The Walt Disney Concert Hall, bounded by South Grand Avenue, West 1st and Hope Streets, is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The Frank Gerry-designed building was opened October 24, 2003. Our eTouch for Health software first shipped a few weeks later on December 3, 2003.

When visiting downtown Los Angeles, the 2nd largest city in the United States, we chose Sunday morning and the city was deserted except for a few.

We had a great time exploring the grounds of the music hall and took many photos as seen in this link....

Architecture Daily


The grounds were mostly empty until we came around this corner and there were men with walkie talkies stationed all around the area. A car in a blue cover was sitting center stage while a guy in black gave me the 'eye'.

I was a bit offended as we there to photograph this building and he was messing up my photograph!

I then began to wonder what all the secrecy, seriousness and security was all about?

It wasn't until several days later when I recounted this story to a local and he said, "They were shooting scenes for the new Disney Love Bug series. That was the new Love Bug under those wraps."

Wow! I thought about my old VW bug that was the same year and color of the original Love Bug. If I had only known, I would've asked if I could touch it!

We were so close to the Love Bug and did not know it.

Herbie aka The Love Bug


Paramount Pictures, located along Melrose Avenue was just around the corner from where we usually stayed in Hollywood when in Southern California.

A large backdrop with a mountain scene was set up in the parking lot for shooting of a movie.

Paramount Pictures


Gail found the Hollywood Econo Lodge which is located conveniently near many things and with a lot of history. We always found the rooms clean, comfortable and meeting our budget requirements for travel.

It is located at 777 Vine Street.

Econo Lodge Hollywood review


The Econo Lodge had movie posters all around its inside courtyard.

I wondered how many struggling actors and actresses had stayed here as they came to Hollywood to strike fame. Some did but most had their dreams crashed. The posters gave hope to those trying.


Down Vine up towards Santa Monica, Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards is Cactus Taqueria #1 which advertises itself as having, "The Best Tacos in Hollywood!" They are very good.

You may stand in line with someone from a movie company on one side of you and a homeless person on the other. Everyone seems to agree that the food here is good.

I saw the owner one day and said, "I would like to buy one of you Cactus Taco tee-shirts." He replied, we don't sell our tee-shirts." I told him that I would like one to wear back in Atlanta while contra dancing. He then told me that he had a son going to school in Georgia and he agreed to sell me a Cactus Taqueria tee shirt.

Now, my dancing friends in Atlanta know the story behind my tee shirt.


The majestic old lady, Queen Mary, is spending a fitting retirement in Long Beach Harbor serving as a hotel and restaurants.

Queen Mary Heritage Foundation


Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach, California is the birthplace of beach volleyball. On our day of exploring after visiting the Disney Center and Queen Mary, we were now on the beach at the time of a semi-pro tournament.

Got some action shots during the tournament.

Is that a block or a catch? Or, did it go through his hands?

That's part of the fun of volleyball.


Bear Mountain is snowcapped for many months in the year. It is located in Los Angeles County so you can theoretically snow sky and surf in the same day.

Korean Bell of Peace Pavilion

This beautiful memorial to Peace and Gratitude is located in Angel's Park in San Pedro, south of LA.

Serra Retreat, Malibu, California.

This is a special place of higher learning for us.


During the week, the Franciscan Friars stay upstairs in their studies and duties while we study downstairs and walk the magnificent grounds while learning, experiencing and expressing gratitude.

The reason we were here was because of my mentor, teacher, partner and guide, Dr. John Thie, author and innovator of Touch for Health.

Spending these special times together at Serra will always be at the height of my memories.


John really challenged us to think and ponder.

While exploring in LA back in 2002, someone suggested that we visit The Getty, a newly renovated art museum located in Brentwood.

The 'spindly' legs really add to the drama of this scene when you realize you are in the heart of earthquake country.


Visiting The Getty so near its grand opening was fun and memorable. I remember the building and its location more than I remember the art inside.


We visited Sourthern California in one of its greatest rainfalls (unitl this year) and saw landslides in many places along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway/US 101).

The hill just beside this brave house just slid down the mountainside.


After visiting the Santa Ynez Valley to see family, we headed back down the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Barbara. The rain was coming down very hard and we were told there were three ways out from Santa Ynez and two of them were closed.

As we headed back to Malibu, we passed through Ventura about an hour before the hillside gave way in La Conchita as shown in this LA Times story.

We knew that we were in a heavy storm, but we did not realize the magnitude until we reached Oxnard to get back onto the PCH and saw that the exit was closed.

As we took the next exit, we went through the farmlands of Oxnard and saw the water rapidly rising and the roads began to flood. We turned around but the roads were being closed behind us.

We watched the water begin to rise and I could see the glow of lights from Oxnard in the distance and floored it as we splashed through the rising water.

We made it back to I-5 and I saw a California Highway Patrolman (CHP) parked on the shoulder. I asked him how to get back to the PCH? He said that most of the canyons were closed or closing and could not tell me which road to take.


Topanga Canyon was one of our options but we went farther south towards LA before cutting through. I don't remember which canyon we went through, but I saw this photo the next morning from Topanga Canyon in USA Today!

Glad we didn't go through Topanga that night!


Fred O'Dell, movie star behind the scenes. He was a 'Wrangler', and taught the movie stars how to ride horses and how to guide a team of horses.

He was also responsible for caring for the horses as they were also stars in the movies. Fred worked in the industry for a long time and is listed in the credits of the movies, Heaven's Gate, Tom Horn and Comes a Horseman.

In the photo to the left, Fred is teaching Tom "Butch" Berringer, how to guide a team of horses.

Upon the death of my dear oldest sister, Annetta, Fred was gracious to house my brother, a nephew and myself in the bunkhouse of the ranch on which he was the foreman. Thank you, Fred, for your warm hospitality.

The ranch is owned by Terry Hughes, director of Golden Girls. Thank you, also, to Terry Hughes.


The Hollywood Farmer's Market was not too far from where we would stay in Hollywood.

Food as nutrition and art.

Traditional Chinese herb formulas being prepared in Chinatown.

The Los Angeles Library.

In an earlier visit, I had missed the turn from Pasadena to Hollywood and ended up downtown LA . While re-orienting and turning around, I saw a beautiful stairway lit up with lights and a cascading stream flowing down in the middle of it.

After visiting the Disney Center, I wanted to find those stairs again.


We went walking around the corner from the LA Library in a deserted city in the summer and suddenly saw a NYC taxi driver bundled up while we were in shorts and slaps.

A security guard said, "Go ahead. You can walk on through."

So we did and I took a couple of photos as we walked along.

A guy came up beside us and said, "You know better than that. We are in a live scene."

As we discovered after walking through the filming, it was filming of "Heroes", a story about humans with suprhuman powers working to save the world.

Here's a link to a site we did about the experience...


After walking through the Heroes filming, we went around the corner and I saw the stairs. I wondered, "What is up there?"

A local told us that this is Bunker Hill and is these stairs are known by the runners as "Caridac Hill".

After seeing these stairs so many years before and wondering was at the top, I finally had the opportunity to find out what was at the top of these stairs.


It is quite dramatic coming up to the top and seeing this. Was it a climax of our Southern California adventures?

I felt like it was a high but there was more.


What's at the top of these stairs?

A beautiful tree.


 

MIND, BODY and SPIRIT

 

Right at the top are these three dancing women.

Off to the side is a marker that reads...

Gidon Graetz, Florence 1986

In memory of Los Angeles Pioneers

James H. Adams, 1856-1921

Morgan Adams, 1886-1951

King Vidor, 1894-1982

 

If you have read this to the end, you know more about Los Angeles than many that live there.

What's at top of the stairs?

MIND, BODY and SPIRIT dancing


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