We know that when you think of a trip around the world, you don’t think of Los Angeles. However, our good friends at the Delta Skyteam think differently. So, in order to embark on our journey to Auckland, New Zealand, we have found ourselves spending the first day of our journey in LA. And let me tell you, we have had such a great day. We are fortunate enough to have some good friends who live here, so we were able to spend our last day in the U.S. with them.
We started out spending time with Paula, a friend of Phil’s from back in Atlanta. She and her 3 year old daughter gave up their day and drove all over showing us some of the great things about the city. We first went to the beach in Santa Monica, famous for its beautiful white sand, “muscle beach” workout area, and of course, The Pier. We walked along, spying different people trying to one-up each other in all kinds of feats of strength. Phil tried his hand at rope-climbing, but it just wasn’t the same as it was in 5th grade P.E. class. Sadly, a 10 year old girl quickly put him to shame. I certainly would not have done any better and give him credit for trying.
After the beach, we journeyed to the other side of LA, through the notorious LA traffic, up into the Hollywood hills to the Griffith Observatory. Situated in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, the observatory is a lovely spot to get an amazing view of the whole city. True, much of it is blurred by smog, but it is still really beautiful and I can imagine it is a great place to go to get away from the crowds below. It is surrounded by winding hiking trails of varying difficulty which look like they would be a lot of fun if we were here for more time.
After our time with Paula, we met up with Murph (Mike Murphy), our friend who works on the NBC sitcom Whitney. Since they are not yet in production, he had the time to show us around the lot where they write and shoot the show, as well as many other shows. This kind of thing is old hat for Murph, but Phil and I got a real kick out of seeing the studio where they shot Seinfeld, Christina Applegate’s parking spot and the outside walls of the Big Brother house. We even got a little homesick walking down “New York Street,” the place on the lot they use for outside shots on shows which are set in New York.
Finally, we were joined by two more friends, Frank and Jaclyn, for a delicious sushi dinner at Katsuya–Murph and Frank’s favorite sushi restaurant. We spent our last few hours before heading to the airport with good food, good friends, and great conversation. All in all, today has been the perfect start for our trip!