Dead and Buried in Los Angeles
Day of the Dead Marilyn by Lalo Garcia
After a dismal Hallowe'en in 2012, for Christmas I gave Mom a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate Hallowe'en 2013 and especially the Day of the Dead in style. Okay, it wasn't exactly Mom's idea of an ideal vacation, certainly not on her bucket list, but she'll go anywhere once! So, after waiting almost a year and with one month of intense planning, we were off on October 28th (at 4:00am!) to the airport to begin our L.A. adventure!
Some things are just meant to be... I have tried hard to bring the Hallowe'en spirit to my area and slaved at my Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat for years and participated in pretty big ways to help others' events succeed so maybe the spirit of Sam directed fate a little. Purely by chance, I discovered that, on the day we were flying into L.A., the movie "Trick 'r Treat" would finally have its day on the big screen and be shown to an adoring audience of fans! Icing on the cake: a question and answer panel with Trick 'r Treat's key players. Wow! And I was going to actually BE THERE and was able to get a pair of free tickets!
After an afternoon of wandering Hollywood Blvd and seeing a few worth mentioning spots (the former Jim Henson Studios on La Brea, Amoeba for music and The Mercantile for dinner) we arrived at the Egyptian to stand in the loonngg line of excited fans and were treated to a theatre decked out in Jack o'lanterns, ghosts, a model of Sam and various other props from the film.
Our assigned seats were in the balcony which was perfect: in this photo from the Legendary Facebook page you can almost sort-of see us! Look to the right, the fourth and fifth blotches from the blue light.
The question period afterwards was full of fun surprises: a birthday cake for Michael Dougherty with a wee Sam on top and an appearance by Sam himself with a message written in blood: "make a sequel"! Can Sam be denied? "No way" was the reply from the big cheese of Legendary so the words "Trick 'r Treat 2" appeared on the big screen overhead and the crowd went wild!!! Such fun! It's going to be an awesome film!
(these 5 photos are from the Trick 'r Treat Facebook page)
Unfamiliar with the movie? Here's a short film that will introduce you to Sam:
Upon leaving, everyone got a limited edition (of 700) poster, pictured at the left. The posters came in solid poster tubes with certificates, very formal! So, along with free tickets, free pop and popcorn and a gift poster, the entire event was a love fest, the creators of "Trick 'r Treat" thanking the fans and the fans saying thank you for the movie!
By the time we got back to our hotel that night we'd been up almost 24 hours! Exhausted, we collapsed into bed... and slept like the dead!
The Farmer's Market, the Grove and the Tar Pits were on today's schedule. We'd planned ahead and looked up all the buses we'd need so we hopped on the #180 and enjoyed a morning walk through the Market. While not overly decorated, every shop had a little Hallowe'en in it which, when added all together, made the place look absolutely Hallowe'en ready! Food, food, food... we bought danishes and pastries to bring home for breakfasts and had a great lunch at Pampas Grill.
We then took the trolley to the Grove, a shopping area that had little for us but was pretty. On hand was a crew putting up and artificially "enhancing" a HUGE tree for the holidays.
Here's Mom with the tree being "created" in the background along with the dancing water fountain.
The dead and buried part of the day was next...
The La Brea Tar Pits were fascinating! Yes, the pits stink but they are finding so many significant things in that thick, sticky, sucking, farting pitch it's worthwhile. Sites where work is still in progress had observation areas so you could see into the pits they are working on, which was very neat!
The Page Museum was built into the ground and had many full-sized skeletons on display with explanations of how the bones are extracted from the goop.
I have to say that of all the "haunted" places we visited while in L.A., this was probably the most genuinely haunted. So many animals perished in the tar, probably lingering for a long time, struggling helplessly, starving to death, attacked by scavengers (who might have then got stuck too)... So many souls... certainly not a happy or restful place.
Dinner was at the Cheesecake Factory, all orange and wrought iron inside. The food was good but the place has train station acoustics and we took our raspberry chocolate mousse cheesecake (oh yeah!) home to savour in peace.