SoCal Trip

I had so much fun!

It's been so long since I went down to see the boys and I really needed to go.

So on Thursday I drove over to Seattle - fortunately taking the Bainbridge ferry as the Blue Angels were flying, and a lot of the roads from the north (Edmonds) were closed. We had a Homeland Security escort too, which always freaks me out. But I made the flight, despite the train that kept going back and forth across the road in Seattle.

Picked up the car at the airport (gas is soooo expensive there, at least .35 more than here) and drove north towards Ryan's place. But I stopped at his work called 10x10 Productions where he is a story producer on a show called 24/7. We drove down Santa Monica Blvd and found a restaurant called Bistro and had a nice dinner and then he had to go back to work, but was home around 9.

Friday I spent most of the day with his roomie, Cameron and we went to Samy's Camera! OOOHHH .... the jewelry store of camera stores! Four floors of cameras and equipment, even the Hasselblad at $40,000 (yes, you are reading that right!) and everything else you can possibly want! And I didn't spend a dime! I'm ordering online so I don't have to pay sales tax!

We got home late and Ryan called and said come and watch some filming. So jumped in my renta car and headed to Hollywood Blvd, to CineSpace, a club that screens movies and includes a restaurant and very expensive drinks! By the time I got there, after circling trying to find a parking space, they had finished the first filming segment so we went off for a walk down the boulevard! And I didn't have my camera!!!! It was wild - street performers and tourists and everything inbetween. The street is lined with stars - the metal ones in the sidewalk - and there were people taking pictures next to their favorite actors names. Then we went to Musso and Franks, one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, started in 1919 and the waiter looked like he had been there that long! White tablecloths and all. Traditional food - I had lamb shanks and Ryan had a chicken fricasee, huge helpings and we brown bagged the leftovers and finally got a smile out of the curmudgeon waiter!

Back at the club, I was the oldest person there by at least 25 years! What a scene - and so loud. But the cast and crew was wonderful - calling me "Momma" much to my chagrine! Anyway I stayed
out of the way and had one $11 drink and watched the filming. Cast and crew came to me telling me what a wonderful son I have - as if I need to be told, but it really is a good feeling hearing it from his peers. As I got ready to leave, out on the street, a tattooed and mohawked cast member called Chris offered to walk me to my car! Such manners! Very cool.

Next day we picked Cody and Melissa up at Union Station and went directly to the Apple store for Cody's birthday present - an iPod! He wanted one that fits in the waterproof case so he can listen to music while he surfs so Ryan and I got him a nano with the case and arm band and he is in heaven! Then we went to the Fairfax Farmers Market. What a little treasure in the middle of a material world. It's the original farmers market in LA and has that wonderful old feel to it - not there is much fresh farmers produce there, but there are lots of food stands and stores to browse. We had brunch at The French Crepe Company - my first cup of French press coffee of the day. After that we wandered - great little stores and one that sells only hot sauce with x-rated names and another one with great imported foods. I could have spent hours there!

But attention spans being what they are, we headed out towards Pasadena and the Huntington
Gardens I wish we had had more time, the place is vast and it was so peaceful and inspiring. The boys were particularly taken by the cactus gardens and Japanese gardens. I loved it all! By the end of the day, I was pooped and we ended up with a margarita at The Cheesecake Factory and a movie on Pay per view!

Sunday, Ryan and Cameron headed out to look at apartments as they are moving this month and Cody and Mel and I went antiquing at a very expensive store called The Ivy in Studio City. It was fun, but I was wearing down and I knew we were going to a cast and crew party that afternoon. Now That was an interesting experience. Again, I was Momma but everyone very accepting of me, so I didn't feel Iike I was imposing! There were some "magic" nachos that I did not try but others seem to find them rather good :)

After that - we didn't stay too long - we got on the road for San Diego, a 2-plus hour drive to pick up Cody's truck at the train station and then drive back to Carlsbad. But we were starving and stopped at Old Town at a cool Mexican restaurant called the Continental which was the original homestead in San Diego. The mariachis played and the margaritas went down very well.

Off to Cody's place and sleep.

Next day Cody had to work so Mel and I went shopping and I scored a really nice leather bag so I could throw out my old one that I have used exclusively for three years! Later on, when Cody got home we went down to the beach for a walk - it was just heavenly, warm and lots of people out, but not too many.

I drove back up to LA that evening and got the flight out next morning. Got home to three rather large bouquets - Chris missed me, I guess!

I have decided that I will do this trip every 3-4 months. It's so important that I see the boys and not just end up talking to them on the phone or emailing.

My observations about SoCal:
The smog isn't nearly as bad as it used to be.
It was humid!
People are soooo materialistic.
Drivers are rude, rude, rude
There are too many people.
It's good seeing a diversity in cultures.

You can see all my pix on shutterfly