Here we are...

Just off the Port Bow—a place of uncertainty, adventure, and insight. Thank you for your ears, eyes and hearts. I hope to bring compassion, grace and beauty to your day.

California Bound - From the Hollywood Forest to the Venice Beach Waters

Let me be frank. You are asking, if ask you must, the wrong person to describe Hollywood. I'm not a city person. I'm not a tourist type. I mostly detest both. That's not quite fair. Both give me the heebie-jeebies.

We did want to see where Chase works. He helped design and build a TV studio at the corner of Hollywood and Vine (the heart of the beast)....on the ground floor of the W Hotel. He is one of the executives of the studio, and we started the day there with a tour of the studio and of the hotel.

Years ago, back in Milwaukee, I was taken to be in the audience of a kid's show, "Cowboy Bob" or something like that. You remember the scene. Every kid dressed up in their best imitation of Roy Rogers, six shooter and all. I remember a certain feeling of unreality mixed with anticipation and excitement. Then a few black and white photos to prove we had done it.

Fox was at the studio yesterday morning, filming an episode of Hollywood Today. We walked right through the studio, and when the show was over (audience clapping, etc.) into the back of the audience to see the set. Turns out they were filming the audience as part of final seconds of the show, and we spoiled the shot. (Stage Manager to Stage Director, "What the F***!") We turned around, went back through the black curtain, met the Fox executive who was running the whole thing, and scurried out. Chase told us that they would reshoot that pan of the audience ("OK, everyone clap again") and that it was no big deal. There will be no black and white or color shots to prove it. We walked by the rows of editing computers which would delete our existence with a few keystrokes, and back into the unreal environs of the W Hotel.

It was great fun to see where Chase works. It was also a treat to go to his favorite "smoothie" joint, just a few doors down and get an amazing smoothie - which would hold us until lunch. Tourists to our left, swindlers to our right, panhandlers all around, and a hole in the wall place run by a Hispanic woman serving up the most amazing, good for you, concoctions. Mine, for the record, was kale, papaya, banana with an almond milk base....the best!

We drove down Sunset Blvd., through the Strip (Mary and I humming the tunes to "77 Sunset Strip", and "Cookie, Cookie, lend me your comb")...through Beverley Hills, and down to Marina Del Rey.

Note: There are always a million people on the roads here. Always. Every road.

After provisioning at the local supermarket we went to the docks where Chase had chartered a Catalina 22 for the day. Marina del Rey is the second largest marina in the world - 5,000 boats here. Catalina Sailboats has a series of docks here, and the boat model we chartered was the first model Catalina built back in 1969.






Chase has been taking sailing lessons, and it was fun to watch him use his skills to get us underway and out into the ocean. He's good.

Sailing on the ocean, as you know, mostly means setting your sails, kicking back, and enjoying the company and the scenery. Santa Catalina was waiting for us off to port (about 26 miles away!). The San Bernardino range rose majestically through the smog to starboard, and Malibu far off beyond the port bow. In our stern wake we saw the reflections of the jetliners departing LAX (that's cheesy and not quite true - I was watching them, especially when an A380 took off...I just love watching big planes taking off - imagining myself en route to Singapore, Dusseldorf, or Tel Aviv). We did one long tack (a couple of hours) past the Santa Monica pier, and then one long tack back to the marina.

Chase had some business calls to receive and make in the course of our voyage. It was fun to watch him in action. He let me have the helm for most of our time, and that was equally fun. We were all tres relaxed.





Back on shore we took a walk on Venice Beach (just south of Muscle Beach)






and then repaired to a cool restaurant - French/Vietnamese fusion. The food was incredible.

I could say more, but that's enough for now. I don't need to tell you that the roads were packed as we drove back to Hollywood at 9:30pm. We only had to drive around the block once to find a parking spot, and slept well.

Today we'll hang out with Chase, Angela and Miles at their house, and then head to Santa Barbara for the next segment of our journey.


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Location:North Van Ness Ave., Hollywood, CA

California Bound - Twenty Hours later

California Bound - Shabbat - Hollywood style