were phenomenal:
Mind you this doesn’t even cover what’s inside. So now your humble narrator knows what it is like to stand next to a Tyrannosaur AND a Rembrandt in the space of two days. Just incredibly amazing. So, Monday and Tuesday were our Culture Days.
The next day, we went to Disneyland! 😄
I think I’ve pretty much covered the Disney parks. Disneyland was great fun, but it was a little disappointing that their fiftieth anniversary party doesn’t start officially until several weeks after we left. We missed out by arriving fashionably early. Also, a lot of rides were being worked on to get ready for the big day, so some strange things happened on some of the rides we could go on:
* Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – When I went to this in Disney World, I asked myself, “I wonder if it’d be about the same -or higher- if I hadn’t bothered to aim and just randomly zapped everything.” Well, this time they put me in a car by myself. I would make a horrible John Woo movie character. Score for my left hand: 3,600. Score for my right hand: 6,800.
* It’s a Small World – The soundtrack died on our way in. I’m not kidding. Can you imagine having to ride through this thing in dead silence? (shudder)
Now, the smartest thing we did was decide to go to Disneyland on a Wednesday. There were a lot of small people -and even many babies- but they were mostly well-behaved. I noticed an interesting trend for the two or three kids that weren’t well-behaved, so here’s a Helpful Hint for Parents: Please do NOT dress your little girl in a princess costume for her first trip to Disneyland. It will just give her the wrong idea.
And before we went home, we spent a day at the beach and a day in Griffith Park.
Consider this my List of Things You Shouldn’t Miss while in Southern California (In no particular order.)
* – Obligatory Cheesey Hollywood Star Tour (you just have to do this once);
* – Page Museum and LaBrea Tar Pits;
* – Disneyland;
* – Warner Bros. Studio V.I.P. Tour;
* – LA County Museum of Natural History;
* – J. Paul Getty Center;