Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Big Chill - 21st Century

Some of my friends decided they wanted to spend their birthday with good friends by renting a house in Sonoma for a long weekend. So here we are, eight of us, renting this beautiful house in wine country. We all arrived late yesterday and we have a private wine tour scheduled for today. After introductions, a few cocktails and a very late dinner it was time to call it a night.

Ahhhh, a full night’s sleep. I can’t remember the last time I actually slept several hours in a row without waking up! The Traveling Hillbilly must admit it was nice to wake up in such a calm and peaceful place. It was time to put on the running shoes, grab the ipod and go exploring. There’s nothing like being on the road in the early morning hours when all is still quiet. A few good tunes, make it even better. It truly is one of the best ways to clear your head.

I think it’s going to be a great weekend. As someone said last night, it’s kind of like the movie, The Big Chill. Except we are here for a celebration. We’ll see if that holds true as the weekend progresses.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Amazing Morning in New York

What better way to play tourist in New York than to stop by the Plaza to watch the Today Show being taped? So despite getting no sleep on the red eye flight out and going all day yesterday, we decided to get up at 6:15am this morning to and take a taxi over to the plaza. Given it's a Friday, there was also a concert on the plaza today. We were treated to a concert by Enrique Iglesias. What energy he brought to the plaza. Women everywhere were screaming and we know of at least one person that passed out! The Traveling Hillbilly has to say he put on a great show. We got to see him, Pit Bull, Meredith, Al, Ann and of course Matt up close. After the show, we headed across the street and went to "The Top of the Rock." While the view is amazing from up there, it was a bit of a hazy day so not as nice as I'm sure it can be. All in all a great start to a Friday morning.

Did I mention it was 85+ Degrees Today?

After an amazing start to the morning, my friend and I decided to head out to Central Park. We started to walk through the park when my friend suggested we rent some bikes. Thinking it was a great idea, I readily agreed. While it wasn't cheap, it was not as expensive as I expected. We hopped on the bikes and began our ride. What a beautiful place Central Park is. Here you are in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city, surrounded by skyscrapers but you don't even notice it. It's such a green, calm and beautiful place you feel like you've truly escaped any hassles of the city. There are trees, green lawns, rocks, lakes and baseball fields. It really is an amazing place. People gather to read, relax, nap, play, work out and sunbathe. Every city needs a park like this. After an hour or so, We stopped for a nice ice cream treat. We sat on the Great Lawn and watched a softball while we ate our ice cream. Unfortunately, after just a few bites, my Good Humor Chocolate Eclair treat, split in half and fell off the stick onto the grass. Bummer! All in all a nice ride, except for the heat! Did I mention it was over 85 degrees today? Maybe an evening ride around the park would have been an even better idea!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Night at the Cemetary

We all like to look for fun, new and interesting things to do in our own backyard. So in the spirit of "not letting the summer fly by" my friend and I decided to try some new things over the 4th of July weekend. Well in Los Angeles during the summer they show movies at the cemetery in Hollywood on Saturday nights. I heard about this last summer and really wanted to go, but never made it. So my friend and I decided this was the weekend to go. What a very cool experience. You can bring food and beer/wine to enjoy while you watch the film. They project the screen on to Valentino's crypt and it's basically thousands of people picnicking in the cemetery while watching a movie. Pretty dang cool! This evening's movie was Easy Rider, in tribute to Dennis Hopper. I have to admit, it was not exactly my kind of film. However, I can appreciate seeing greats like Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda. The saddest part is that kind of intolerance still exists today in so many places in this country and around the world! All in all, a great experience. The Traveling Hillbilly highly recommends. Upcoming films this month include, Saturday Night Fever and Airplane! For more details/directions check it out at A few tips, get there early. The movie doesn't start until 9pm, but there was already a huge line to get in before 7:30pm.