Saturday, June 7, 2008

California 5/29/08 - 6/2/08: Day 1

Thursday, 5/29/08 - We arrive in LA.

The only time I enjoy my birthday seems to be when I am not at home.
Last year when I turned 25 I had this ridiculously unwarranted breakdown so I needed a good year this year.

Plus, Shana was turning 30 (omg you're so old!) and it was really just silly of her to spend it doing the same thing she does every day
with...and yes, I will add, the same old dumb people she hangs out with (excluding me of course).

So what better way to celebrate our birthdays than to go to the left coast. It seemed it would be magical.
and that it was.

Wednesday night we headed over to my parents so we could wake up at 3am and catch a ride with my dad to the airport at 3:30am.
We got all of about 4 hours of sleep between our inability to shut up and my parents cats being crazy.

Arriving at the airport at 4am after little sleep is just not all that fun. It was kind of cold too. Go figure.

Check in. Wait at security. Go through. Sit and wait till 5am when McDonald's opens and we can silence the growling stomachs.
(Here is where we get angry as the larger lady in the wheel chair has herself pushed up to the counter and a line forms behind her when all in all we were there first, even if we weren't in line per say.)

As we eat our food knowing that there is a long line of people waiting to board our 5:30am flight to Charlotte… we realize a little too late that our flight…instead of boarding at 5am was actually CANCELLED.

And so it began… Baltimore just wants to torture my soul.

I’m not even sure how long it took for us to finally get a new flight, but it was a lovely turn of events to see that we got a straight flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles… it just didn’t leave until 8:50am. Good thing we got up at 3 right?

Airplanes are ridiculous… in both the good use and bad use of ridiculous.

After arriving at LAX we fortunately found our luggage, found the bus to the rental place, got our rental with insurance that we didn’t need (but it’s okay!) and a GPS who spoke in some stupid British accent until I realized how to get rid of it (I hate you British English Emily!) and finally made our way to our hotel in Redondo Beach.

Shana decided we’d leave our mark. (this photo will be seen at a later time!)

It was somewhere between noon and one in LA time so we had to rock some Redondo Beach…would I kill for the Atlantic?

Our hotel was only a few blocks from the ocean.

"OMG! Let’s take a picture of ourselves with the Pacific behind us!"

The Pacific… It’s really nothing like the Atlantic.

"OMG! Let’s take another picture of ourselves with the Pacific behind us!"

So, of course I brought up the notion of "hey let’s get something to drink!" While I was all for…alcohol in general, we decided it’s never wrong to go with a little wine at like 2pm in the afternoon (it was 5pm our time… so technically it was Happy Hour!)

Shana, drinking in LA!

Me, drinking in LA!

I hate feet… even in the sand.

I kind of hate feet in the water too…Pacific or not.


"Look at those friggin’ seagulls, they’re HUGE!"

"Seriously, They’re way bigger than east coast seagulls!"

"Okay, I’m going to stop taking photos of these huge friggin’ seagulls of the west!"

I think this is probably the best photo I took of the whole trip.

It was only around these rocks that it even smelled like the "Ocean" because apparently the Pacific doesn’t even smell like the Atlantic.

Redondo was nice. It was like going to Ocean City, except 20 thousand times cleaner and beautiful. People were fishing. People were nice. I think that’s what got me the most. People were nice.

So jet lag and lack of sleep was taking its toll on us. We stopped at this store we thought was just a little drug store to get some goodies for the hotel room. Turned out to be the tiniest version of a bulk store we had ever seen!

We picked up some hand fruit!

This comes into play at a later time in the story.

As we perused the aisles, I saw Muscle Milk! OMG It’s Muscle Milk!

Few people understand the reference to Muscle Milk and it’s probably better that way.
It does not even have a real reference to California.

So our day ends there. We went back to the hotel and found ourselves unable to stay awake any longer even though it was sadly only 6pm… "it’s 9pm our time and we’ve been up since 3 after only 4 hours of sleep. We’re going to have to stop remembering "our" time!"

Day 2 continues on…

California 5/29/08 - 6/2/08: Day 2

Friday, 5/30/08 – My Birthday/Tattoo Day/Nightmare of You

"I can’t sleep anymore!" This occurred at 5:30am in California time.

We enjoyed the free continental breakfast and got ourselves all ready for a full day in California.

Since we have this new tradition, (it’s funny, it became a tradition and we only did it one time. I guess now that it has happened twice it IS a tradition, but you know…whatever) we figured it would be best to get our tattoos first so we would not run out of money.

We headed out to Studio City, California to go to Studio City Tattoo.

On our way, I took a lot of lame pictures.
This was my attempt to take a photo of Mulholland Drive.

If you saw the photo in its original size, you might actually see the Dr of "Drive". It’s hard to take photos while riding in a moving car…or limo.

"That is Old School… Take a picture!"

Honestly, I swear the photos aren’t all of silly things. I do sometimes take good photos.

Red lights help when it comes to taking photos of road signs.
"Buddy Holly Drive"

I love Buddy Holly.
And of course we sang the Weezer song.

We went over to Jamba Juice. I forget what I had, but it was yummy. At least my name was pronounced correctly. "Shay-nuh?"

They have grocery stores called "Ralphs" and Shana insisted I take a photo… because it’s her dad’s name.

I took a photo of this billboard for my mom… and frankly I thought it was kind of cool.

We did some stuff, had some lunch, and finally it was time for our tattoos!

With tattoos and pirates you really can’t go wrong. With a crazy good tattoo shop on top of that you really really can’t go wrong. And with a crazy good tattoo artist as the cherry on top… well that just makes for an excellent day/birthday.

Shana went first. Shana does feel pain. She hid it with a smile, but very rarely.

This was my attempt at artistry.
Dana through the looking glass… Shanas pain on the outside.

Then it was my turn. I am an idiot and originally had a good shirt on to get back tattoos but I changed my clothes before we left not thinking that the shirt I put on was a stupid decision. Thus, I was able to rock the backwards jacket look.

And I rocked it well!

I also have nothing clever to say before this picture. So here it is.
Oh wait.

First name Dana. Last name Rocks.

Wait… maybe that wasn’t clever, but I’ll go with it.

So interestingly enough this photo has my tag showing and shows off my evil red eye. However, Dana was tattooing on the "Evil" side so I guess it all works out.
I'm making a dumb face.
But seriously...
"Pain don’t hurt."

I don’t care if it’s not a word…
"I’m Bleedy!"

"While I’ve got my shirt off"

I got the Transformer symbols as my "Angel" and "Devil" on my shoulder. I’ve always wanted the Angel and Devil because I am a Gemini… I do have that whole "two personalities" thing going on with me… but I never wanted something too cliché. What better way to show off who I am, A girl who loves the 1980’s and my childhood, (though I could also be a robot in disguise) than the Transformers. Since I do actually like the remake (LaBeef!) and I liked how they were promoting the Autobots with "Protect" and the Decepticons with "Destroy" I decided that would go along well with my tattoo design, especially since that’s basically what Angels and Devils do. I also planned on getting it in all black, but fortunately decided to go with color instead.

Autobot: Protect

Decepticon: Destroy

Shana got her clownfish redone.
To show the awesome of Dana…
This is her before tattoo:

And this is the after:

I would tell the story of the clownfish but I don’t really know it.
Shana likes clownfish… Not because of Finding Nemo.

His name is "Firecracker" (yeah, don’t you name your tattoos!? I do!)
It really is like comparing apples to black cobra firecrackers.

After an awesome birthday very reminiscent of my birthday 10 years earlier when I turned 16 and spent my entire day in a tattoo shop in Baltimore… we decided to catch Nightmare of You at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood.

I love love love love love Nightmare of You so it was pretty awesome that the fates worked out that they would be in Hollywood on my birthday at the same time that I am in Hollywood.

We walked around Hollywood Boulevard a bit before going into the show so we missed the first two bands. We got there just before The Graduate went on and I must admit they were pretty good. Then we saw Nightmare of You. Honestly, I love this band… in a non crazy stalker fan girl sort of way.

In 26 years, I think this was…by far… the best birthday ever.

California 5/29/08 - 6/2/08: Day 3

Saturday, 5/31/08 – Tourists in Hollywood

Today we decided to do all of our touristy things. If anyone was to expect a lot of cool things and not a bunch more ridiculous photos that weren’t really taken in a bunch of cool places, they would not really know me at all.

This is what I woke up to.

After another lovely continental breakfast we headed out to Hollywood Boulevard again.

I should mention that at this point we are not only amazed how nice people are over here, but that we can find parking easily and that people are so friggin’ nice over here! It’s just such a chill laid back sort of atmosphere. A complete change from us east coasters.

The signs had "hoodies".

So, on Hollywood Boulevard we saw the infamous "Stars" and "Feet/Hands" of celebrities.

It is really hard to get photos of these things because there are so many (Stars) and people that you kind of get tired of saying "excuse me can you move so your shadow or feet or entire self is not in my photo of the ground here".

This means I really didn’t take that many photos.
Here is what I have.
George Burns (I loved him)

Christopher Walken

Harrison Ford (He has small feet)

John Wayne

Star Wars

George Clooney

Harry Potter

Gregory Peck

And the stars of Ozzy Osbourne (Honestly I’m not sure why)

The man…The legend…Walt Disney

Our next stop was the Kodak Theater tour. There was no photography allowed though.

We did learn nice little tidbits about the academy. We got to stand on the stage (it’s really not that big) AND we got to sit in the seats, seats that celebrity butts had been in at some point. I sat next to Johnny Depp… well, where he sat for the awards show in February. It was interesting and tourists from a certain part of the world are just rude.

Here’s some shots from outside the Kodak theater area.
When Shana was born the Academy went to…

When I was born the Academy went to…

We realized we still didn’t have many pictures of ourselves so…
Stair Shots!



And just the outside area…

I also just took this because it’s cool looking.

Next on the list was the Hollywood Wax Museum. I was a bit disappointed because I’ve definitely seen better…

But I took a load of pictures anyway.

King Kong.

We’re off to see the wizard…


Yo Ho Yo Ho!

Beatles…no Juice.

We dared to enter the Horror section.

The mothereffin’ Krueger…


Hello Clarice!

You’re the Devil!

I guess this is Medusa, I just thought it looked cool.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Beetle + Juice

Apparently Shana digs Pinhead.

I dig him too really though the fat cam shows otherwise!

I’ve got a tale for you…

Yeah, cause she’s scary.

I have exorcized the demon!


Shana and Hugh Jackman

Snakes on a Plane!

Light Sabers ahead

The Governor

There’s no knowing where I’m…going… or which way the river’s flowing…

Some classics


Life is like a box of chocolates

Shana gets western


And they feasted…



Gnarly! Raphael

Righteous! Leonardo

Cowabunga! Donatello and Michelangelo

You’re doing it Peter!

Will Smith does no wrong!

There has been a glitch in the system.

Star wars…again.

Vader, Darth

Charlie’s Angels.

Double Oh Seven

Part 2 of day 3 continues…