Saturday, 12 June 2004: You want a
good way to depress yourself (if you are an average citizen much like Katie and
I are)? Wander around on Rodeo Drive a bit.
That's part of what the four of us did today. As pretty as it
is, unless you actually have the money to do something on that road, I do not
recommend going there. It is so easy to tell the shoppers from the gawkers. You
just "know" which people have the money and which do not. We did not. God help
me we actually walked into Tiffany & Co. to check out their stuff. I walked
out feeling like a third-rate citizen. It's so ridiculously expensive in there.
Thankfully we left relatively quickly and headed up into
Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills. We went to see the house where Kara nannies
and also check out the Walk of Fame and the hand/footprints outside Graumann's
Chinese Theater. Cool stuff. We have several photos of us posing with some of
the sets of cement prints.
The drive up through the hills was weird. I really expected
the houses up there to be very spread out, but they were all right on top of
each other. The streets were very tight and difficult to drive, as well. Los
Angeles should just be happy it seemingly never snows up there. I can't imagine
how terrible it would be if the street we drove up there became a solid sheet of
ice. Might be fun to watch as a blooper video, but otherwise...
When we got back to the Canals, a concert had started in the
area. Some big blues/jazz/rock festival. Live bands. Beer. Wine. The works. We
didn't really want to go down to the festival at all. So we sat on Jason and
Kara's deck and listened to the music and drank wine. Good fun. Jason's boss and
his wife also joined us. They were a lot of fun. We were up talking and drinking
until God only knows how late. Something like eight or nine bottles of wine
consumed. I'm gonna need AA after this vacation.
Friday, 11 June 2004: After yet
another morning walk on the beach with Katie, we came back to the canal house
and got prepped to go out to our Cubbies v Angels game in Anaheim. Beforehand,
we went to CostCo and used Jason and Kara's membership to buy an additional
memory stick for the new Sony. The one we bought was only 128 MB and, when set
on the 5.0 megapixels that this camera is capable of, it only gets about 47
pictures. My brother clued us in that CostCo has a good deal on memory sticks.
Our 128er cost $55 at Best Buy and we got a 258 MB jobber at CostCo for $70.
Fifteen more dollars and double the memory? Sure, why the hell not.
The drive to Anaheim wasn't too terrible. A bit of traffic on
one of the expressways we took (and I use expressway in the loosest
possible way), but otherwise. We got a late lunch/early dinner at Chilis. Lots
of food and alcohol. May as well drink it while it's cheap, right?
Anaheim Stadium is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Big
rock waterfalls in centerfield. The seats are actually relatively comfortable.
Clean. Average priced concessions. Will Ferrell threw out the ceremonial first
pitch. What more could you ask for?
Maybe a Cubs win.
Alas, no. They fought hard but wound up losing 3-2 when all
was said and done.
Thursday, 10 June 2004: Since the
place we are staying is only a stone's throw from Venice Beach (if you are
humanly capable of throwing said stone six blocks) and they are right on the
Venice Canals, Katie and I woke up and took a walk to the boardwalk for some
morning exercise. Both Jay and Kara had to work today, so it was a day of
nothing but the two of us which is kinda nice.
We walked the entire length of the boardwalk and saw all the
vendors as well as Muscle Beach. The latter was quite disappointing since there
was only a single person working out there.
Next, we went to lunch at a little restaurant right near the
beach. Afterwards, we tanned out pale skinned selves out on the beach. That was
kinda nice. I didn't even burn as much as I usually do.
After a couple hours of tanning and the subsequently necessary
showers, we jumped in our Escape and drove up to the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway
for all your Cali neophytes) and hit a side road which took us to Sunset
Boulevard. We wanted to take some photos along the PCH, but our digicam decided
that now was as good a time as any to crap out. After all, who needs a camera on
We stayed on Sunset as long as we could driving through ritzy
neighborhood after ritzy neighborhood including Bel Air, Brentwood, Beverly
Hills, et al. Let me tell you how weird it is to drive through all those areas
and have it wind up in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip with all its rock club
and strip joint glory. Bit of a shocking change.
Finally, we found ourselves a Best Buy to buy a new digicam.
Nice new toy. And right after I had told myself I wasn't going to spend a lot of
money on this trip. Never tell yourself that. It's a jinx. Nothing but bad
things will happen as a result. However, we did get a good deal on an open box
Sony CyberShot. New toys are fun.
Wednesday, 9 June 2004: Nothing
like a delayed flight to start your vacation, eh? We got to the airport with a
little over an hour (maybe an hour and a half) to go before our 3:11 p.m.
scheduled flight. As soon as we got there, the boards said our flight was pushed
back to 4 p.m. No biggie. We boarded the plane at 3:20 and started to pull away.
Then we had a luggage loading problem and we sat there. Then another loading
problem. More sitting. Finally we were stuck behind a line of other planes that
obviously needed to get where they were going before we did despite how late we
already were. I believe our plane got in the air sometime around 6 p.m. We
landed in L.A. four hours later but we gained two hours from the time zone
differential. So that was a plus.
At least Calendar Girls was a good movie.
Next was the rental car. Pretty easy going save for the
annoying agent who asked us far too many times if we wanted the supplemental
insurance. NO! Get it? Two letters. Starts in "N", ends in "O", nothing in the
We got to Jay and Kara's place around 9:30 and got trashed on
four bottles of wine.
An omen of things to come?
Tuesday, 8 June 2004: If there is
any one thing I hate about going on vacation, it's having to get everything at
work done before I leave. Talk about packing everything in and feeling like a
sardine with all the projects just crushing you in. It's not fun. Ideally, this
will be made up for with the next week that Katie and I will be spending in
When we get back, I'll fill in all the days with the list of
what we did. Plus, you'll see a couple movie reviews since we have in-flight
movies on the way out and on the return trip. I do believe they will be
Calendar Girls and Starsky & Hutch. Should make for some
See you all in a week... or so.
Monday, 7 June 2004: My SW DVDs are
in! My SW DVDs are in! From what little I've watched, they look great. I'm a
happy camper! Thank you, digitalfreakNYC!