Monday, November 14, 2005


Our In-laws in LA

I know that I'm giving you an extra entry today, but since I skipped out on Thursday and Friday, I figured what the hell.

As many of you may know, Our Woman in LA's father and stepmother took their first trip to SoCal over the weekend, and the wife and I gave them a whirlwind tour of our new city - from beach to mountain and everything in between.

At the end of the trip, my father-in-law was happy to report that he was surprised by the City of Angels. The people were nicer - not so uppity, clubby, and all about the red carpet. And the atmosphere was more urban, more varied, more diverse than both he and his wife had imagined. Their description of the town - "like New York City and Long Island without Manhattan" seems more or less right on.

When the weekend ended, Our Woman in LA took a minute to review all the things we said and did with the family from just Wednesday to early Sunday morning. It gave us pause. You don't often get a chance to be a tourist in your own hometown, and we relished this opportunity. It also let us revel in the fact that we've really gotten to know LA in just a short year.

Imagine . . . we took in:

1) The King Tut exhibit at the LA County Museum of Art.
2) The La Brea Tar Pits.
3) The Farmer's Market at the Grove.
4) The Getty Museum and its gorgeous gardens.
5) A twisty, turny ride through the Hollywood Hills (including a near-death experience involving a Mack truck).
6) A stop at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
7) A peak inside the Kodak Theatre.
8) A visit to Mann's Chinese Theatre.
9) Los Feliz's nooks and crannies, not to mention dinner at Mexico City and Farfalle.
10) A trip to Santa Monica Pier and dinner at the Lobster.
11) A stop at the Venice Boardwalk, including Muscle Beach, some time at the basketball courts from White Men Can't Jump to watch great pickup b'ball, and a photo session with a couple of aliens.
12) The truly amazing drive up PCH to Malibu, with lunch at Moonshadows - and a view of dolphins racing around in the Pacific.
13) Drinks and dinner at Lola's, birthplace of the apple martini.
14) Purchase of a Star Map for $5 at Hollywood and Highland.
15) A trip through Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills along scenic and famous Sunset Boulevard.
16) B-list celebrity sightings, including George Hamilton and Sean Young.
17) Shopping along Santa Monica's Main Street.
18) Taking part in a Starbuck's Commercial right outside the hotel.
19) Winning a couple of bucks in the California Lottery.
20) A visit to Culver City, past the Sony Movie Lot and the old residence of Wieland.

And the list goes on. Sure, we're talking about a dizzying few days. But it gave the folks from Carolina a little taste of what we see here in LA on a daily basis. The In-laws had a room with a view of old Hollywood and the famous Hollywood sign. They saw rain and sun on their visit, and they even got a chance to take a spin on all the major LA freeways - the 10, 110, 101, and 405.

Is there more we wish we could do? Well, sure. But there's always next time. Our Father-in-Law in LA even admitted he'd take a trek out to Dodger Stadium next time he's here. That's a big deal, because as a native Brooklynite, there have been times where he's accused the City of Angels of stealing his childhood, and rightfully so.

But now, he'd go to the game. No two ways about it.

Sure, he'd root for the other team. But at least he and Pamela had a good enough time to come back.

That's LA for you. Little by little, it works on you.

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