Chapter 6: NoHo…Time to Go
Much like a Sunday evening after an amazing weekend, a melancholy starts to set in at the end of a trip, knowing you’ll have to return to the daily grind of your everyday life shortly. Despite that sorrowful attitude, I was determined to enjoy my last day in California by binge drinking, breaking into a Hollywood studio and riding a golf cart at high speeds through an active movie set before driving off a cliff as the cart exploded in a final blaze of glory. OR…I would have dinner with my sister and fall asleep on her couch. I won’t spoil the suspense, but I will say that one of those two things DID happen. So get ready for some excitement…
I checked out of the luxurious Omni Hotel around 11 and decided to stop at some of the various sights in downtown L.A. and get some more pictures (I hadn’t yet quite met my quota of 2,000 pictures for the trip). About 10 seconds and three wrong turns later, I instead opted to stop at the first thing I saw and remain there for an hour, rather than try and navigate the confusing (but empty) streets of downtown. My stop was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a triumph of architecture and heat reflectivity. I think I had a sunburn from the radiated glow of the Hall within about 3.8 seconds.
Not seeing much else to take pictures of within a 100-yard vicinity of the Hall, it was time to head to Hollywood to meet up with my sister. This drive went a lot smoother than the one from the airport to L.A.; I figure as long as I don’t end up in South Central, it’s been a successful car ride. I met up with my sister at her place and then had lunch at Jerry’s Artistic Deli, which I’m sure has some greater, pop cultural significance that I’m not aware of. All I know is that my sammich was delicious.
Mmmm…sammich. After that, we went up Mulholland Drive, where I’d spent about 3 hours the last time I was there in 2006. We passed what I think is the San Fernando Valley. I assume that because it was, well, a valley, and I’d heard that it was wicked hot there. Check both of those characteristics off the list, because it felt like a roiling cauldron of hellfire (which equates to about 115Â°).
Speaking of roiling cauldrons of flame, my sister’s apartment was in dire need of an air-cooling unit (read: a fan), so having spent about 5 seconds in the sweat-tastic heat there after lunch, we both figured it might be high time to purchase a fan. Who knew it would be such an ordeal? I think we checked out Costco and some other mega-store and neither had any fans left in stock. (I guess there was a heat wave that week in Southern California that crated an absurd demand for fans, though it seemed like it was the same temperature as the last time I was there: damn hot all the time.) We finally found one at a Rite-Aid (or Woolworth’s or Piggly Wiggly or whatever the heck they have out there). We installed that and decided to stay indoors with a movie while waiting for that accursed sun to go down. The Number 23 starring Jim Carrey. It was chockful of weirdness and…the number 23. I give it a B-.
We did, come to think of it, venture out again before sundown, to visit some friends of my sisters. The most notable aspect of that trip was their house being next to that of a Simpsons writer. Not exactly the mansion you’d expect for a writer on one of the longest-running televion shows of all time, but it did have a kickass treehouse.
After finishing up Jim Carrey’s tour-de-force wackjob performance, a friend of my sister’s met up with us to get some dinner at a sushi place down the road. Our eyes were a little bigger than our stomachs, which resulted in about three plates of sushi too many for a $200 bill. Gotta love California. Before you know it, I would’ve stopped showering, grown my hair out, donned a tie-dyed shirt and start protesting the laws against pot consumption. Alas, this was my final day in CA, so the transformation couldn’t take hold.
After that, I took my sister to pick up her car nearby, where we parted ways–she to a wizbang party, and myself back to her apartment to sleep in preparation for my early wake-up call to get to LAX for my early flight. The weariness of my previous travels, along with way too much tuna roll, had me ready to pass out for the evening, so it was a quiet night alone with her couch and Jackass on DVD. Yeehaw.
The next morning consisted of packing followed by a drive to LAX to catch my flight back home. The one highlight of that was striking up a conversation with a hot girl in line at the airport, who’d noticed my Buffalo Bills hat because she was from nearby Clarence, NY. (Glad to see the Bills are good for something other than ruining my Sundays and ripping my heart out.) Figuring I’d get a chance to continue our conversation on the plane due to the apparently light passenger load, I had a little spring in my step as I walked down the jetway. But, of course, the plane ends up full and I’m stuck in a seat one row behind her, next to “Creepy German Guy,” who keeps falling asleep more or less with his head repeatedly nodding toward me during the entire flight. How do you say “woe” in German? I think I spent the duration on my laptop, typing up a Word document that had nothing but “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY AND CREEPY GERMAN GUY FALLING ASLEEP ON ME MAKES JACK A DULL BOY” over and over again. The flight was, thankfully, over before I gave in to permanent insanity.
In any event, that’s about covers everything on my epic California sojourn, one I’ll not soon forget (that’s becoming something of a clichÃ©d phrase for these trip reports, but it’s true nonetheless). I’m not sure when I’ll next get out to California, but rest assured I will accomplish my goals of capturing the elusive Fisherman’s Wharf Bushman on camera, and eating a sushi dinner that costs less than $100 (fat chance, I know). Until then, keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for those stars, Jimmy. What?