California Dreamin’ :: Part One

Weeks ago I won a ticket to the “Oscar Experience” via a trivia contest on Good Morning America. That experience has come and gone, and while I enjoyed every minute of it, I can’t say I’d repeat it again. It was all very disillusioning and frankly, if I ever go back to “experience” the Oscars, I want it to be because I’ll be walking into that Dolby Theater as a nominee. What can I say, I have pretty lofty goals for myself.

But back to this current reality!

Friday morning my mom and I met each other in sunny LA. She’s so fancy her name was lit up on the Hertz board, our car ready to roll out in.

I totally crashed at the hotel for a couple of hours, I was getting over a cold, but by 3PM, my mom, the fantabulous Laura and myself were making our way to Santa Monica Pier for a lesson in the art of trapeze. 

It was a dream come true, climbing that awfully steep ladder to the platform. Ever since I can remember, becoming a trapeze artist was my first career aspiration before I discovered ER and went down the medical route for a good twenty years. The instructors were sarcastic, and a little mean, but I don’t blame them. The stakes are high and they needed to make sure we didn’t hurt ourselves on the ropes and bar. 

Jumping off that platform was the first hurdle to get over; I let out a scream that attracted the people below. It took me three tries to get my legs on the bar at the proper point in the pendulum, and by the fourth try I was able to let go of the bar and fly freely with just my legs wrapped around. I accidentally performed something called “skin the cat” –  a big no no apparently – and ended up doing a flip down to the net to get out of it! I never got the black star next to my name (Laura did however), but I wouldn’t have wanted that experience any other way. Perhaps here in New York I can work my way up to do the “catching,” it looked absolutely exhilarating as I watched Laura perform the trick above.

For dinner we headed to Lula’s on Jeff’s recommendation. Apparently it was national tequila day, so we each – mother included – had a free shot. We’re also in the season of Lent, so I ended up ordering cheesy quesadillas which were delicious to say the least. Actually, I think they were the best quesadillas I’ve ever had. “Cadillac” margaritas were ordered as well, and we passed out at the hotel.

Saturday started at The Omelet Parlor with a spread of waffles and french toast. Laura’s plate was quintessentially Leslie Knope inspired (so much whip cream!) and I had my share of fresh strawberries and belgian waffle to last me the day. We walked around Main St, did some light shopping, and then finally made our way to the Getty Center.

In a word, wonderful. The Getty Center was better than I expected, high up on a Los Angeles hill. We went through every building, explored every balcony, had a light snack of coffees and cookies in the courtyard and Laura even got in on a Getty Center themed Harlem Shake. I was very tempted to roll down a grassy knoll like the children in the orientation video they showed, but I resisted. Instead, I took a photo of my saddle oxfords. Ha.

With the moon rising and the sun disappearing behind the hills, we made our way to the UCLA area for dinner. 800 Degrees was where we ended up and coincidentally the guy behind me saw me win on GMA. He’s also the founder of Z Confections. I think Laura might order by the case!

Saturday ended too soon, but I did get a cup of ice cream before we headed back to the hotel. Laura and I swapped photos as my mom attempted to watch Downton Abbey on her iPad. There was a murder mystery special on the television that Laura and I got sucked into, but we all hit our beds before midnight so we could get a good night’s rest for The Oscars the following day!

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