Saturday, August 18, 2012


I saw this video posted recently on a friend's Facebook page and it made me smile.  So in honor of both of my sisters, Kathy and Norma, I thought I'd post it too.   After all the posts about Kathy's visit, this just seemed appropriate.  And if Norma had been in L.A. with us it would've been even more fun.  I love my sisters and so very thankful to have them in my life!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The End of Kathy's Visit

We left early Wednesday morning to drive to Studio City to attend two tapings of The Talk.  Rita Wilson was the guest host on the first show which was a lot of fun to see and George Lopez was the guest.  
For the 2nd taping we were moved to the front row in front of the co-hosts.  We were so excited and began to talk to the warm up host, Bill Sindelar, while waiting for the rest of the audience to take their seats.  When the warm up began, Bill asked who was from out of town.  Kathy raised her hand and let me just say, that it turned into the Bill and Kathy Hour!  It was so funny!  He wanted to know what all she's been doing while visiting L.A. and well, Bill and everyone else heard an earful.   I have to confess that I, too, told more than I ever intended.  It really was funny and evidently entertaining.  Unfortunately, no one else got to participate.  They also had a raffle and I won a rug that looks like Walter.  

The guests on the 2nd show were Scott Foley, Fred Willard, and cooking with Katie Workman.  The guest co-host was Beth Behrs.  We all got her cookbook and also a home safety DVD.

I think that afternoon we sat out by the pool and relaxed.

On Thursday we went back to the same general area and Kathy treated me to The Warner Brothers Studio Tour.  It was very entertaining and interesting.

Some sights along our cart tour:
landing pad for helicopters in ER

subway near ER

ER entrance

Homes used in Gilmore Girls:

Some famous vehicles:

 And this one's for Silas :)

The set from Friends:

After the tour we had a very late and delicious lunch at Thyme in Santa Monica.  And for the life in me, I can not remember any more about that day.  I think we were both a little exhausted from all the driving we had done in the past four days.  No telling how many miles we put on Matt's car.

We had a great time together and I was so thankful for Kathy extending her time here in L.A. and spending it with me, Steve, and Walter!  Thanks for coming, Kathy!

Another Interesting Night with Kathy

On Tuesday we had a leisurely morning which we needed after the excitement from the night before.  We had received tickets for the The Tonight Show so we left around noon for Burbank.  It took a very long time to get there.  We changed our route due to the traffic on the 405, but it still took us over an hour before we arrived.

We had a fun time seeing the show.  The guests were Zachary Levi, Bubba Watson, and B.O.B. who  had to perform twice due to a malfunction.  We think it was a wardrobe malfunction by the way his dancers were shaking around.  

This is where our day turned interesting; we should've just gone back to our apartment.   And let me say, that there will be some details of this story that will be intentionally left out so not to embarrass anyone.

 Earlier in the week Kathy and I had googled film festivals and found that there was one going on this week.  Together we looked at the different films and decided that if we got out of The Tonight Show early enough that we would go to The Rita Hayworth Theater to see the premiere of Beyond Pollution, a film about the Gulf oil spill.  So off we went with high hopes and high expectations.  After all, when Steve and I had taken Natalie to the downtown film festival we had a wonderful time!  

                         Beyond Pollution Film Screening

                                                     Tuesday, July 10 7:00p
                                 at Downtown Independent TheaterLos AngelesCA
                                                        Beyond Pollution
                                                  * Los Angeles Premiere *
                                         Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles
                           Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:00pm, Rita Hayworth Theater 2501 Wilshire Blvd. 

Let me just say, that not all film festivals are the same.  Our first troubling sign was the location which was quickly followed by pulling into a completely empty parking lot.  We tried to comfort ourselves by saying that it was empty because of our early arrival by 30 minutes.  I wish I had taken a picture of the parking lot and the area.

We both needed to use the restroom, but the door to the theater was locked so we waited in our car.  Finally, another car parked near us and the person went inside.  After waiting as long as we could we approached the entrance where a worker was attempting to unlock the door to the theater window.  He kindly let us in and escorted us to the bathroom saying that giving verbal directions to the bathroom would be too complicated.

He led us to a dark hallway and pointed us in the direction of a very narrow and dark entrance with steps.  Kathy and I were trying so hard not to laugh for more than one reason.  We returned to our car figuring it was probably safer to wait there than inside the empty theater.  We decided that Rita Hayworth would not be pleased with the theater named after her.

A few minutes before 7 p.m. we entered the theater even though no one else had arrived except more workers.  We passed our bathroom escort on the way in, he was still trying to unlock the same door!

I had ordered our tickets on-line so we checked in with the girl at the table;  there was only one other name on the list, another troubling sign.  

We had not eaten anything since before noon and hopeful about getting some popcorn.  No popcorn here -just a full bar and some candy.  So we decided to go on into the theater.
Can you see the size of the screen?  It was a little bigger than a movie projector screen- another sign.  We were laughing so hard- I guess too hard, for our bathroom escort came into the theater and informed us that the theater was not open yet.  

  We went back to the lobby which was empty and sat down and waited.  It was at this point that we decided a Heineken didn't sound so bad.  We overheard that the film was going to be late starting due to some technical problems, so late that the bartender (our bathroom escort) gave the only other ticket buyer directions to a place down the street to get cash since the drinks were "Cash Only".  We had to wait to drink them since they were hot and they were being iced down.  (By the way, there are so many "signs" about this experience that were troubling, I have quit pointing them out!)

Kathy posing as Rita Hayworth 

It wasn't too much longer before the theater was officially open.  We fought the crowd to get a good seat (there were eight people in the theater, six of those were workers).  And the premiere began . . .

After the movie, we quickly left in order to use the same dark bathroom and entered the lobby which was full of all kinds of interesting people.   (Later we learned that there was some sex movie being shown next.)

We were never so happy to get in our car and leave that very interesting premiere experience.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome Back Kathy!

Continuing the post about our summer visitors . . . 

Natalie left early on Saturday morning (July 7th), the day after Matt and Amy's wedding.  It was sad to see her go; it was the most time we'd spent with her since last summer.  We sure had fun having her stay for two weeks!

On Sunday afternoon, Matt brought Kathy to our apartment after taking Rick to the airport.  

Welcome back Kathy!

At 5:45 a.m. the next morning Matt and Amy picked Kathy and I up on their way to the airport to leave for their honeymoon.  We were very thankful that we didn't have to rent a car.  Kathy was a pro driving the stick shift;  I'm not as much of a pro with driving directions; we got lost on our way back to the apartment.  Little did we know that it was a start to a very interesting day and long day.

Our first stop:  Graystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
Here's a list of all the movies that have been filmed there:

Our next stop was The Grove to see Extra being taped.

Mario Lopez

Maria Menounos

We then walked over to The Farmers' Market for lunch and enjoyed some delicious mediterranean food.

We returned to see the interview with George Hamilton.

We drove by The Ivy in Beverly Hills, a spot known for star spotting but for some reason we decided not to stop- maybe it was the unavailable street parking.  We returned home to tend to Walter and relax a bit.

We had already eaten a light dinner, but just wanted to get out so we decided to go to The Ivy in Santa Monica.  Again, there was no street parking anywhere and we were unwilling to pay for valet parking.   I remembered that I had a Groupon for a restaurant in Beverly Hills, so that's where we went.  I texted Steve to let him know where we were and this is the response I received:

Steve:  Ok.  Police helicopter has been circling for hours
Me:  How are you?
Steve:  A gunman is loose in the Oakwood complex.  Police told everyone to stay in their apartments.  Call when you are finished.
Me:  Oh my.  Be safe.  Keep me posted.
Steve:  Ok

Kathy and I got so tickled, but it doesn't take much for us to laugh.  We asked our waiter how long we could stay and told him what was going on.  He looked at us like we were crazy.  I forgot that we were in L.A. and this probably happens all the time.  We weren't very hungry either; we had already eaten so we had a lot of time to spare.

Later  at 9:45 . . .

Me:  Any news?  We are done if we can come home.
Steve:  We are in lock down.  No one in and no one out.  Police have not advised when anyone can come in.  Maybe you and Kathy should go to a movie.
Me:  Hmmm

The thought of going to a movie was exhausting, remember we had been up since 5:30 a.m.  We didn't have any other options other than to get a hotel room (since Kathy was unwilling to sleep in Matt's car) so we found a movie theater.  Before parking, I called Steve who said that the police were letting people in and out with ID's.  We were quite relieved that we could go home and thankful that Steve would meet us in the parking garage.

We never did hear anything about it on the news.  The talk around the apartment was that there had been a confrontation in a restaurant nearby and a man pulled a gun.   He then took off and jumped the secure gate into our apartment complex.  No one was ever apprehended- he probably lives here : )

Too much information

   The map below came from this website.  Look at all the earthquakes there have been in California within the past week!

Earthquake index map

Until yesterday I had never researched earthquakes in California, but since I had felt two earthquakes within 12 hours I decided to look into it.  Well, I think it's a bit more information than I wanted.

   Wednesday night while sitting on the sofa I felt some shaking.  I casually said to Steve that I thought we were having an earthquake.  Sure enough, a news flash came across the TV screen stating that it was a 4.5 about 50 miles from us.  It's interesting how during the earthquake my memory quickly took me back to the 1989  earthquake that we experienced in San Francisco.  Not that this shaking was anywhere close to mimicking the 6.9 earthquake, but that's immediately where my mind went.  I had forgotten that 63 people lost their lives in that earthquake.

   On Tuesday morning, again sitting on the sofa, I felt it shaking.  It was another 4.5 earthquake.  That's when I began to google a bit.  People have told me that there are earthquakes every day in California; I didn't believe them.  I do now.  On the NBC national news, it was reported that southern CA had experienced 30 earthquakes in less than 24 hours.

   I don't think I'll be looking at this map very often, but I did ask Steve to buy some bottled water on his way home from work and I'm keeping my cell phone charged : )  As far as Walter's reaction to the earthquakes?  He was oblivious to them both.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Matt and Amy's Wedding

(I am slowly catching up with blogging and posting pictures from our 3 1/2 weeks of family and friends who visited in June and July.  It was so much fun; I wish we could do it all over again!)

Allison left for Atlanta on July 2nd and my sister, Kathy, arrived later that day for her son's wedding on July 6th.  Prior to Allison's departure she baked cookies for Matt and Amy's rehearsal dinner.  Who ever said you needed a rolling pin to make sugar cookies?! 

Natalie was able to stay with us for an extra week, but she had an on-line course with UF that began the day that Kathy arrived.  She and I decorated as many cookies as we could prior to Kathy's arrival and with everyone's help they were completed by the following day (I think).  Walter really wanted a cookie and we had none to spare!  Since this was vacation week for all of Steve's co-workers, we were able to store the cookies in an empty apartment which was a huge help.  It really was a comical process!

We even had time for some sight seeing that week!  It wasn't the best day for a clear view at the Griffith Observatory, but it was still beautiful and so good to be with Natalie and Kathy!

 On the day of the rehearsal dinner, for some reason we thought it would be best to cut and arrange the flowers in an even smaller space, Kathy and Rick's hotel room.  (Rick had arrived in Pasadena on Wednesday- even though I don't have any pictures that he was at his son's wedding!)   Kathy was as much of the process of arranging the flowers, but I have no pictures to show it.  And oh yeah, we also decided this would be the best space to bag the cookies, tie with raffia, and apply stickers to the bags.  Like I said before, it was quite comical!  You should've seen the mess!

The restaurant was a beautiful venue for the rehearsal dinner.  How wonderful it was to see my niece and nephew and their spouses.  And to meet my great-nephew, Noah!

Allen & Gillian 

Jennifer and Matt (and Noah who belongs to Allen & Gillian)

The wedding was held the following evening at the Descanso Gardens in Pasadena.  It was such a beautiful ceremony and reception.

Congratulations Amy and Matt!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another Road Trip

On Allison's last Saturday with us we decided to head south on the PCH with San Diego being our final destination.

An incredible view about 30 minutes from our apartment at Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes- just beautiful!

A brief look at The USS Iowa which arrived in the Port of L.A. about a month ago and will soon be open to the public.

The Queen Mary Ship

We should've made our final destination Laguna Beach where we stopped for lunch as there was much to see and do there.  We'll just have to return to explore that area more.

Old Town San Diego

Our favorite stop in San Diego was at this street side cafe where we enjoyed pupusas and a margarita (except Natalie of course and our driver!)

The girls got two yell-outs about their cute scarves!  We're not sure if it was meant as a complement or a put-down.  Nevertheless, I think they are beautiful with or without scarves!  We didn't get to see much of San Diego, but look forward to the next trip.