July 21, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 3

California, Day 2:

I took the girls and Tyler to Malibu where it was ridiculously cold and overcast. I thought for sure it would rain on us but it never did.

Anyway, the weather didn't deter us from hitting Zuma. Tyler played with his fancy camera and the girls actually played in the water because when you're from Michigan you take any opportunity to play in the ocean even if it's freezing.

I sat on the beach shivering and getting sun burnt (I hate my skin) and eventually the kids joined me in sitting on the beach and shivering and the girls attempted to get sun with me but apparently only pasty people can get color when it's cloudy.

At some point we could stand the cold no longer so we piled back into the car and stalked some star-homes while we waited for it to be dinner time.
The blue one is Adam Sandler's.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's.

And of course, Matthew McConaughey's.

We also saw Courtney Cox and David Arquette's Malibu pad but it was harder than hell to get a picture of that while flying by on the PCH. There were others too but by now I've forgotten who the other garage doors belong to.

We then had dinner at Neptune's Net - delicious food but the very definition of a dive. The girls were wary to say the least. Especially after Meg went to use the restroom and reported back that it was a porta-potty with a spigot outside that you got water out of via an algae-covered foot pump to wash your hands. But then they saw that it was Zagat rated and that both Rachel Ray and Adam Sandler (wearing one of their shirts on the cover of Parade Magazine) had eaten there and they agreed to try it. Both were very impressed with the grub.

The girls had originally wanted to get sunset pictures at the beach so we were going to try and hang around Malibu until sunset but it because quite clear that the sunset would not be spectacular if the clouds were so thick we could never see the sun in the first place. So instead they requested we take the extra-long way home through Thousand Oaks and try to locate the home of Zac Efron. Turns out that Thousand Oaks is a gorgeous community and the drive up there from Malibu was spectacular. I don't think that condo is where Zac Efron really lives (I could be wrong though), but it was a really pleasant jaunt none-the-less.

California, Day 3:

We had big plans to pick Chase up from summer school and then head for Venice Beach and Hollywood. While we waited for summer school to let out, Lisa and Meg and I swung by Taylor Lautner's house where he was sadly NOT mowing the lawn with his shirt off. Oh well. We all decided that Chase should get a job as the Lautner family's house boy since they live a mere mile or so from him.

Once he got out of school we grabbed some food and headed toward the beach but no sooner were we clear of Santa Clarita than Lisa (who has epilepsy) had a seizure in the car. We pulled off the freeway for a bit until the seizure stopped then turned around and headed back to my Aunt's. Lisa was fine but her seizures take a lot out of her so she needed to rest. Chase and I ran to the store for some emergency staying-home supplies (my aunt doesn't keep any good snacks around, and we needed DVDs) then Meg and Chase hung by the pool for a while and I stayed with Lisa and eventually all 5 of us wound up on the couch enjoying a Big Bang Theory marathon.

We took a break after dinner to go get some Santa Clarita sunset pictures and some ice cream before resuming our marathon.

California, Day 4:

We were supposed to head home early on Saturday and stop at the outlet mall for some shopping on the way but Lisa, Meg and Chase were all way too excited for Venice Beach for me to deny them so we adjusted our plans and spent Saturday doing what we were going to do on Friday.

We drove down Hollywood Blvd. but nothing was open (at 9:30am on a Saturday...what the hell Hollywood?) and the kids said they'd rather star-stalk then do the walk of fame anyway so we busted out the map and hit the hills (Hollywood, Beverly and then Bell Air).

It probably sounds hopelessly dorky but it really is hilarious and fun to drive around neighborhoods looking for stars' homes with people who get crazy excited any time they see something like, say, a car in the driveway with it's door open (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's house), someone in a suit behind the gate walking to the car (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' house), or even an open mailbox (Courtney Cox and David Arquette's house).

Anyway, Lisa wanted to see as many of the Friends' houses as we could so we hunted down Courtney's first. We were surprised to see someone had left the mailbox opened but we were careful to go no where near it ourselves. I don't mind stalking but I'm not breaking any federal laws. Then I agreed to go to the edge of the property and snatch a couple of pebbles from their front yard for Lisa. I'm hard-core.

Then we saw Jennifer Aniston's house.

And the building that Matthew Perry's condo is in. I briefly considered tweeting him to let him know we were downstairs and could he buzz us up. I didn't mention that to the girls because they would have stollen my phone and gone through with the plan and we'd all be in jail now.

There were tons more that we saw but the only one I can recall well enough to match the picture to it is Mark Wahlberg's house.

Oh, we also saw the house Michael Jackson died in again. Lisa was a huge fan of MJ so we parked down the block and walked over for her to get a picture in front of it. She also got a couple of pics through the gate of the courtyard (really pretty). She brushed the tree-debris off the security box, picked a fallen leaf up off the driveway as an souvenir and then we headed for the beach.

It's been YEARS since I went to the Venice boardwalk on a weekend and sweet Jesus in a feather boa was it packed! Even on a slow Wednesday I hate Venice Beach. The combination of too many visits, my advanced age and the corresponding drop in interest of people being strange to get attention, and my lack of interest in cheap tchotchkas combine to make it of exactly no interest to me whatsoever. But teenagers freaking love it and Meg, Chase and Lisa are no exception.

The three of them bought an ass-load of cheap crap, stared in wonder and amazement at the assorted dipshits, and generally enjoyed the hell out of the Venice Beach boardwalk.

We stayed down there a lot longer than I'd planned and didn't manage to get Chase home and get us on the road home until after 6:00 so we weren't home until nearly 2:00am. Lisa slept most of the car ride home but Meg and I kept each other entertained as usual. At least until around Quartzite when Meg succumbed to exhaustion and sacked out for a couple of hours. Then I used candy (sugar high!) and a particularly fun iPod playlist that the girls had vetoed previously on the grounds that they didn't know any of the songs to keep myself awake the rest of the way home.

Finally back in Arizona, Tibby and I smothered each other with smooches then tucked ourselves into bed and slept like babies.

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