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California

February 22, 2008
“It is the truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a rental car (while in California) must be in want of the beach.” Texpat Starling, 2008

Quite obviously, I have been indulging in far too much Jane Austen at the moment, but I thought it a fitting first sentence. I had to go to Beverly Hills for a job this last weekend. Since I had to do the work on Sunday, and it was a three day weekend, (now totally shattered by having to work on Sunday), I decided to have them fly me out Saturday morning. The only difference in cost would be a day’s rental car, which I was more than happy to pay for. This left me the whole day to do whatever I wished and I took full advantage of it.

I had never been to LA, although I had visited San Diego many times. I happen to love San Diego, and southern California in general, and I really liked the LA area just as much. I’m sure I’d feel differently if I were to stay there for anything length of time, but I didn’t.

I started off the day by checking into the hotel, and getting some tourist information from them. After that I grabbed some lunch, and headed for the beach. The hotel was off Santa Monica Blvd, so I just drove west for about 20 minutes, until it dead ended at the ocean. I realized right before I got there, that I had nothing to sit on, so I stopped at a thrift store quickly, and picked up a sheet. The lady looked at me funny when she asked if that was all I needed.

Once I arrived at the end of the road, I got really lucky for parking, and found something right away, and very close to the beach. I walked down to the water, and set up my sheet.

Shades on- check.
Shoes off- check.
Fashion magazine out- check.
Enjoy sun, surf, breeze, warmth- (4) checks.

After two hours of the most glorious sun worship, I decided I had had enough. The fact that my parking time was up, might have a little to do with it. I could detect some slight coloring on my nose as well. I walked back to the car, and meandered in and out of some shops, but soon decided to drive to Hollywood to check out the Chinese Theater and see some stars (the concrete kind) on the sidewalk.

I got out the map, and checked the way, but I was distracted by the fact that I would have to pass Laurel Canyon Blvd, as well as Mulholland Drive. Famous streets of the Hollywood Hills. I decided to take a quick drive on them. The winding road up Laurel Canyon was a lot of fun to drive, and the views from Mulholland were magnificent. After stopping to take some pictures, I made my way back down them, (equally fun) and took a left onto Hollywood Blvd.

Again, parking was a breeze! I walked a short distance to the theater, and saw the Kodak right next to it. The bleachers were already set up for the Oscars on Sunday. Some other nice tourists took a shot for me, and I returned the favor. But I was quickly bored with that, and decided to go to the Getty Museum, since it wouldn’t be light much longer.

The Getty Museum is very famous for it’s architecture, and it is well deserved. Wow. It is gorgeous. It is built on a hill, and you can’t even park anywhere near it, so you have to take a tram to get to it. The complex is huge, and though you could probably see everything in a day, I had only a few hours, so I didn’t see that much. There were fantastic views of LA from one of the viewpoints. And the lighting of the entire place is very nice. Very well done. Both the lighting for the art, and the exterior lighting of the complex. I was very impressed, and it is difficult to impress me when it comes to lighting. They had all the usual artists, and a very cool photography exhibit. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend the visit. Even if you aren’t that into art, the structure and views are worth seeing.

It was now totally dark, and I was hungry, so I decided to head back to the hotel, and get something to eat. As I was coming into the hotel, a security guard rather abruptly saw my bag, and directed me around the main floor. I was just giving him a rude face when I realized his reasoning. There was red carpet lining the path in front of me, and Lisa Rinna was having her picture taken. Apparently there was some Hollywood soiree going on in my hotel. I was almost disappointed to realize that her lips looked pretty normal from the distance I was at.

At any rate, I made it back to my room quickly to shower and eat. I was exhausted (I think I was in bed by 9), but I had really enjoyed my day.

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