I traded in the Blue Trooper and will roll in this the rest of the way. Got a great deal too. If only...
Stephen Colbert had Army boot camp...I've got the Santa Monica Police Academy.
Mike and I arose late and left even later. Surprisingly, it was cloudy on departure, and would remain so throughout the day. Our course would take us around to many of the sights of Greater Los Angeles. But our first stop was Jack-In-the Box - or as it's known to many out this way, Jack-in-the-Crack. It was actually pretty good. Then we headed for Hollywood Boulevard. We walked up and back down, taking in both Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian Theatres, the Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscar ceremony), El Capitan (home of Jimmy Kimmel Live), and multiple buildings associated with Scientology. Of course, I noted many of my favorites' stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Our next stop is one of the nation's great centers of style and glitz, in perhaps the nation's most famous ZIP code - Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Again we walked up and down, constantly snapping pictures. Versace. Tiffany. Bulgari. Michael Kors. Jimmy Choo. All there, and all beyond our means. Cars of equal stature parked everywhere. Well, except for one. Near our return to my car, I called RB. It would seem that I woke him. As of the time of this writing, his reasons for being asleep at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time on a Tuesday night have still not been given. We also got some shots of me on the Beverly Hills green - with the lens pointed away from the homeless planted there.
Next stop: Santa Monica. We took in both the Third Street Promenade and the world-famous pier. Neither of us went on any of the rides, but I did accede to Mike's request for a pose upon our spotting a Santa Monica police car. We then rolled south to Venice Beach. Mike said this was his favorite part of the area, as it was the "freak show" - and it certainly was. The cast of characters ran the full gamut - from druggies (including one who tried peddling non-drugs to the LAPD), to musicians and artists, to iron-pumpers on Muscle Beach. But one stole the show. Mike was intent on ensuring we'd have a celebrity sighting on the day, and it came here - in the form of Hulk Hogan's ex-wife and her much younger boyfriend. Though there were many people at Venice with young children, I'm fairly sure I'd never bring mine down there.
The final stop on the day was Hermosa Beach. We couldn't get a table at the first place we tried - it was packed with Laker fans watching the third game of the NBA Finals. The next place, Patrick Molloy's, was nearly as crowded, but we did find space in the back. Mike had fish tacos; I went with my standard hamburger. After lunch and a quick walk around the Hermosa pier, we started rolling back to his place. On the way, he noticed a young lady in the back seat of a car who caught his fancy. At his strenuous urging, I made every effort to get alongside her so he could attempt to make an opening, but it never got done before we went separate directions. When we got home, we spent the night watching TV. First, we saw another of our high school classmates (previously referred to here as "TheSenator") execute a perfect run on Cash Cab - including the video bonus question - to take away 1,600 American dollars. Then we watched the start of the new season of Weeds, the premiere of Nurse Jackie, before ending the night with Conan and Letterman and Ferguson and a tiny little bit of Fallon.
The moral of day fifteen is simple: if you're going to tour Los Angeles, have a local friend take you around to the big sights. And since so many people go out there to try to make it big, chances are quite good you've got such a local friend.
Pictures: Day 15 (Greater Los Angeles)