Celebrity stalking adds to the LA Adventure
After meeting Warren (Beatty, that is) we got the fever and set out one day on a full-out Celebrity Stalk.
Fun as that sounds, it was actually very unsuccessful after that exciting night when Warren was sitting two booths down at Rao's in West Hollywood.
My daughters and I spent an afternoon in LA looking for the house of Lea Michele (from "Glee") up in the Hollywood Hills, on a bad Google tip that took us on a wild goose chase. We wound around in a very exclusive neighborhood, never actually finding the street address that Google told us. As we drove out I was relieved we didn't have an encounter with security, though we had our cover story polished and ready to go.
We were staying in Brentwood, which is where O.J. Simpson's house was, and we tried to find that, but never did. Someone said it had been torn down, but all I know is the street number no longer exists.
Our waiter at Rao's had whispered that we should go to the exclusive Chateau Marmont hotel for lunch, so we did, but ended up getting there late with no celebrities in sight, though the light crowd certainly felt like they were somebody. Despite the beautiful outdoor space, we started off with some pretty terrible service but still had a very nice, although pricey, lunch.
We drove, drove, drove. The traffic was always there, but lighter on the weekends. I never minded the traffic because I was driving in beautiful, sunny, fragrant LA. Everywhere we went took us 45 minutes. A 7-mile ride would take that long, and Siri and I finally became friends. Siri would jump in with a last-minute detour that would save us three minutes and direct us through a back alley that had us taking a precarious left turn on an impossibly busy street with no light. It was quite the adventure.
As an Oklahoman, a difference I noticed was there were very few SUVs, where here the opposite is true. With that, the lanes and parking spaces were more narrow, and harrowing at times. I believe I finally mastered parallel parking.
The homeless population was everywhere, and the stark contrast of the abundance of wealth and their plight was disturbing. One morning I was waiting in line at a pricey coffee house (everything was pricey), looking out the window onto a busy street where a homeless man in a wheelchair was sound asleep next to a bus stop, not yet awake for the day.
At the Santa Monica Pier we were waiting at a busy intersection for an Uber, and a dirty, unkempt man approached us and asked in a British accent if any of us were British. We had quite the conversation, which ranged from car models to Alec Baldwin to my brother and my daughters. His mind was working fast, just not in what we'd consider to be a normal way. He had chili on his beard and a piece of corn in his mustache, with teeth that clearly hadn't seen a dentist in decades.
He didn't ask, but I gave him a $20 bill and peeled it off from another $20 that I wanted to keep. His eyes lit up hungrily and his disappointment was real at not getting the other $20. We got in our Uber and I wondered what he did with the rest of his day and where he slept every night.
The Millennials were in abundance, and often I felt like the oldest person in California, except perhaps for Warren. It was wonderful being with my daughters 24/7, and I was sad to get on the airplane. Vacationing is a great thing, and I highly recommend it.
Reality was waiting for me when I got home, and now it's back to the norm. Till next time.