Thursday, November 11, 2010

California: Paradise in 8 days

If you have never been to California, all I can say is watch that commercial where Betty White is riding a golf cart at the end and BELIEVE her. It is what they say it is and more. I just came back (dragging) last weekend from an eight day whirlwind tour with my girlfriend and am just finding the energy to tap this out and fling it out to all of my eleven respective followers (thanks for reading!).

We started in San Francisco and checked out the Castro where my hero, Harvey Milk, has a Plaza named for him, a restaurant, and other memorabilia all around the district. When I went into a Different Light Bookstore, I saw my buddies Karin Kallmaker, KG MacGregor, and Kenna White showering the shelves. It's always nice to see people you know gracing the bookshelves in a place that's three thousand miles from your home. We ambled along the street looking for food and stumbled upon Harvey Milk's old camera shop where many of us saw Sean Penn do his thing (unless they used a Hollywood set). My girlfriend started snapping and as I stood by the doorway, the threshold where Harvey Milk went over many times in the 1970s, I must say I got a bit ver klempt. I love that man.

After SF, we ended up in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute where we attended a workshop with the renowned energy psychiatrist, Judith Orloff. She's got a lot to say. Read her books. Grow. Share. Help change this sick world of ours. Part of her message...and, I guess, mine. Esalen is paradise if you were wondering where paradise is. Go there. It's worth the time, effort, and money. I got a massage on the cliffs of the Pacific and thought I might float up and away. Thank God for Lithium...I stayed grounded.

Onto Lucia, then the elephant seals...OMG...these guys are hysterical. They snort, fart, spar and are cute at all camera angles.

We got to L.A. on the last leg of the trip and were greeted by my buddy, Norma, who is essential to any California trip. She and her girlfriend, Vicki, took us to two great eateries and to the observatory where you can see L.A. lit up like a "constellation in reverse" as I said with my mouth agape and hair sticking up in the wind. Ten million people, ten million stars, four lanes of traffic.

The Ellen DeGeneres show rocked. We were in the audience for the Portia show...we won the book and a camcorder that is also a projector. My hollywood directorial debut begins now...

At the beach, I picked up a rock and put it in my pocket for luck. My girlfriend found a few, too. Up on the hill of the beach, I spot Meredith Baxter-Birney.

Not bad.

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