Friday, August 08, 2003

Detroit Rock City


I can't believe it's frickin' Friday already. Where did the vacation go?

Everywhere is / freaks and hairies / dykes and fairies / tell me where is sanity?

Ten Years After's song "I'd Like to Change the World" fits the scene at Venice Beach. Add to the mix shops and booths with bootleg t-shirts, toe rings, reggae, bongs cleverly labeled "for tobacco use only", cheap knockoff toys, henna tattoos, psychic readings, body piercing, street performers playing multiple instruments, spray-paint space-scapes, backward-walking breakdancing dwarves, handwriting analysis, political ranting, Eastern philosophy, muscle-bound bodybuilders, great sand, and pizza by the slice, and that's Venice. I love this place. I try to make a point to come here every trip out to LA just to see the freaks.

I met Amy for brunch Tuesday morning. I told her that I think she's the first person outside of my family that I've known for 30 years.

No time for Catalina, it's a 2-hour roundtrip and I wouldn't have had time to go there (for something like $35) and spend some time, then make it back to check in to a hotel and go see the TV show taping. Well, after checking into a hotel near the Burbank Airport I found that you need to be at the meet point two hours early if you want to see a taping, and I was there only an hour ahead of time. Oh well, after a sandwich at Canter's Deli I went sightseeing in the Hollywood area. Of course, there are more tourists from outside of LA than residents, but the whole city is so over-the-top that things like the Chinese Theater and its footprints just fit right in.

The Happie$t Place on Earth

I had decided to go to either Di$neyland (haven't visited since 1981) or Univer$al (not since 1995) on my trip this year. A little nudge from Chris' daughter Katy and the logistics of Chris' work place dictated that I'd have company at Di$neyland. Fortunately it was only one almost-13-year-old girl and not several. The best thing about the park is that it's smaller than Di$neyworld in Orlando, so it's much easier to do in just a day. Still, the park was crowded (on a summer day - go figure!) and I didn't get to go on a few rides due to the line length (90 minutes for Indiana Jones, 135 minutes for Splash Mountain) and using the FastPass option on other rides. Ah well, I'll save those for next time. I overheard one lady complaining to the main offices in City Hall that she wanted her money back because the park was too crowded - she actually said "You sold too many tickets for today!" We stayed until around closing time and didn't get home until midnight. At least I'm saving money on this trip, staying 3 nights at Chris' house.

Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination

After a goodbye lunch near the famous Mission Inn in Riverside, I headed west for a few hours to kill before the Bobs concert. One of my other favorite LA places to go for free turned out to be closed until 2005 for overhaul and renovation - the Griffith Observatory inside Griffith Park. Then a ride down Melrose St. window-shopping from my car and a trip down Fairfax to Culver City for their Summer Sunset Music Festival. The Bobs sing a capella, with a musical selection ranging from Jimi Hendrix' "Purple Haze" to the original "Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination" (how cats are going to take over the world). Finally a ride to LAX (there's frickin' traffic on the 405 at 9 pm!) and the start of my airliner marathon.

The worst part of vacations is finishing them up. After a couple days in Detroit with family I have to go back to work. This was a welcome mental break from everything, and I got to see absent friends and spend time with those who I needed to spend time with. Even a couple of surprises along the way...

So it was 10:30pm to 11:30pm (PDT) flying LAX to LAS, followed by 1:30am (PDT) to 6:24am (CDT) flying LAS to IAH, followed by 7:35am (CDT) to 11:35am (EDT) flying IAH to DTW. At least I got a couple thousand extra frequent flier miles out of it.

Motor City Madness

Lunch with my sister and parents. Nap to try and recover from ~2 hours sleep on top of 3 hours jet lag. Dinner with my sister and her boyfriend - at the restaurant I got a free mini chocolate cake in honor of my birthday coming up on the 13th. Yay chocolate! Veg out, update the blog, and go to bed. Zzzzzzz.

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