|Getty Villa - Friday, 3.4.11|
Photo by Bobak Ha'Eri
I didn't get to see Thomas before picking up my car (which they were generously storing for me in their driveway), which I found very strange, and in the coming months of visiting the Los Angeles area, I wouldn't hear from him. I still to this day don't know what happened to my good friend; if he harbors resentment for some unknown reason, or what, but I hope he's well and happy.
|Ladder Trail at Painted Canyon|
The best long-distance friendships pick right up where they left off, no matter the amount of communication between visits, and this was fortunately the case with a few of the friends I did manage to see, who happily filled me in on what I had missed, and excitedly introduced me to the new chapters of their lives.
It's crazy to see in just a few years' time how much people's lives have changed!
Kyle completed his Masters and is now archiving documents for ONE, and Alida very unfortunately has had to experience many losses including her father, putting down Roger, (her loving yellow lab of nearly 15 years), and losing both cats - Cash (aka "Wormy") after 18 years, and Cary ("Little Guy") after 15, both having organ failure. Kyle & Alida, or "The McMorgans," have had family additions as well, including Bones - an old, black, disheveled, affectionate cat with an insatiable need for attention, who meows relentlessly whenever he's not napping (especially every night at 3am like clockwork!), and Blue - an old white cat with cauliflower ears and the most amazing blue eyes you've ever seen, that never ceases to find new piles of stuff to knock over when falling asleep on them!
Dani made the move from her parents house to a beautiful duplex only a couple blocks from the ocean in Long Beach.
Jenny from Montana is now a successful radiology technologist living with her new boyfriend "Hap" in her new apartment in Burbank.
|Salton Sea - Saturday, 3.12.11|
Sherwin from South Africa became Director of Branding & Standards for a high-end hotel on Rodeo Drive, and is planning to adopt a child with his partner of many years.
Terrell is a creative musician that after years of dedication is anticipating releasing his first CD, which he personally wrote, composed, and sang for.
Most of the 3 months at the McMorgan Household in Canyon Country was spent:
Sippin' gin & tonics down at the pool
Hitting the gym (24 Hour Fitness)
Running the paved trail at neighboring "Discovery Park"
Patronizing the stores (Hot Topic, Buckle, Express, Finish Line), restaurants (BJ's Pizza & Brewhouse, South Point Argentine Grill) and cinema at the Westfield Valencia Town Center (The Adjustment Bureau, Scream 4 and Hanna)
Running errands with Alida (Jo-Ann Fabrics, Bank of America, Food4Less, T.J. Maxx, Big Lots, Fox Liquor)
Repeatedly having my butt whooped playing Chronology & Trivial Pursuit with Alida & Kyle
Getting bloated from enormous Alida-style meals
|Huntington's Japanese Garden in Spring|
Photo from Wikipedia.com
Listening to Alida continually express her concern that Kyle would burn the house down whenever he tended to the fireplaceHighlights during my stay with the McMorgans:
Touring the grounds of the Getty Villa in Malibu, "an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria"
Hiking the desert, wilderness trails of Painted Canyon (Ladder Canyon Loop and Big Painted Canyon), gasping in horror at the beach of never-ending fish skeletons ringing the shores of the Salton Sea, and joyriding through the busy streets of Palm Springs (in place of the overpriced tourist trap of Tahquitz Falls) on a 3-day camping trip with a buddy from Minnesota
Playing the role of server for Alida's birthday dinner alfresco, after a day of wining and dining at Sea Fresh Restaurant and Old Creek Ranch, in the peaceful getaway village of Ojai
|Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament|
Cheering like pirates and 4-course-feasting with my hilarious friend Dani, at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament attraction
Observing gas bubbles (and good-looking gymnasts), climbing trees and staining my shirt at the La Brea Tar Pits, before admiring huge homes, eying creative cupcakes, and strolling the storefronts of Larchmont Village with Terrell
Almost fainting from an amazing, nearly full-body "foot massage" at Man Han Tang, before grabbing sushi and hitting up the hilarious drag shows at Hamburger Mary's with Sherwin
|La Brea Tar Pits, Saturday, 4.23.11|
Getting hit on throughout the day of volunteering at Kyle's work, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
Searching for silver in the alleys of shops in Downtown's festive Fashion District with Alida
Listening to storytellers and wining & dining with Kyle, Alida and her mother Phyllis, at the Ojai Arts Center, Ojai Vineyards' Tasting Room and Ojai Cafe Emporium
Trying to locate Judge Judy on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, stepping in the footprints of movie stars at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, strolling and dining in Beverly Hills, loving the rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, exploring Santa Monica Pier to Point Dume and the homes in the Malibu hills, via the Pacific Coast Highway w/ Brandon & Heather
Attending the 2nd annual ONE Queer Film Fest: A celebration of the diversity, culture and history of our queer communities with Alida & Kyle