Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blue Rescue

My sister and I looked down toward the ground and spoke in one loud voice.

“Hi, Mr. B!” we said.

Mr. B, a blind Australian cattle dog, also known as a Blue Rescue, turned his fabulous bluish-gray head in our direction and began barking.

“Thank you!” his owner said.

It was our pleasure. We met Mr. B and the lovely woman who had adopted him on Friday during our walk around Griffith Park in Los Angeles and she told us calling out to him was a very helpful part of his training.

We were flying back to Brooklyn on the following morning and meeting Mr. B—who lost his sight at a very young age--did a lot to rescue us from our end-of-vacation blues.

This whole trip was a rescue mission for me as I got to spend quality time in a great place with people I love.

We stayed with my Uncle Joe and Aunt Sara, as we’ve done so often in the past, seeing some great sights, eating (too much) great food, and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation.

All vacations should work out this well.

We left town on July 1 and enjoyed a wonderful July Fourth barbecue at Joe’s house.

In addition to the great food and excellent company, the day featured a rather strange incident where Joe had a friend post a notice on Craigslist offering the long-unused piano in his living room to anyone who wanted it—and two guys actually came to haul it off in less than two hours.

In fact one of the moving guys, who’s also a piano instructor who had studied in England, tickled the ivories for us before he and his partner dismantled the instrument and loaded it into a van with seven other pianos.

I don’t know about the other guests, but this was certainly a first for me.

Palm Trees Grow and Rents are Low…

My sister and I hit Venice Beach, which is about as strange and wacky as people say it is and then we got a private tour from one of Joe and Sara’s friends of the incredible Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project.

We also visited the Huntington Gardens, one of my favorite LA attractions and I made a return trip to the California Science Center is see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. I had seen both of these places before and I’ll gladly see them again.

At my sister’s suggestion, we used more mass transit for some of the sightseeing this time, which gave our hosts a much-needed rest and brought us closer to LA’s everyday people.

I was amazed how friendly people were, especially the bus driver who took us down to the Science Center and this very kind gentleman who was working at the information booth at Union Station—which is a beautiful thing to see as well.

This man was actually leaving the building to go home when my sister called out to him. And instead of saying “my shift’s over” and storming out, he very nicely gave us the information we needed.

It hurts to say this, but that kind of courtesy can be hard to come by in New York. (And here comes the hate mail…)

We spent our last full day at the LA Zoo, one of those attractions that I had once dismissed as “too touristy”—and, of course, I loved it.

As always when I travel to LA, I agonize about whether I should move there or not. And as always, I do little else but agonize, replacing action and logic with excessive handwringing.

This time out, however, I am a little less fearful about making the move.

Yes, I loathe the hassle of driving and owning a car, and yes, the massive Mad Max freeways scare the screaming bejeezus out of me, but irrational fear has ruled my life for far too long.

Now moving to LA feels more like a change of address than a change of religion.

Mr. B’s owner told us that despite his blindness he gets around the house just fine. He’s found a way to adjust to his situation, which is something we should all keep in mind.

Look, I may never move to LA, but I am going to stop torturing myself about it because all self-abuse does is make life tougher—wherever the hell I’m may be living.

And you never know. Perhaps some day I’ll be greeting Mr. B on a regular basis.


Ron said...

Oh Rob, I was so looking forward to hearing all about your recent trip to Los Angeles and it sounds like you had an AWESOME time! I am so glad you had the opportunity to get away and have a change of scenery because it does a world of good, doesn't it?

FAB pictures! And seeing those palm trees reminded me of living in South Florida all those years. Love the photo of you in what looks to be a plane hanger. And the photograph of the Huntington Gardens looks like Japan. What beautiful gardens! What a cool-looking mural on the side of that building.

"And you never know. Perhaps some day I’ll be greeting Mr. B on a regular basis."

And you're right, one day you just might move there because it seems like a place that really resonates with you. And my belief has always been, when the time right, it'll just happen.

Thanks so much for sharing your trip, buddy. Thoroughly enjoyed!

Have a SUPER week!

Walaka said...

A change of time zone cane be quite a tonic sometimes.

Rob K said...

You got that right, brother.

Rob K said...

@Ron, hey, buddy, how's it going?

This vacation could not have come at a better time and I'm really grateful I had a chance to get away from the madness for a little while. That's the space shuttle behind me in that photo and the Huntington has both a Chinese and Japanese garden--it's quite a place.

I like your belief about the time being right. Let's hope it happens soon!

Take care, buddy!

Bijoux said...

That sounds like a very enjoyable trip! The Hollyhock House just sounds cool. I vote for moving anyplace that doesn't have snow and ice.

Rob K said...

Oh, Bijoux, I like the way you think. No snow, no ice, no problem!

Take care!

Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to LA! I've been a couple of times and it is a very strange and wonderful place, never mind Venice Beach! I went there, too, and rather liked it, but yes, not like any other place I've been, not really! Fun though.

Are you sure you'd really like to live in LA? Wouldn't it be a huge change for you?

A Cuban In London said...

Re the story about the piano, I've got a fun one to share. I used to work at an arts centre and I once put an ad in the Arts Council free mailing list for someone to donate an unwanted piano to our venue. We got two simultaneous offers and took them both. One was a grand piano and the other one an upright one. The upright piano came all the way from Middlesborough, northeastern England. It had, however, began its life in London's famous East End at the start of the 20th century and it was rumoured that it used as an accompaniment to Charles Chaplin's last performance before he went to the US. How's that for a story, huh? And as far as I know it's still there in the same centre which is not an arts centre per se anymore.

Greetings from London.

Stephanie Faris said...

I want to go back to L.A.! If I ever do, I'm going to have to ask everyone for advice on what to see. We did the Chinese Theater, the tar pits, and a Warner Bros. studio tour, which was my favorite. I want to see all the things we missed--plus I want to get some tips on some great restaurants. I don't think we hit any of the good food places while we were there.

Rob K said...

Hey, Stephanie! Yeah, I did the studio tour myself years ago. It was a real trip. I don't know much about the restaurants, at least not yet. But if I get any suggestions I'll pass them on to you.

Take care!

Rob K said...

@A Cuban in London: Charlie Chaplin's piano?!?! Oh, my God, I love Charlie Chaplin. I cried my eyes out at the end of "City Lights." You're right--that is quite a story!

All the best!

Rob K said...

@Jay--that is the million dollar question, Jay. It would be a tremendous change and part of me thinks that's just what I need. And, of course, the other part of me is scared to death! We'll just have to see...

Take care!