|With the exception of going to Disneyland, there aren't many tourist clichés about California that Sally,
Darryl and I didn't indulge on our trip. We:
Went to wine tastings in Sonoma County
Watched seals at Jenner on the coast
Rode cable cars in San Francisco and had cocktails at the Top of the Mark
Had dinner at Clint Eastwood's restaurant in Carmel
Drove the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles
Went to the Hearst Castle at San Simeon
Visited the Reagan Presidential Library
Went to a taping of the Tonight Show in Hollywood and
Saw Faith Hill in concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
Heck, we even went to the State Capitol in
Sacramento. Most importantly, we attended
my niece's wedding. And we ate and ate and ate and....
So obviously, if you're going to California, you've got to have a big finale, and on Friday, we did.
We started in Pasadena by touring the Gamble House, a famous representation of the Arts and Crafts school of design
from the early 20th century. Darryl is a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan (for some reason) and although Frank didn't
design the Gamble House, two of his disciples did.
From there, we went to Universal Studios for a taping of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Conan's guests were
actor Seth Green, a stuntman,and Demi Lovato from the Disney Channel. Even though we had to wait in line for an
hour-and-a-half to get in (see photo at top of page), it was worth it, and we had a great time.
Afterward, we hotfooted it down to Hollywood to see Faith Hill at the Hollywood Bowl. Yes, it was a long way from Star,
Mississippi to the big stage she was standing on Friday night, but she did indeed make that stage her own. She put on a
great show and the audience loved her.
To toast the success of the trip before returning home on Saturday, we went to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a nightcap.
It was truly a memorable trip.
|Well, OF COURSE, I made a
for the trip. Here's what was
Pacific Coast Party Smash Mouth
Highway 101 Jackson Taylor Band
Santa Rosa The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Late Great Golden State
(More Bounce in) California
Soul Kind #1
20th Century Fox Fanfare
The London Symphony Orchestra
Ready to Take a Chance Again
Fake Tales of San Francisco
San Francisco Judy Garland
Studebaker Warren Zevon
I Love L. A. Randy Newman
Moving to L. A. Art Brut
Los Angelenos Billy Joel
All I Wanna Do Sheryl Crow
Hell Looks a Lot Like L. A. Less Than Jake
Hooray for Hollywood Duke Ellington
The Little Old Lady from Pasadena
Jan and Dean
Sweet Dreams My LA Ex Rachel Stevens
Disneyland Five for Fighting
California Girls David Lee Roth
California Girls Gretchen Wilson
California, Here I Come! Al Jolson
Sally, Darryl and Matt in the Golden State
|The highlight of the trip came on Saturday, when we drove over to Sacramento for the wedding of my niece
Meghan to Mike Wilmoth (above). They were both adorable, and Michele and Nick put on a fine wedding.
Afterward, Darryl, Sally and I poked around town, visiting points of interest like the State Capitol (left). We
thought we were going to see Arnold, but we didn't want to wait around for him to come out of a meeting.
|Like all good tourists, we drove California 1 along the coast from Half Moon Bay to San Simeon. The Hearst
Castle was as advertised. I could totally see some obsessive-type person spending ten years and millions of
dollars to build it--and then going quite mad at the prospect of having to live there.
|Needless to say, the three of us were thrilled at the prospect of visiting the Reagan Presidential Library
in Simi Valley--and it did not disappoint.