Magic is Everywhere
Our friend Mark is a magician. Not just any magician, an official member at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles. That’s right, you’re impressed now, and you should be! That audition, membership process is downright brutal, making it a very exclusive club. You literally have to be a magician to get in…get it? Sorry. I tell you this to set the stage, so to speak, for the rush to get to his house in time to change clothes and get to dinner.
After we had our trailer incident at 5:30 pm 10 Los Angeles miles from their house we got back heading their way at about 6:38. The trailer was trailing smooth as butter, but tension was through the roof. We had reservations for 8 people at 8:00 at The Magic Castle for dinner. We were both sweaty and covered in dirt from inspecting the trailer on the road, our clothing was buried at the bottom of back of the car in two different bags, when we got to their house we would have to figure out where to leave Enzo while we went out, and we would still have to drive back to the Castle for dinner. All on our first day of travel where we had less than 2 hours sleep and had been working so hard since 5:30 am. We can do this!
We did do it, we were 15 minutes late and they had graciously held our table for us. Only 2 of the rest of the party could make it at all so we were a party of 6 and we had a sumptuous dinner, partly paid for by a gift certificate we had won for best group costume at their Halloween event. We were even able to catch 3 wonderful shows after dinner. One was in a large theatre and then two were in smaller, close-up rooms which was really cool. By 12:30 Dan was almost sleeping on his feet and the shows were over so we hopped in the car and back to Woodland Hills at a much more relaxed pace than we came over at.
Mark and his husband Don married 4 years ago in a pretty magical wedding at a house that Houdini had lived in. A glorious ceremony and reception. I have known and loved Mark since Senior year of college and we have stayed close over 30 years across country and all. When we were finally able to meet Don we loved him instantly too. They had a rad camper in the driveway that I shamelessly asked if we could stay in for our visit. It’s a perfect little Winnebago Rialta and we were so comfortable in there! Score! 2 nights in Los Angeles in summertime and we didn’t have to work a hotel into the budget. This budgeting is new for me, I’ve always been thrifty, but working with an actual budget is new.
Not surprisingly much of our time was spent driving from one place to another. Errands and eating had us hopping all over the area and kept us pleasantly busy. Both Mark and Don are involved in the arduous care of elder parents. This consumes a great deal of their time and keeps them from spending more time together. It’s a tough life that a lot of middle aged people are looking at right now. They are both devoted sons and it was impressive to witness first hand the last couple days.
I am not a huge fan of Los Angeles. It is too crowded, too self-obsessed, so rude, too smug! So I don’t have pictures and travel tips for you. The food is really excellent and really expensive (and that is from someone who lived the last 20 years in San Diego), but lots of fabulous options. But that’s my review… I guess you either love it or hate it. Mark loves it with every fiber of his being. I still love him, but he makes it difficult.
Our stay ended way too early and as we tried to figure out a better way to pack the trailer, we failed. We tried to say goodbye, we failed pretty miserably at that too. Mark had written a beautiful letter that he read at dinner at the Castle and I was still pretty broken up about that and now the best hugger ever is holding on to me like he won’t let go and I am just broken. I have found it so hard to say goodbye to those dearest to me, even if it really is a see ya later, and even more really of a talk to you later. So, stop it y’all! I’ll see ya later!