All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Writer: ROWBOTHAM, PETER
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
We were sad knowing that January 1 was our final full vacation day in California. We needed far more time and money to see all the things we wanted to see! We had a final breakfast in the hotel, and went back to the room to clean up and pack up while watching the Rose Bowl Parade which was taking place in nearby Pasadena. I had looked into getting tickets (you can’t just watch from the street) but they were too expensive. We figured we could see it better on television anyway. We managed to check out of the hotel by 11am and started toward the coast.
We have been traveling with a GPS, but she constantly was trying to take us the quickest route, and we were anxious to travel the scenic route. I had the map on my lap, but D’Arcy was driving and listening to “her” instead of me. We drove in circles for a while until we got ourselves onto the Pacific Coast Highway, traveling North. We had to put poor “Suzanne” out of her misery and started listening to directions from “Richard” instead. We traveled through Long Beach, Sunset Beach, and Seal Beach before driving through Santa Monica, and then stopping in Malibu for a picnic lunch on the beach.
It was an interesting pit stop, and we all put our feet back into Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, a teenaged girl who had arrived at the same time we did to go surfing was back out of the water almost as fast as she got in, after being stung by a sting ray. The beach lifeguards had to treat her, and then sent her off to the hospital. When it was time to leave, we went up to the washroom to clean the sand off our feet and legs. I jammed Olivia’s finger in the door of the bathroom stall by accident and felt awful about it!
Up next, we were on our way to Hollywood and on a quest to find the famous sign! It turns out the sign is off in the hills and is well protected, so it’s tough to get an unobstructed view from Hollywood itself. We walked along Hollywood Blvd., looking at the names along the Hollywood walk of Fame. We were surprised by how dirty and smelly the area was. I guess when I think of Hollywood, I think of perfume and awards shows. They must clean the area up a LOT before those shows!! It was by far the dirtiest, smelliest place we encountered during our trip.
As we walked the street, people were constantly trying to sell us things or take us on tours. The girls saw Mickey and Minnie and wanted to get there photo taken with them, so I reluctantly paid $1 to have them pose with the girls. Everybody’s got to make a living, I guess.
We walked far enough to see the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held, and also to the former Chinese Theatre. I had been in Hollywood with my parents when I was very young and had a photo taken with my handprints fitting exactly in those of Shirley Temple’s. I really wanted to find her handprints – and we did. My hands are larger now!
We were glad we had made the effort to be there, but were happy to leave the area, and decided to get closer to the airport to eat. We found an outdoor shopping mall that was filled with little restaurants and found one online that appeared as though it would be good and we’d be able to find something safe for Olivia. Whether I was half asleep, or tired, I’m not sure, but I somehow turned “Island Burger” (where I wanted to go) into “Rave Burger” (located upstairs in the movie theatre). It was just a small place, and looked more like a hotel bar than what I had anticipated, but our server was very friendly and apologized for the fact they were under some renovations so had no beer on tap and no burgers because they were frozen. We’re still giggling about the fact Rave Burger was out of burgers… The kids all had root beer floats and the server was extremely cautious about Olivia’s allergies; even taking a photo of the packaging and showing it to me at the table. Olivia and I split nachos and a salad, D’Arcy had a chicken sandwich, Sarah had fries, Alex had wings, and Evan had a pizza.
Before we knew it, it was time to return the vehicle and go through security at the airport. We knew that there was a storm coming and were hoping that we’d be able to get home ahead of it.