I got in early on Saturday morning and chatted with Dave and Dane's new roomie John over a bowl of cereal. Dave got home from surfing a little later and went down to the beach and played beach volleyball for a couple hours. Afterward we ate at Patrick's Roadhouse in Santa Monica, overlooking the beach. Had me a great burger and some live blues for lunch. The place is rumored to either be owned or was owned by Patrick Swayze himself. We didn't dance. And on a side note, two v two beach volleyball is really hard. I thought I was decent at volleyball, but this sure showed me what's up. Props USA!
That Saturday afternoon I went over to a friends house to swim and catch up. Then later that night our buddy Josh came up from Orange County. We went down to the 3rd St. Promenade area and ate at T's Thai. Recommend it. We then wandered the promenade for a while and watched the street performers. The highlight being a 9 year old covering No One by Alicia Keys. It was pretty impressive! Except for the creepy guy running the AV equipment in the background. It was reminiscent of Robin Williams character in August Rush. Josh and I got the crowd clapping and we tipped a buck. After that we made a Pinkberry run, Mmmmm, and called it a night. However, the night was still young.
After what felt like the worst nap ever (way too short, way too groggy) Dane, Kristen, and I woke up at 4 am to hike the Hollywood sign. Now many a tale is told of suicide, vandalism, and trespassing up, on, and around the sign. So for these reasons we decided to go late enough and early enough that Hollywood was calm, and also so we wouldn't get busted. I didn't want to come back from LA with a record. Dane had done this a few weeks previous and made it out unscathed. In his blog report he said if anyone ever wanted to do it, he would do it again. He is a man of his word... So, between Dane's memory and Kristin's GPS we found the trail head and started on our way.
It was pitch black when we started. So along a groomed trail you have to keep a close eye out for the single track that leads up to the sign. One of the group, who will remain nameless, spooked themselves by remembering ghost stories taking place up there, so I got the priviledge of leading the way. Yeah, put the tourist in front! We would take periodic breaks to take in the view, take pictures, and take a moment to survey the brush with both eyes and ears. We didn't want to see anyone else up there...dead or alive! Nor did we want any critters paying us any attention. I think I got a mosquito bite on my left arm. Almost ruined the whole hike for me. We paused for a while just below the sign so that the camera's didn't pick us up and so we could be up there with a little daylight. When we got up to the sign we did see quite a few camera's and motion detectors. We trod lightly and took everything in. It was a beautiful misty morning. As we walked westward from the D to the H we could hear the camera's clicking on as the motion detector's picked us up. At the H there was this white little box that started to beep. After a little while we confirmed that there was a correlation between our presence and the amount of beeps. The LA county SWAT didn't rap down from a helicopter so we took our time. Although it was early I really do recommend doing the hike at this time. You can see the city lights at night and the sunrise and the valley in the morning. Very beautiful.
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We accomplished our mission and made our way back to the car. On the drive back we did something I hate to admit. Well, maybe not since I was the one that reminded Dane to show us... So, right off the drive to and from the Hollywood sign is the street that the girls of The Hills live in. Most famous is the beautiful LC. I don't watch the show much, but it was kind of exciting cruising by their bachelorette pad at 7 am on a Sunday morning. Didn't see anyone. In fact, I even felt weird looking, so I just looked out of the corner of my eye a couple times.
We got home and slept until church that afternoon. Then went down to Palos Verdes to Dave's parents for dinner. We ate some of the best steaks I had eaten in a while. We then drove down to Kristen's parents in Cota de Caza (Orange County) and spent the night. Monday morning we woke up and got some breakfast at Pipe's. We intended on meeting Josh there but he went to the one in Newport and we went to the one in San Clemente...oops! Nevertheless, we met up in Laguna and drove to Corona del Mar to hit up Jump Rock. It was a blast. See full report in the preceding post.
After jumping we had a bbq at our buddy Syd's place. This cozy little abode will become the Syd and Shea McGee residence in just one month. Congrats! That day though we had a chill bbq and watch the British version of The Office. Very funny, very British.
The weekend came to a close as we grabbed dinner and hung out at the pier at Venice Beach. After that I hopped back in the rental car, b-lined it back to the airport. I made it with enough time to print my eticket, get through security, hop on the plane, and take off. Just the way I like it!
All in all it was a fabulous weekend with just the right about of playing and relaxing. A special thanks to my wonderful hosts... Dane, Dave, John, Stacy, Kristen, The Galerath's (Dave's fam), The Hill's (Kristen's fam), J-bu, Syd, and the many many locals.