22 August 2012

Back From a Great Time in the LA Area

While on vacation in the Los Angeles area last week, I visited the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica last Thursday afternoon (16 August). It was a recently-opened museum and had some nice exhibits relating to aviation in Southern California and particularly on Douglas Aircraft, which was based in Santa Monica. I was photographed by a museum volunteer in the captain's seat of a Boeing 727 nose section at the museum. It was a fine time and I did some shopping in the museum's gift shop.

I had jogged with Doug early that morning, but we decided not to jog again the next day (17 Aug.) to give our tired muscles some rest. I did walk from Doug and Helen's apartment to the third Avenue Promenade and back, a round trip of about 2.5 miles (4 km). After lunch Friday (another fine one Helen prepared), I drove to the Pacific Battleship Center in San Pedro to visit the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61), which opened for tours just over a month ago. I was impressed by the ship--a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War--while touring it. They had the main deck and some internal spaces open for visiting (including the captain's quarters, bridge, and midships crew mess area), with other spaces to open in the coming months. I had a fine time there.

After visiting IOWA, I drove to La Palma to attend the monthly meeting of the International Plastic Modelers' Society Orange County Chapter (IPMS/Orange County). It was held in a meeting room of the LaQuinta Hotel and Suites there. I was very impressed by this group; there were about 40 people present, with a monthly model contest and three demo programs one could watch. The 20-minute demos were arranged so one could see all three presentations, which I did and found very helpful. I introduced myself at the meeting and gave my regards on behalf of IPMS/Gateway and IPMS/St. Louis. The IPMS/Orange County president asked me to pass their regards to the chapters I belong in. I also chatted with several members, including one who I've been in touch with online for some time.

Doug, Helen, and I went Hollywood on Saturday (18 Aug.), as we toured Beverly Hills and Hollywood by car. Going up into the Hollywood Hills, I have my photo taken by the iconic HOLLYWOOD sign. We also toured Hollywood Boulevard, including Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian theaters, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hotel Roosevelt (site of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929), and the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theatre, the current Academy Awards ceremony venue.

That night, while Doug and Helen took in a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, I drove to Sherman Oaks for dinner with my friend Sara Roverino, her husband Gary and their two young sons. It was great catching up with Sara (sister of my friend Beth McSpadden) and meeting the men in her life. A fine time was had by all.

Before departing for St. Louis last Sunday late afternoon (19 Aug.), I had lunch in Santa Monica with my friend from SLU, John Burnes. We caught up on things happening in our lives and had a wonderful conversation and meal. Doug took me to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where I caught the American Airlines flight to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL), where I arrived at about 10 pm, Central Time. There, Mom picked me up and took me home. On the flight I read more on my computer the e-book "Let's Get Trollied (The Return Legs)" by Liz & Julie.

Last night (21 Aug.), I opened the fellow ship hall at Calvary for the monthly IPMS/Gateway meeting. I gave a brief recap of my vacation to the attendees, and passed on IPMS/Orange County's greetings for IPMS/Gateway. We had a judges' seminar in advance of our Invitational on 8 Sept., showing attendees what contest judges look for in the entries. For me, that was a good refresher for the judging I'll do at our show.

I'm off refereeing girls' soccer tonight.