In August of 1999, I got to meet a long time internet friend, Josh "Rap Echidna." :) We had been talking through the internet since August of 1997, and on the phone since September of 1997. Between us we'd racked up probably around $800 to $900 worth of phone calls. I think over half of the money was mine c_c Josh lives in Lake Forest, which is near Disneyland. My mom was surprised that it was so close to John Wayne Airport, which is good because it means I'll be more likely to get to visit him more. This August I went to stay with him for about 4 days. :) My dad went with me. He stayed in a hotel at night, while I stayed at Josh's. He'd go with us places during the day, and one of the days, drive us around. Our rental car was a Chrysler convertible. It had leather seats, and was lots of fun. I was surprised that visibility out the front windshield was so poor though. The places we went to were Mann's Chinese Theater, the Griffith Observatory, the Walk of Fame, the Queen Mary Hotel, and some other cool little shops along the way.
Bette Davis' Grave Me standing next to the grave of Bette Davis and some of her family. They are burried in Forest Lawn Cemetary in Hollywood, California. MANY famous movie stars were burried there. Gene Autry, Lucille Ball, Albert Broccoli (I managed to find his tomb, as well as Liberace's and Scatman Crothers'), Liberace, Scatman Crothers, Buster Keaton, Dorothy Lamour, Fritz Lang (which I managed to find), Ozzie; Harriet; and Ricky Nelson, George Raft (which I managed to find), Telly and George Savalas, Lee Van Cleef, and Jack Webb are all burried at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetary. There is also a Forest Lawn in Glendale, a city north of Los Angeles. It has alot of movie stars in it as well.
Elton John's star Musician Elton John's star on the Walk of Fame, down the street from Mann's Chinese Theater.
Gold nuggets in a museum One of the places we went to was the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. I STRONGLY urge anybody visiting the area to see this place. Bring your camera too. There's a section devoted to gemstones that will blow your mind.. unfortunately, dad only had two photos left on that roll by the time we got to the museum. :\ You can tell how big the nuggets are in this picture by comparing them to the big head mask on the left. The nugget on the top was slightly larger than a baseball. :) Yowza!
Jack Nicholson's starActor Jack Nicholson's star on the Walk of Fame.
James Dean statueA bust of James Dean that sits on the sidewalk area along side the Griffith Observatory. The statue is there because a famous scene from one of James Dean's movies was filmed AT the observatory, a scene from the movie "Rebel Without a Cause," which was Dean's final film before he was killed in a car wreck. More recently the Eddie Murphy film "Bowfinger" was film partly at the observatory. In the film, you can see Eddie run up a flight of stairs, the same flight of stairs and me and Josh are seen standing on in another photo on this page! :) He also goes into the telescope dome and up the flight of stairs in that, another place where me and Josh went. In "Rebel Without a Cause", in the scene that takes place at the observatory, a crowbar is thrown off the edge of the sidewalk and down the hill. My dad said that he bet if somebody took a metal detector that they could find the crowbar(s) that were used in the scene still sitting on the side of the hill. I wondered about that. I suggested that somebody else had probably already taken them if they didn't retrieve them right after the scene was shot.
Liberace's Piano A piano onboard the Queen Mary that Liberace once used to give a concert to the guests. I don't know if this was before or after the ship was permanently docked and turned into a hotel... probably before. This wouldn't be Liberace's only concert on the Queen Mary. In the mid-1970s he landed in the parking lot next to the ship via hot air baloon and proceded through a TV special. Another note of interest is that in one of the 1980s editions of the Guinness Book of World Records shows the world's longest limousine parked in the parking lot next to the Queen Mary. I am sure some of you have seen this picture. The car was named the "American Dream". It was 100 feet long, but it was mostly trunk and hood with a smallish cab in the middle. The entire car bent just to the rear of the cab so it could go around corners more easily.
Me and Josh on stairway This is the stairway I mentioned earlier that Eddie Murphy ran up with that girl from Austin Powers 2.. ah crud, her name slips my mind. Anyway... that's me on the right, and Josh on the left. :)
Propeller Nut and Cone This is inside the Queen Mary. Josh is standing in front of one of the giant brass cones that was attached to the center of one of the propellers on the ship. The smaller head to the right of Josh is his brother looking over a massive nut that held the propeller on the shaft.
Swimming Pool The swimming pool on the Queen Mary. Back then, the pools were inside the ship, rather than on the top. The pool is notorious because a girl drowned in it a long time ago. The little room on the right with the white things on the shelves is the towel room. Me and Josh are the guys with the arrows over our heads.. duh :P
Russian submarine next to Ship Next to the Queen Mary there was docked a Russian submarine. This photo was taken from the deck of the Queen Mary. We toured the submarine, it was interesting.. the bunks were so short it made me wonder; just how tall was the average Russian male sailor back when this thing was used? The bunks were anywhere from 1½ to 2 feet too short. And I'm not a very tall person. Just 5'10". My dad took a photo through the periscope of Josh's mom sitting on a bench outside (she couldn't come in the sub because of all the small hatches to go through - she had had leg surgery earlier in the summer and it was still troubling her.) I'll scan the periscope photo for the next update. ^_^ It's cool.
Ryan and Josh! Me and Josh on the Queen Mary. That's Josh on the right. Yes, that is Nack the Weasel on his shirt ^_^
Josh and Me at Mann's Josh and me standing next to a large stone lion at Mann's Chinese Theater. My hands were the exact same size as Frank Sinatra's. :) They wouldn't let me look inside the theater because it was during the show. "The Iron Giant" was playing, and then later, "Eyes Wide Shut." If "Eyes Wide Shut" had been playing earlier in the day and we'd had a place to dump Josh's little brother, we could have seen it at Mann's. Ah well. I'll catch it on PPV in a couple months. :) Remember kids, you can video record something playing on PPV! :)
In the Queen Mary parking lot Josh, me, and Josh's little brother in the Queen Mary parking lot. Good shot of the Queen Mary in back. :) And despite popular belief, the Queen Mary is longer than the Titanic was. The QM is something like 1000 feet long, while the Titanic was about 850. You'll get to see and compare the too in the not-too-distant future. That's right.. there's going to be another Titanic. This one is costing $500 million to build and will be an exact replica of the original save for modern radar gear and everything like that. Tickets start at $10,000 and go up to $100,000. I read about it in the paper. It's not going to happen until 2012 though - The 100 year anniversary of the doomed voyage. Hmm..
A white Bently One of the places me and Josh went had a wedding going on in one part of it.. geeze.. I can't remember the name of the complex.. but it was HUGE. It was all done like a Spanish mission or something. Really decorated. There was a diamond exhibit in one of the buildings that we missed :( It was a huge exhibit too. And no, it wasn't going to be there the next time we came; it was going back to New York in September. Crud. :P This white Bently saloon was parked at the wedding along with some older Ford-type white sedans, and a modern Lincoln Town Car Limousine. I can't remember the year.. I think it was 1958. Not sure.
The Bently again Another shot of the white Bently.
Black and white version I figured that an old car like this would look good in black and white.. so here's the black and white version of the photo.
That's about it! :)