Monday, December 14, 2009

Escape To L.A.

Sometimes when life gives me lemons, I... run away. I don't mean "run away" in the sense of disappearing without leaving word or abandoning my responsibilities. I just mean that sometimes I benefit from a few head clearing days away from my life.

Life handed me a plate full of something very, very sour recently. So it was not hard last week, when I received an invitation to my friend Emily's birthday celebration in Los Angeles, to decide to make a spontaneous visit to the City of Angels. I rarely, if ever, do anything spontaneous. I'm a planner at heart, but I found a $97 round-trip flight down to Southern California and arranged to stay with my sister Fabulous Patti in Los Feliz, thus making this last minute sojourn seem like destiny. With that, I packed a suitcase, headed to the airport on Saturday afternoon, and told my routine in San Francisco that it could, with all due respect, kiss my ass for 48 hours.

When I arrived in the pouring rain Saturday night, the first order of business was running errands with FP in advance of our family's upcoming Christmas celebration. Champagne had to purchased so it would be handy on December 25th, after all. We didn't do much else on Saturday, mostly because of the weather. We had planned to go to Tiki Ti, my favorite bar on the east side of Hollywood, but in the end, it was just as fun to stay in and watch PBS. (I know, how's that for an exciting Saturday night? I didn't care. I was out of town, and frankly, that's all that mattered to me.)

The rain had cleared out by yesterday morning, and I was free to go running down Los Feliz Boulevard, pictured here. My Los Feliz runs tend to degrade into walks very quickly, but I go about four miles, and I love the route. Sometimes I head up into Griffith Park, as well, but I skipped that on this trip. After a lazy afternoon of napping, I hopped into Fabulous Patti's car and headed down to Marina del Rey to celebrate Emily. She and I, along with her new boyfriend and several of her friends, went to Manhattan Beach for holiday fireworks at the pier, followed by cocktails and dancing at a small lounge. After that came snacks and karaoke at Pancho's.

Not bad for a Sunday night, huh? I have to admit, I remained fairly blue for most of this trip, but when Emily and I took to Pancho's karaoke stage to duet on "Don't Stop Believin'," I had to be happy for at least those four minutes. Yes, that song sucks, but karaoke bars everywhere and the television show "Glee" have given it a second life. And if you can hit the notes, which Emily can, and I pretty much can, it's really fun to sing. Plus, the crowd absolutely loved it and us.

I've felt pretty good today, which is a good thing, since I'm heading back to the Bay in just a couple of hours. My flight has been delayed, but soon enough I'll be back in San Francisco...hopefully re-energized and ready to fight a pile of rotten citrus.

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