Jack and Michael go to 
Los Angeles
     The first trip of 2000 was one of the best ever.  When I left for this first trip to California I had no idea what was in store.  It turns out it was a pretty juicy assignment!  For starters, the first week of the two week trip would be spent at the Santa Monica Public Library.  I didn't realize exactly what Santa Monica was like.  For those of you who don't know, Santa Monica is a very, very famous and interesting community right on the ocean.  The whole area is all about the beach and the media and the sunshine.  Culver City is next door and so is Venice (home of world famous Venice/Muscle Beach).

     To top it off my good friend and god-father, Jack was able to come and spend a long weekend there that first weekend.  Everything just seemed to work well on this trip.  An example:  I was booked in a suite with an extra bed in a separate room even.  See what I mean?  Perfect for company!

     So Jack comes to LA and boy did we ever cram a lot into a short time!  We spent one afternoonevening walking along Venice Pier and Muscle Beach.  The beach was already crowded but when the sun started to set crowds of hippies and assorted free spirits started a drum circle.  People were dancing and pounding and jamming away as the sun faded away past the ocean.  It was a powerful scene filled with twirling hippy girls in flowing dresses and sweet, cool ocean breezes. 

     The next day we spent the afternoon visiting Universal Studios.  In heading here I must confess I was on a bit of a mission.  You see, at the commercial/mall part of Universal Studios is a thing called the "City Walk" which is full of stores and shops (lots of movie memorabilia here of course).  In this grouping of stores is a place called Sparkey's.  Sparkey's is famous for not only selling great and  sometimes hard to find PEZ products, but for their killer PEZ window display.  I want it!   Not sure where it would go, but I'd make room!

     At Universal Studios both Jack and I had hoped to get a really good behind the scenes movie set tour.  Unfortunately the experience was less intimate than we expected.  It was actually more of a ride than a tour.  Still, we did get to see a couple of fun things (a man made flash flood, a Jaws shark attack, a real movie set back lot and a lot of props).  Also, if you like illusions and robots I highly recommend the T2 ride/experience.

     We walked a bit on Hollywood Boulevard that night.  The boulevard was surprisingly seedy, but still very fun.  We then saw a movie at Mann's Chinese Theatre, which just so happens to be on the Blvd.  The movie wasn't too hot, but seeing all the autographs in the cement and soaking up the history was fun, fun, fun!  After all, this is where Star Wars (and innumerable other movies) had their premieres.

     The next day we headed to Beverley Hills.   Didn't I tell you we jammed a ton of stuff into this trip?  The Beverley Hills Farmers Market was the first stop and it was awesome.  Amazing produce and lots of food cooked on the spot.  We ate fresh squeezed juice, sweet lemons and the most amazing asparagus and chicken quesadillas.  I don't know why they were so good but they were one of the best tasting things I've ever eaten.  After the market we headed over to Rodeo Drive to slum around for a while.  Any store that keeps it's doors locked during business hours has something going on I'm not included in.  There were some nice art galleries there though with some quality works by major artists.

Jack and I also got to go see a recording session in one of those famous Hollywood studios you always hear about.  You can find that story and see pictures from the excursion by following the link below.

That's of course not everything we saw, but it's a lot.  All in all, it was a long weekend of unparallel adventure.  Woo Hoo!  Thanks for coming and hanging out in LA, Jack!

  

Jack Flash
Jack arrives in LA and immediately takes a stunning self portrait.  :)
There it is!
Hello Hollywood!
Surfs up!
Jack salutes the ocean.
Did I mention the weather was perfect?
Universal Studios Globe
PEZ Pilgrimage
Sparkeys at Universal City Walk
Who's the man?
Mann's
Am I trespassing or shopping here?
World famous Rodeo Drive.
Weezer
Through the smog you can just make out the LA skyline.
Want see another exciting story about the time we spent in California?  Clicking the picture to the right will take you to the story about our behind the scenes visit to a real rock-n-roll recording session with the band Elliott.

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