Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Second Wave (in two parts): Part I

So, Hannah and Toni left on Monday :(, but Sherry and Maddie came on Tuesday! 

Not gonna lie...I'm exhausted. But sleep is for when no one is here and I'm bored. ;)

Here we go...

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Due to a flight delay, Sherry and Maddie arrived late on Tuesday night. They had rented their own car, so we met them at the hotel and walked to dinner. I was surprised there wasn't a ton of stuff open after 9pm. We settled on a place at the promenade that had tasty food, but was pretty expensive and had terrible service. :-/ Fail. Welcome to LA.



Wednesday 29 July 2015
I worked today and was lucky enough to sneak in a yoga class before Sherry and Maddie came and met me at USC. 

Maddie is headed off to college next year, so their primary reason for visiting California was to tour some schools. Unfortunately, even though USC is pretty much the Granddaddy of film schools (her interest), Maddie feels that its too big for her. My 17 year old self completely understands (I went to college at 17 too and was NOT prepared for a huge University), but my 34 year old self is like, 'GO TO USC IF YOU CAN!!' :P However, it's not reallllly my place to influence her in such a major life decision that costs a ton of money and displaces her from her parents...so I, obviously and happily, support whatever she chooses. :) But I can't deny that I'd LOVE her to be out here! I just don't think that's going to happen...yet. ;)



We toured around the Film School at USC anyways just to get a taste for it. I mean, the buildings here are named after donors Speilberg and Lucas. Heard of em? Yeah, me either. ;) 





Since the Special Olympics is taking place at USC this year, there were no official tours, but we had a nice time walking around campus and getting some lunch.


Watching some of the runners

Clouds building over downtown. This is SO rare here!

Since we were already in downtown, we decided to see a bit more of the city. LA is such a funny city because it's sooooooooooooo spread out. I think it's something like 400 square miles. While Downtown LA is the geographic center, it is certainly not bustling like a 'normal' city would be. In fact, only really in the last few years has downtown been revitalized to have more going on. When I moved here in 2008 it was a virtual ghost town! Much of LA exists on the west side as it's called...west of downtown. There's also East LA...which I don't know much about :P and of course, Pasadena and the Valley to the North. 

ANYWAY...

I keep hearing of this place called "The Last Bookstore".  This bookstore is housed in an old bank building and has thousands of books new and old. There's a book labyrinth too. I though it would be a cool place to check out.


So, we headed further into downtown and found the bookstore easily enough. 



This place did not disappoint. The building was really cool and retained so much of the original architecture of the bank. We wandered the first floor and into the vault looking at allllll the books. 











Finally, we headed upstairs into the 'labyrinth', which was just a cool maze of bookshelves.









I think we spent a few hours in the store. It was just really neat and well worth a visit.

On the way out, there is an artist's section and we had a fun time looking at all the paintings and works of art. I wish I could afford them, because some were really beautiful or clever and funny. Sherry and Maddie made some purchases both at the little artist's store and at the bookstore.

From the bookstore, we wandered up the street a bit and checked out the Grand Central Market (another place on my 'Things to do in Downtown LA' checklist ;)).






The market was a lot like those I'd seen in Europe and Asia, but on a much smaller scale. We strolled through and checked out all the food places, but there really wasn't much to see.

We walked across the street and peeked into the Bradbury Building (another on the list) to be awed by its fantastic 'steampunk' design. 








Returning to the car, I drove Sherry and Maddie around a bit in downtown to show them where I used to live, the beautiful Disney Concert Hall, etc. 

We returned to Santa Monica, scooped up Preston and had dinner at an Italian place on the Promenade.

Thursday 29 July 2015
I had to work again (womp wa), but Sherry and Maddie took off to tour CalArts. I think Maddie liked it, but still being so far from home...I'm not sure it's really in the running. 




We met up in the evening to grab some crepes and milkshakes before hitting up the concert at the pier again.









Maddie wasn't all that into it, so we only stayed for a little bit chatting. -1 for the hostess with the mostess. 








Blurry moon 
Nonetheless, it was nice again to watch the sun go down and hear some music.

Friday 30 July 2015
Since I was able to get out of work early today, I hurried to meet Maddie and Sherry at the Promenade in Santa Monica.

They had spent the morning there doing some shopping. Maddie is slowly transitioning to a California girl. Maybe there's hope yet she'll be out here and I'll have her all to myself! ;)

It was a warm day, so we decided to see a movie in the recently remodeled theater.

Oh my! The remodel is SO nice!! All the seats are reclining, lazy boy style...and best of all?! They have my favorite ice! You know that ice...the soft crunchy kind that comes out in little pellets? Mmmm!! 




We had popcorn and candy and soda and mmmm. I liked the movie we saw, "Paper Towns", though Maddie said it was pretty different from the book. I've not read the book, so I didn't mind, but that is one of my pet peeves. I can understand that things often need to be cut out to make the transition to screen...but when they add things for no apparent reason? Whyyy whyy? Or when characters are just straight up different people...Dumbledore verbally (and physically!) attacking Harry in 'The Goblet of Fire'!! Mad face. I hate that Dumbledore. Do not even get me started. :P

Right, so we left from there and Maddie and Sherry finally came to see our place. Poor Preston had been staging it with the perfect lighting and candles for days only to have them not come over to see it. Haha. 





They got the (brief) tour and we took off for Urth Cafe...an LA institution, with the best and freshest food. Yum.




I think Urth Cafe was as big hit. Even before we left, they were talking about going back. Woot woot. +1 for for the hostess. Out of the negative. ;)

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