Last week, I came down with two horrible migraines. I’ve always suffered from bad headaches, and remember leaving school early, even in my elementary years because of them. As I’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten worse and often knock me out pretty good. I had a horrible headache on Monday, and stayed home last Tuesday, which also happened to be my mom’s birthday, and was able to celebrate with her later that night. I stayed in bed and rested all day, and was so good for me. I’d been exhausted and worn out, but just kept going. But, then Friday, I had another horrible headache and was in bed throwing up yet again. Country singers, Kenny Rogers and Linda Davis (Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott’s mom) were in town, and we were going to drive by the amphitheater to listen to their show, but alas I slept through the fun. It was no fun.
The next day, however, began my three-day holiday weekend, and I was not going to let anything stop me from having a good time. I bought my dad tickets to the Dodger game for Father’s Day, so that was our adventure for the day. And, of course, we usually find things to do prior to the game. I got to sleep in some and eat a donut, then we were off…
We ended up finding more locations for “The Wonder Years,” because it’s always been one of our favorite shows. When I was younger, we’d watch the mini marathons that Nick at Nite would play, and I fell in love with its charm and nostalgic feel for childhood and life. We’ve been to the neighborhood several times and have taken pictures in front of the Kevin and Winnie’s houses, but it’s the quietest and cutest of neighborhoods, so I always like paying a visit anyway. After listening to Carole King and chatting about life and everything in between, we made our way into Burbank. I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE road trips. Sometimes I look forward to vacations simply for the car rides – the music, the laughter, the stories. Maybe it’s because you’re stuck in a car with (usually) the people you love and care about most, so you know whatever happens, you’re in for a good time. That’s always the case with my dad, and this trip was no different.
This is one of those neighborhoods that hasn’t changed in years, but everyone has kept up their yards and houses, so it hasn’t lost the essence of what made it so special in the first place. We talked about the show and took our time, as if Kevin Arnold was going to come waltzing out of his house to run over to Paul or Winnie’s house. Another cool fact about this neighborhood, is that most of the show really was set in the Burbank area. It’s rare when a show films with houses not too far from one another – makes it SO much easier for fans to find ;). HA!
After we finished in the Burbank area, I looked up some of the schools that were used on the show as well, which took us into Van Nuys. Also, I was having way too much fun playing with all of the geofilters on Snapchat. I’m not sure how I went this long without that app – it’s a game-changer now. We made a stop at Van Nuys High School, and then over to John Marshall High (which has quickly become one of my new favorite spots).
It’s a gorgeous older brick building that’s been there for years, and is known as a historical site. But, the best part is that it’s been used as the exterior for just about every high school in a teen movie or 90s show. I believe it was used on “The Wonder Years,” and was also used on “Boy Meets World,” as well as movies, like “Grease” (where the big carnival scene at the end takes place) and “Pretty in Pink.” Pretty incredible, right?? Leonardo DiCaprio also attended a short time before landing his role on “Growing Pains,” all of which I found from one of my favorite blogs, I Am Not A Stalker.
By the time we finished “scouting” locations, we were getting hungry, so we decided to have lunch in another one of my favorite areas, Toluca Lake. We decided to have lunch at Claim Jumper, just around the corner from Warner Brothers Studios. We ate and had a great talk about an idea I’ve had for awhile and just gave us a chance to dream for a second and brainstorm. It was fun! And, of course, my dad asked the waitress if she’d seen any celebrities in there lately. She told us that Melissa McCarthy and her husband actually have offices on the second floor, and she happened to see them there the other day. SOOKIE (for all of you other “Gilmore Girls” fans out there)!!!!!! My heart was very happy and I was freaking out inside. After lunch, we walked down to the corner near the WB water tower, somewhere I still dream of working someday in TV production. I’ve visited just about all of the major studios (Disney, Paramount, etc.) and there’s no tour like Warner Brothers. At this point, I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve visited, because I’m kind of obsessed with the place – but not in a weird way, just that I’m passionate about. Most of my favorite shows have been done by Warner Brothers, including “Gilmore Girls,” “Full House,” “One Tree Hill”… The list could go on and on. So I was all touristy and took my picture in front of it for the umpteenth time. We still had some time before the game, so we ended up driving around downtown LA and I was trying to see how many filters I could “collect,” as you can see below from my documentation of it. I was WAY too excited about it.
When we were finished exploring, we headed to the stadium, parked and made our way inside. We got bobble heads and then settled in for the old timers game, with some of the older players which was fun. Luckily, the sun wasn’t out for much longer and I was able to use my new Michael Kors sweater when it got chilly. There’s nothing like a California sunset, especially at a Dodger game. It’s just breathtaking. It might sound funny, but I feel like I always do my best thinking at the ballpark. The best part?? The DODGERS WON against the Rockies (6-1, I believe, was the final score)!! Hallelujah. After “I Love LA” started playing, we headed out. We stopped at In-N-Out on our way home, listening to the Love station on satellite radio. It was such a great day, and I’m so glad I got to spend more time with my dad, and this time it wasn’t on our way to work.
Sunday was a pretty typical day – we went to church, we had lunch, and then we came home. It was so nice to be able to sit and do nothing. I did some writing, some reading and watching of my latest obsession, “Jane the Virgin.” SO GOOD! I also painted my nails all patriotic-like. We decided to celebrate Independence Day a bit earlier with some family friends at their place, so I made an American flag cake to celebrate the occasion. They live in a condo, but it’s like a mini resort; relaxing and beautiful. I feel like I’m in Palm Springs every time I visit them. We barbecued, walked around to the dog park and dipped our feet in the pool and jacuzzi. It was so relaxing! We also talked road trips, “Fuller House” and Mandy’s latest vacation. Fun times! After the pool closed, we went back to Paul and Tammy’s and played Head’s Up! I don’t know that there has ever been a more fun game – it’s intense, it’s hilarious and it goes quick, so you better be ready. We did the branding deck and a couple of the 90s. The mind is a funny thing, don’t you think? It’s funny how we all have different techniques of giving clues, and even how we process what someone else is telling us. It was a fun night of celebration.
Ah, the big day. A day about celebrating our freedom. I slept in and we did some cleaning around the house – I cleaned my room, which is no small feat, let me tell you. But, I did it and I conquered. Then, my parents and I went to Chick-Fil-A, which was incredible as always. But, I was feeling like I was in a funk. (seems to be a theme, right?) Anyway, I woke up with no plans for later that night, and I just felt like that wasn’t acceptable…Because ‘MURICA, you know?
Long story short, we called up some of our family and my aunt, uncle and cousin came over. We barbecued (because is there anything else to do on the Fourth of July?? – although, I actually started gluten free eating for health reasons) and had our own little fireworks show with a box we’d picked up from our church’s fireworks stand. I was super excited because I not only had patriotic themed plates and napkins, but I also had glow in the dark accessories to wear once the sun went down. We had a blast watching 0ur $50 light up right in front of our eyes, and when ours were over, there were plenty of illegals going up around our neighborhood, which was terrifying and our dog HATED it. It was crazy out there. Also, I don’t think holidays on a Monday should be a thing, because the next day is Tuesday, and Tuesday is work. That’s rough. Once the family left, we came inside and watched the fireworks special on PBS from the US Capital.
It was a wonderful weekend and I’m glad I got to celebrate in so many different ways. It might not have been New York City or Washington, D.C., but special memories were most definitely made and I wouldn’t trade those for anything.
…And now, we are almost through the week, and onto another weekend, which also some VERY exciting plans. Stay tuned!
That’s all for now,