Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anniversary Weekend

Sunday was our wedding anniversary—23 years (yikes)! To celebrate, we decided to spend the weekend at one of our favorite spots: Downtown L.A.

I had already bought tickets to Spamalot at the Ahmanson Theater, so Tim made reservations at a hotel, the Omni , within walking distance of the Music Center. Check-in was at 3PM. Not wanting to appear too anxious, we arrived at 4PM. Our 10th-floor room had a spectacular view (below) of California Plaza, the charming orange Angels Flight station and, beyond that, the park that’s featured so prominently in the wonderful new movie (500) Days of Summer.

Dinner was at the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, the latest restaurant to open in L.A. Live. We put on our fancy duds and drove the ten blocks. The food was fabulous (endive salad with julienned apples—yum!—and a fresh margarita pizza), but the noise outside was atrocious thanks to a celebrity 3-on-3 basketball tourney staged right in front of the restaurant. We did get to see Clark Gregg, the husband on the TV show The New Adventures of Old Christine, compete in the tournament. His team mate was also an actor, but I can’t for the life of me remember his name.

After dinner, we drove back up to the hotel. It was still a little early, so we decided to stroll over to California Plaza, where a free concert was being held that night. We had just turned the corner when I heard Tim yell, “HUELL!”

Sure enough, there was Huell Howser, local TV star and host of his own travel show on PBS. He is much bigger in person than on TV.

“Good evening,” he politely said to us, before joining a gentleman eating cheese and crackers on the hotel terrace.

The Plaza was starting to get crowded, so we headed over to the Music Center. Downtown L.A. is nothing like NYC, of course, but the streets surrounding the Omni were jumping Saturday night. Concerts at the Plaza and Disney Hall, Spamalot, and a huge wedding party at the Music Center—it almost felt like we were in the Big Apple.

Although we’d seen Spamalot when it first opened on Broadway, our tickets were (literally) standing-room-only, so I got us 5th-row seats as soon as the play opened at the Ahmanson. Based on Monty Python’s irreverent story of King Arthur pursuing the Holy Grail, Spamalot was a laugh riot. Plus we got to see longtime channel 4 news reporter Doug Kriegel sitting nearby in the audience—a new world’s record for number of celebrity sightings in one night! (WARNING: Results may vary the next time you go stargazing downtown.)

We don’t have kids, but we do have cats who don’t understand the concept of sleeping late (anything past 6AM) on Sundays. We slept till 8AM—heavenly!—then made our way to the breakfast buffet downstairs. Tasty fruit, waffles and, oh yeah, lots of bacon (happy anniversary!).

Even by our standards, there’s not a lot to do downtown on a Sunday morning, so we called the valet to fetch our car. Listening to “Breakfast with the Beatles,” we headed west to Culver City, our cats, and another year of adventures.

(Taken just before being yelled at for sneaking a camera into the theater!)

1 comment:

Ginny said...

Happy Anniversary!