Well it was a long drive to and from SoCal this last weekend, but a worthwhile trip all in all. In lieu of a full narrative, here are 10 fun facts about the trip, in no particular order:
- Both shows were great, particularly the Juke Joint in Anaheim. The 454’s “Secret Agent Man” helped us out on a couple songs. I felt like we were all pretty solid, and I really felt like I was “on.” I attribute some of that to a new guitar, which made its debut this weekend. More on that in a future post, but you can see that it’s featured on the Couch Guitar Strap site, along with me, my strap, and Meg’s photography! How cool is that?
- Nick was kind enough to play tour-guide for me while in Hollywood, and one of our stops was the famous Griffith Observatory, which I’d never seen. The drive up to the top of the mountain included some close encounters with coyotes, closer than I usually get to them near my house anyway. The building is amazing, and the view you can imagine. We posed for obligatory pictures next to the bust of James Dean. I narrowly resisted the urge to pose with Griffith Park’s dancing bear statue, a decision for which I am sure to receive flack from some of you.
- I got to see Jessica and Paulo! We dined at the hip “Kitchen 24,” and they even made a rare appearance at our show!
- I got to see Colin! We spent some time in Amoeba, and just before parting ways, we saw Brigitte Bardot herself pull up, put her two puppies in a stroller, and step into the store. She smiled at us! And I snapped a quick pic of her Jaguar (the plate read “BBARDOT”) as proof.
- Hollywood is just drowning in famous hotels, offices, high schools, avenues, and other landmarks. Big pink Greek houses that could only belong to celebrities. Thanks again to Nick who pointed them all out. In San Francisco, we have the occasional small claims to fame. This or that restaurant appeared in this or that movie. But what a trip it must be to live in Hollywood and be just surrounded with that stuff daily.
- I made it to a Claim Jumper after all. That’s right, bitches.
- The Castro is pretty gay, no question. But I’d argue it’s got nothing on WeHo. My favorite sight? The giant billboard for Pink Moving. Phone number is 877-OMG-PINK. I love it!
- While we’re at it, Hollywood Blvd. beats the Haight or just about anywhere else in the Bay Area in terms of quantity of stores to shop at. So much to do and see there, I think Shel and I would never get bored.
- Before you go thinking I have some love affair going on with L.A., let’s be clear about the cons, because they are major. Deal breakers even. The traffic is horrific. There are 4 million people there, so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. But the consequence is then terrible air quality. I was hoarse and coughing the whole time I was down there, and it was so refreshing to breathe in the cool and moist air of home as I crossed the Bay Bridge last night. Sorry SoCal.
- The most unexpected aspect of the trip was that I started to realize that as part of getting over some of my travel anxieties of the past couple of years, I’m starting to actually rediscover the excitement of travelling! As much as the long drive down I-5 sucks, the freedom of open road, no schedule, and anything goes reminded me a bit of when I first got my license as a teen. I’m only scratching the surface of it now… barely a formed thought… but more to come as I get my head around it.
Well then, that’s the weekend in a nutshell. It was not what I expected, but in some ways even better, and a welcome diversion to be sure. I’m looking forward now to some of the upcoming trips… I think.
“Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life you’d like to.”