Sunday, May 17th - The Winninghams picked Brandon and I up from my parent's house in Arizona around 1pm. Had a nice roadtrip to Los Angeles.
Went out to dinner. Stayed the night with Jennifer's oldest family friend, Donovan, at his fabulous downtown LA apartment.
Monday- Went shopping in LA's fashion district. The four of us tried on hats and everyone bought at least one thing. Lunch at a local sandwich shop. Drove around seeing sights with Donovan as tour guide. Dinner at In & Out Burger. Hung around at Hollywood & Highland.
Went and saw the hand and footprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre and then watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine inside of it.
It is an incredibly beautiful theatre with ornate carvings, paintings, and detail-work everywhere.
The ladies' bathroom was fabulous.
Lots of people hang out outside of it but not many tourists bother to see a show inside (we were 5 of about 10 people at the show) even though it has one of the best sound systems in the world and is a venue for premiers (the most recent Terminator premiered there the night after we were there, with all the stars in attendance).
Tuesday- Fabulous breakfast at Griddle Cafe in West Hollywood.
Drove around Beverly Hills. Walked around under the Hollywood sign.
Went to the La Brea Tar Pits.
Drove up to Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park (wish we'd had time for a hike there). Fabulous views and great star show. Unimpressive Wolfgang Puck cafe. Italian food for dinner with Donovan and one of his friends. Then to the famous Cinedome Archlight theatre to see the newest Star Trek movie.
Wednesday- Beach day! Started out walking along the water at Venice and then people watching on the boardwalk. I was serenaded by a street musician who skates while playing guitar and wearing a turban. He called himself the Kama Kosmic Krusader and tried to get me to buy one of his T-shirts. I looked him up online and found that he's very well-known and has been in several movies as himself; his real name is Harry Perry. Jennifer got her palm read.
Next stop: Santa Monica Pier. Over-rated but nice. Rode the ferris wheel and relaxed.
Drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and especially enjoyed the 20+ miles of coast and giant homes in Malibu.
Dinner at the well-known Neptune's Net.
Thursday- B and I lounged at the pool while Jenn, Andy, and Donovan went to lunch. B worked out at the apartment gym while I read and showered. Did a downtown walking tour with Donovan
and saw great architechture at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (really cool basement mausoleum and amazing limestone everywhere), the central library, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Had sushi with a bunch of Donovan's friends for dinner. B and I went and saw some improv comedy at IO West and walked the strip before getting a late night snack with our peeps and heading to bed.
I was very pleased with how close together everything seemed in LA, when I had expected it to be much more spread out. Thanks to Donovan we never spent any signifigant time in traffic either. This was not a destination I would have ever chosen to vacation in and despite not having our own hotel room and sleeping on an air mattress, we had a fabulous time. We were sad to miss out on Mexico, but it certainly wasn't in the stars for May and we had a fun and memorable trip:)
Friday- got up at 5am and drove to AZ to relieve my mom of babysitting and be back with our kiddos.
My movie ratings:
X-Men 4 = C+
Star Trek = A