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Right back where I started from

So, yeah, the last week or two, I have been on vacation. Came back Saturday.

Headed out on Thursday the 5th. First thing, the Sculptor and I swung by my old home town of Orange to see my family house (alas, completely remodeled on the outside to be a Cape Cod, Totally Inappropriate for Southern California!), elementary school, high school, church, the site of my first job (the city library, of course), and the old town circle (sometimes used for "small town America" exteriors in films and television - http://www.cityoforange.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=2091).

Our first hotel was in Laguna Beach, another old stomping ground of mine. I even think our hotel was a block or two away from the home of the friend of my mom's we used to visit on beach days as a kid. I am SO SO happy to report Laguna Canyon Road is still a natural preserve with a few artist studios hiding amongst the trees.

Friday, we went to Knotts Berry Farm. A lot has changed there--mostly new rides--but the basics still exist, the shops selling upscale (and not-so-upscale) souvenirs, jam, and chicken dinners, the log ride and old ghost town. I had this nifty idea to take a collapsible camping stool with me to allow me to sit in the lines for the rides (I have a weak back). This worked out pretty well, until the next day when I was SO SORE from all the stooping and standing I did on Friday, I couldn't walk down a flight of stairs, or, *&^%$-it anyway, get up off my knees when a wave at the beach knocked me over.

I was so paranoid about not being able to stand up fast my boogie-boarding plans fizzled and I spent the weekend just sort of knee-deep in ocean waves watching little kids half my size body surf like beach balls.

Monday, we went to Disneyland. I cannot even begin to guess when I was there last (but I want to say the late 80's). I was glad to see it hasn't changed much, either. There are new rides, of course, but all the old ones I liked are still around. The Haunted Mansion seems exactly the same. The Pirates of the Caribbean has a few Johnny Depp inserts and more wenches chasing pirates than the other way around, but seems otherwise refreshingly the same. The Matterhorn and Space Mountain were the same (although the Matterhorn looks So Small to these grown up eyes). The Tiki Room is exactly the same, bless its dorky heart.

I have to say I found the underwater animation that now characterizes the submarine ride Lame-O with a capital 'O'. The Star Tours simulation was pretty cool, in a prequel trilogy kind of way.

One change I heartily approve of is the Fast Pass system, that lets you reserve a time to go on the more popular attractions, and spend ten minutes in line at your designated appointment time, instead of an hour in line on your feet. Good thing, too, since Disneyland confiscated my camping stool at the security gate.

Tuesday we headed up to L.A. County. Our hotel was in Santa Monica. First things first, we checked in, then went to a nearby Mexican restaurant for lunch, where each of us privately decided the woman at the next table over was Kate Moennig (Shane on The L Word), and then gleefully shared this with each other on the sidewalk walking back.

The rest of the day was a bust of bleary-eyed staring at computer screens. The Sculptor was doing last-minute research of all the L.A.-area art galleries she wanted to visit. I was just brain dead from sinus medication abuse. Alas, it seems to be the only thing right now that will give me a full night's sleep. But I know I am taking it for the wrong reasons, so I refrained Tuesday night, and woke up at 2 am unable to fall back asleep. I spent the wee hours of the morning in the breakfast lounge of the hotel pretending to work on the computer.

Wednesday we visited the Santa Monica art galleries and tooled around a bit on the pier. It's a bit run down as amusement parks go, but you're still like, "Oh, that's the carousel that was in Angel, and over there, that promenade stretch was in Star Trek Voyager!

Thursday the 12th we visited various small L.A. art galleries the Sculptor wanted to check out. Her ambition is to have her work featured in an L.A.-area gallery, either Los Angeles itself, or Santa Monica. We tromped All Over the place hunting down these galleries--until I was limping like a cripple. I have been balking at the idea of paying big $$ for disability insurance, but I have to say, given my parents' histories and my own physical state after prolonged standing or walking, I am D00Med to being a bent over little old lady with a cane, sooner rather than later.

One of the places we hit was the L.A. County Museum of Art. I was not expecting much, so of course I was impressed to find myself in a room full of Picassos, not to mention a room filled with the work of my very first Art boyfriends, Kandinsky, Klee, and Miró. There were also sections with Monets and Gaugins, a rather impressive Islamic Art section spanning ancient to contemporary, and a lot of Pre-Columbian and Hispanic art to take me back a year to my trip south of the border.

This place is no Louvre/British Museum, but respectable enough for the provinces.

Friday the 13th we had lined up one of those double-decker bus tours of Hollywood. I was worried, due to the over night weather, that it might be a repeat of the eXtReMe ToUrIsM!!!1 outing in Toronto in '07. The sun came out soon enough, though, and brilliant me, I forgot to put on sun screen, so I was a bit in the pink because of it, sitting atop a bus tooling in stops and starts around Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Bev Hills.

Saturday the 14th was going to entail a couple quick trips to other galleries that weren't open earlier in the week, followed by an uneventful trip home. Hah! First off, one of the galleries still wasn't open, even though they said they would be, which was a disappointment to the Sculptor, and then the drive home was f&cking-ass scary. We hit a desert downpour that drove us off the road at least five times because D's wiper blades were in sore need of replacement. We finally crawled into a random truck stop and got them replaced. Needless to say, we got home way later than we had planned. The one good thing is the second gallery we visited had a great show going on and D got to meet the artist personally. So she was pleased with that.

All in all, a nice get-away. We are going to San Francisco for Thanksgiving, and I am taking a week and a half staycation for Christmas. Can't. Wait. Traveling is nice, but I need some home time more often than not to get centered in life.


Jul. 18th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
My parents took me to Laguna Beach when I was a kid, because they liked it when they were in California in the middle of World War II. It was the first place I saw the ocean, any ocean. I know we got there on Laguna Canyon Road, but I was so anxious to get to the beach I wasn't paying much attention to the drive.
Jul. 18th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
My bet? It looks pretty much the same now as it did then. This pleases me.