A few weeks ago, I entered a contest sponsored by CAbi. The 4 winners selected were to be flown to Los Angeles for a whirlwind makeover, and then they would appear in the CAbi Fall Lookbook catalogue. I was one of the 4 winners. This week I will be reporting on my adventure.
After we finished the shoot, I climbed back into my basic black stretchy duds that are suitable for flying. I immediately began to mourn the loss of wearing beautiful girl-clothes. And yes, btw, I am going to get one of the CAbi Fall outfits as a thank you for appearing in the Look Book. And a CAbi gift card. SWEET.
I was to fly out the next morning, so the same sweet driver took us to the Le Parc Suite Hotel in West Hollywood. This is an unassuming little hotel nestled on a side street, just south of Santa Monica Blvd. But boy, oh boy, was it adorable.
Since I had little to no time to meet up with dear old friends, I had made plans with my very best friend of nearly 30 years, Kathy. She drove down from Castaic to meet me for dinner. I hadn’t seen her since before Jensen was born. So it had been at least 7 years or so. The years melted away as we chatted non-stop, driving around town looking for a place to eat.
Now you would think that to be an easy task. Not so with my friend and me. Decisions don’t come easily, especially when you are too busy talking to really take notice of all the fine eateries that are offered in Los Angeles. We ended up inexplicably in Hollywood, and decided to drop in on our own stomping grounds, The Crossley Theatre on the campus of Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Home to the Actors Co-op.
We were driving up Gower when I took the above photo. Of course, in the background, you can see the Hollywood sign. One of my first apartments when I lived in Los Angeles was on the street leading up to the Hollywood sign. A view I never tired of. And just lower in the frame, the steeple of Hollywood Presbyterian Church is in view. That’s where Fiddledaddy and I met, where he proposed in the balcony, and where we got married.
The first time I ever laid eyes on Fiddledaddy was when he was performing in “The Traveling Lady” with The Actor’s Co-op, somewhere around 1990. We met later, when introduced by my friend Karen, who thought we would be PERFECT together. This was about the time that I had joined the Co-op, and not long after, Kathy joined as well.
I met Kathy when we were both in our early 20’s, and were just embarking on acting careers in San Antonio. We reminisced the other night that we actually met when we were both cast in a Pioneer Baking Mix commercial. We bonded immediately. A year or so later we both performed in “The Burning Bed” at a local San Antonio theatre. As you might imagine, San Antonio was not the acting mecca we had hoped, so we both headed for Dallas. And then 4 years after that, we headed west to Los Angeles.
Neither of us had been to the Crossley Theatre in years, and as we walked through the iron gates, it was as though time had stood still. A million memories and voices echoed down the breezeway. But there was no one there. Of all the weekends we had picked to stop by, the theatre was dark, as the last show closed the week before. We stopped to look at the box office, and noted that The Traveling Lady was going to be resurrected next.
We climbed back in her car and drove around Hollywood, taking note of the Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theatre, and the Wax Museum. Hollywood Blvd., while somewhat seedy during the day, takes on a whole new life at night. It felt so good to be back. Although we did not spot ONE SINGLE CELEBRITY.
We finally settled on a small restaurant just down the street from my hotel, and talked some more until we were nearly hoarse. Before leaving, we asked a stranger to take a picture of our weary selves.
I finally bid my sweet friend farewell, through many tears and tight hugs, and watched her drive off into the night. I looked at my watch, it was 11:00. I then realized that with the time difference, I had been up a full 24 hours. I don’t think I could have even pulled that off in college.
The next morning I was driven to the airport, and enjoyed the flight home, as I sat next to a fellow homeschooler, with a shared love of all things Apple. My family met me at the airport where they greeted me as though I’d been gone a million years.
Thank you, CAbi, for an experience I’ll treasure, and never ever forget.