That's a Wrap, L.A.!

Ryan flew into town for my second to last week in LA. It was great to see him – I wish he could have stayed longer. We had a really nice visit though – we did a lot, but we also relaxed at home a lot – it was the perfect mix of productivity and chillaxin’.

We spent our first day together gorging on the mammoth pancakes at The Griddle – so good, but SO huge! It took us three days, literally to finish our portions. We hung out at the Grove and explored the Farmer’s Market there and spent the evening barbecuing at the apartment.

Pumpkin pancakes at The Griddle

Pumpkin pancakes at The Griddle

On Tuesday we drove out to Santa Monica which was an adventure it and of itself. The traffic in LA is legendary, and it took us FOREVER to get out to the coast. We finally did, though and had a nice afternoon walking around the promenade and along the cliff side park.  We ate another ridiculous meal on Wednesday at the famous Pink’s hot dog stand – it was more for the experience than for the food.  I can cross it off my list and don’t need to ever go back 🙂

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On Thursday we drove to Pasadena to visit the Gamble House, a beautiful craftsman home built in 1908. They just don’t make homes like that anymore – gorgeous! And it was built in only 10 months!

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On Friday we met up with a group of people from “Spamalot” and went on the “V.I.P.” tour at Warner Bros. Studios. It was really interesting to see behind the scenes at all the different sound stages and to visit the back lots, and the scene shop and prop shop. It seemed so removed from what we see on TV – to me it just looked like a summer stock theater company – especially with everyone riding their bikes all over the place from stage to stage. It was a really neat experience.

Warner Brothers Studios

Warner Brothers Studios

Over the weekend Ryan and I spent quite a bit of time taking photos of the fires in the hills near Glendale. The smoke clouds were clearly visible from downtown and Hollywood, and the smoke was very thick in the air, especially in the mornings. I had Sunday night off work, and after dinner in Los Feliz, Ryan and I drove up to the Griffith Observatory to take some photos. They are finally getting the fires under control, but I think at this point over 140,000 have burned in Angeles National Forest.

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On my final Monday off in LA (!) we had lunch at the Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz to celebrate Ryan’s birthday (which was on Wednesday) then Ryan spent a couple of hours at Amoeba Records while I ran some errands. We had dinner that night with Christopher and Sean at Cafe Stella (which was so yum!) and then we all went to the Vermont to see my friend Natalie (who was in town with the “Legally Blonde” tour) perform her solo cabaret show. I did “Bare” with Natalie five years ago and we became fast friends. I’ve seen her solo show a few times now and she gets better every time I see her. She rocks. Even Ryan enjoyed the show and he’s not really  a fan of cabarets! 🙂

Natalie performing her solo show at the Vermont

Natalie performing her solo show at the Vermont

Ryan left on Tuesday 😦 I spent the rest of the week pretty much packing up the apartment in preparation for moving on to San Diego. I met up with Natalie on Friday for lunch and then caught “Legally Blonde” on Sunday night.

I had a great time in LA this summer. It was a totally different LA than I had ever experienced before, being able to just relax and hike and hang out rather than doing uber-touristy things like going to amusement parks and things. I loved my little rental apartment (and so did Tallulah – she is already missing her yard). Hopefully I’ll get a chance to be back again sometime for an extended period of time- maybe on another tour?

On Monday I drove to San Diego, and had a smile on my face as I drove through UCSD’s campus, then down La Jolla Shores to La Jolla and then P.B. and finally to Mission Beach where I have really cute cottage right by the beach for the week. I was so happy to see Fin’s Tacos is still there (which I of course had for lunch yesterday) and also Zanzibar, Tokyo House and World Curry! I’m looking forward to revisiting all my favorite places this week 🙂

On Mission Bay

On Mission Bay

The tour is most definitely winding down – only a few more weeks now! I have my sublet in NYC all lined up for November and am beginning my planning for my cross-country trip back after we close in Costa Mesa – which includes a stop in Houston to see Fran and Tanya, and then Wisconsin to see Ryan. I’ll be back in NYC before I know it!

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