Thursday, August 14, 2008

Running Away to Hollywood

I'm not very good at staying in the same place. Here's a quick rundown of all the places my heart has called home in the past four-ish years:

- El Dorado Hills, CA
- Puebla, Mexico
- Tempe, AZ
- Granby, CO
- Oshakati, Namibia
- Dijon, France

And that's not counting all the times I moved between California and Arizona or all the tiny European countries that stole my heart when I hurricaned through them during Spring Break.

I'm a girl who tends to run away. The odds of me running increase exponentially when there is not an ocean within six hours of me and the temperature is routinely over 110 Fahrenheit.

Tempe was killing me and I had to make a break for it.

Luckily, one of my best high school theater friends was in "Les Miserables in Concert" at the Hollywood Bowl. He is wickedly talented and this is one of the biggest shows he's ever been in. I couldn't miss it and I didn't want to. I needed to get out of Arizona.

Alicia and I stayed up way too late the night before and sleepily installed ourselves in her car. A few lovely hours later, we were in my beloved California.

Firstly, I have to apologize to Hollywood. For well over a decade, the only memory I had of Hollywood was that once on a family vacation, a crackhead tried to climb in my mom's Jeep and my brother and I were pretty much scarred for life. And scared straight at the same time. So Hollywood and I weren't on the best of terms.

However, I think Hollywood's a lovely little town. Alicia and I took pictures of all the stars on the Walk of Fame. I even brought my Nikon FM10 and played photographer for the day. This was 1) out of necessity, because my digital camera passed into the great beyond while I was in Ireland, 2) rather silly, because I'm not really that great of a photographer, and 3) exciting for me, because I feel like shooting with film gives me more integrity and less of an opportunity to morph into an out-of-control narcissist who only takes pictures of herself and her friends all day long.

Here is what I learned in Hollywood:
- My hands are the same size as Elizabeth Taylor's
- And Julie Andrews's
- If I fail out of my classes, I can always move to Hollywood and sing on the street
- Or dress up as Wonder Woman and parade around all day
- Or bellydance on the corner. Which sounds shady. And probably is. But believe you me, I can do it better than the lady I saw on Hollywood Blvd.

And here's why I really love Hollywood: I found the most amazing cafe I've seen since I left France. And they had PANINIS, which I crave, oh, about every 3 minutes. And it was beautiful and cozy and I never, ever wanted to leave. If you don't go to Cafe Audrey next time you visit Hollywood, you're totally missing out.

Alicia and I made our way to the Hollywood Bowl, which evidently is outside. Who knew?

Les Miz was AMAZING. I've seen it on Broadway before, and I thought that this cast was much stronger. Or maybe it was the direction. Or maybe it was the fact that Tristan Rumery, the kid that I grew up with and shared a stage with about 12948172 times, was onstage. I don't know. But I loved it. And I cried all through the second act, as usual.

And then, as if the night couldn't get much better, I got to see Dan and Phil, two other smalltown boys who I grew up with. That made the weekend absolutely perfect. I love those boys and I've missed them a lot. I don't know how to describe how nice it was to see them.

The next morning, Alicia and I woke up, ransacked the hotel room (They had free RAMEN! We HAD to steal the free ramen!), and made our way back to the desert.

It was an amazing weekend and it should at least hold me over until Labor Day :)

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