I am sitting here in my hotel room... what a whirlwind of a couple of days. I honestly can say it had potential to be weird and awkward and certainly it wasn't at all. I am glad. I am bummed that I had to get F on a plane this morning so he could get back to work today. That was a hard thing for me. Of course I would have liked to have had him here the rest of the trip but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I mean this is a work trip with some no work things thrown in for good measure.
Friday when we got here we went and picked up a rental car. It was nice to know that we had the option to jet should we need to. F drove the whole weekend. I know this is going to sound completely retarded, but seriously, for me it was nice. I haven't been one to freeley give up the control that comes from driving. It is a really hard thing for me to do. But it was nice to do it and I thanked him. He was so funny in the car too. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at In and Out. I didn't order off the "secret menu" since aniamal style is all about ordering with extra special sauce (which I think is like thousand island dressing but definately extra mustard) but my double double with ketchup was amazing. I was in heaven. I wish we had stopped one more time but alas, it didn't happen. Its ok, it isn't like I haven't eaten well (very well). I do not know what it is, but there is something seriously about those burgers. Holy moley. I wish they would open one in Colorado. I don't know why they don't.
Saturday I had meetings in the morning and F met us up for lunch. It was very nice. We went to dinner with the group and came back to the hotel. We spent a little bit looking at some of the local clubs, The Casbah, Lestats and Canes. None of the bands playing really sounded interesting outside of the Johnny Cash cover band playing at Canes but the cover was really high so we stayed back at the hotel. Walked around the property for a while and came back to the room. It was a nice evening.
Part of our day Sunday was spent going up North from where we are. It was a great drive. Drove up to San Pedro where F went to school. It was great to go to a place I hadn't ever gone when I was here, I hardly ever came down South, stayed in LA or Burbank or went up north but certainly wouldn't have gone that far down the coast (and should have, I mean Long Beach... duh.... ooops I wasn't so into that scene when I was younger). After San Pedro, we went up to visit Bukowski's grave which was actually pretty nice. Nice that it was not all junked up, treated with disrespect and junked up with tchockes and drek. The marker was clean and well kept up and there wasn't a ton of stuff all piled up and it was just respectful, which I have to say was quite surprising. It did take a while to actually find, but worth it. We (F and I) had bonded back in the day about the poetry and it was nice to be able to go and pay our respects you know?
Went into LA to get Canters. It was exactly the same as always. We sat in Chuck E. Weiss's booth which was really actually pretty neat and in a little dorky way... kind of a thrill. Met up with Dev and her husband, it was nice to meet her in person since we have known each other for 10 years. It was great to finally put a face to the name/online personality. She was adorable. I will say the following. I should have gotten the pastrami, that is what F got and it was delicious, but I got the eggs and salami which while good, not as delicious. We had a really nice time. It was good to hit the place. Everything was absolutely the same nothing had changed in the 15 years since I had been there.
When we were driving back on the 10 from lunch, we got to drive by the house I used to live in (sorta drive by because...) you could still see it off the freeway. It was actually fun. The house is now lime green (it used to be blue).
I am glad we were able to have that day together. We didn't get to the beach like I had wanted, and I could go today but it was more important for me to be back at the room, able to relax, take a nice long bath (which I will do in a bit) and just chill out. I have been on the go for the last few days and this honestly is the best part of the program for me to be able to sit at the computer geek out (which I actually prefer to anything) with some music on and just relax. I am not thinking I have much time to enjoy the afternoon on my own (and I am sad that F isn't here to enjoy with me) but I am going to sign off and chill. Pictures and whatnot will come later. I am bummed the room staff is so effecient at cleaning I would have liked to have grabbed the wine label from the bottle he bought for us and technically the wine wasn't done so they shouldn't have removed it from the room but I did make note of what he purchased (it was the pinot) so I can buy it again because it was in fact delcious. He knows I like the pinots and picked a really good one.
Sunday night we went to our dinner reception for the group. I was stuck not able to spend any time with F which was awful for me but he was an amazing good sport about it. For the most part my co werkers behaved themselves some did not and one asked some funny questions about us. Too bad F didn't have the chance to answer as he could have and should have. We came back up to the room after dinner and had a very nice night. There were some interesting moments some that were completely unexpected that I just went with which again, very much unlike me, but this is not all about me. Thank you F for being such a good sport and taking me along and pushing my limits.
Last night we were on this dinner cruise and it actually was really so very nice. A couple of people in our group took pictures of us and bless CK because it took her like 10 tries to realize we kept closing our eyes on purpose. It was really funny. Thank Jen L for posting about that, its been really great fun to do it. There was drama and thankfully due to the tutilage of my co-hort from the planning team I learned how to really honestly take a moment, breath, take a minute breathe and not just "react", which also is something that I normally would have done. I really appreciate all the things that I learn from her every time that I work with her. She is very very smart, unbelieveably level headed and seriously very much a great teacher, and I thanked her for that too today.
Ok I am ready to head out for our final evening activity. I wish F was here of course, but will have a nice time because our group really is wonderful.
Will catch up when I return to Denver.