On the day before we were scheduled to fly out of Vegas, Ariel & I rented a car and drove to LA for a day.
The decision to go to LA was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I think I had previously mentioned that we booked our Vegas trip about 6 months in advance. However, I was on twitter one afternoon, about two weeks before we were scheduled to leave, and I found out that the cast of Parks & Recreation was doing a Paleyfest panel in LA on March 18th. If you know me at all, you know that Parks & Rec is my favorite show. At first I thought ” oh, wouldn’t that be cool to see that!” but I didn’t really think it was doable. I sent the tweet to Ariel, and to my surprise she responded by saying ” Well, why don’t we go?”
And that’s why I love her so much.
That night was spent scrambling to find out if we could actually do it. It was the day before we were supposed to fly out. We tried to find a flight into and out of LAX that would work with our schedule, but it was all cutting it too close for comfort. Then we thought of a rental car. Was Ariel nervous about driving a rented car in a completely foreign place, known for it’s terrible traffic? Yep. Did I have any doubts she could do it ? Nope.
The next morning I bought our Paleyfest tickets, we booked our rental car, and that was that! I’m pretty sure I had mentioned in previous posts how excited I was to go, but i’ll reiterate it here 😉 Most people ( ie: parents) we told thought we were absolutely insane for doing what we were doing, which was frustrating, but we were beyond excited to add something on to our adventure.
We got up at 7am on the morning we were to drive there, took a $30 cab ride to the airport rental car centre, picked up our car, and we driving out of vegas by 8:30am! We initally had some problems with the GPS battery, which lead to some explicit words directed at that stupid piece of technology, but we got it sorted out. It was about a 4.5hour drive from Vegas to LA. The scenery was so different than what we are used to on road trips; just mountains, desert, and brush for miles and miles. The traffic in LA turned out to not be bad at all, but I will say that the people there are insane drivers. As in, speed limits don’t exist, and what is it with you people and swerving in and out of traffic?! Cray.
We got to LA around one, parked in the Dolby theatre underground parking, and went out to explore. The Parks & Rec panel was going to be held at the Dolby Theatre at 7pm, so we decided to just park the car and kill the time by exploring Hollywood Blvd & the Dolby. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but I think I was kind of in disbelief most of the time. I will say that Hollywood Blvd is probably the most tourist-y area in all of LA, so the crowds of people and people wanting to sell you all kinds of shit was kind of annoying. We walked the whole length of the Walk of Fame, found a hole in the wall place to eat lunch, found an awesome froyo place, explored the theatre, saw the Hollywood sign, and just sat in the sun and just enjoyed the fact that we made it there.
When 7pm rolled around, we made our way into the theatre with the rest of the sold out theatre. Cool fact: the panel was held in the same theatre as The Oscars. In fact, when Billy Eichner ( Billy on The Street anybody?!) came out on stage he said (screamed)
“I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM ON THE SAME STAGE THAT JOHN TRAVOLTA SAID ADELE DAZEEM”
It was hilarious.
And I was practically bouncing with excitement at this point haha. The panel moderator for the evening, Patton Oswalt, came out and gave a welcome & introduction, and then we got to see the new episode that was to air that Thursday. I gotta say, there is no better way to watch your favorite show than with 1000 other people who love it as much as you do.
After the episode screening, the cast was introduced and made their way out to the stage. It was kind of a moment of ” Wow, these are actual real human beings, that actually exist outside of my television screen.” And, yeah, being in the same room as your life hero is pretty cool as well.
The panel definitely exceeded my expectations. They discussed mostly characters and how they were developed, funny moments from set, and the development of storylines. The audience got to ask questions at the end. The entire cast was hilarious, I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire time. Amy & Retta were drinking wine, which made them even funnier. My one regret is that I didn’t record Amy’s laugh. She has the best laugh I’ve ever heard, and it can only be described as a warm cackle that you can’t help but laugh at.
Below is my absolute favorite photo from the entire night. I can’t remember why they were all standing up but Ariel got this photo right after Amy made a jerk off motion ( classy as SHIT), is sticking her tongue out and giving the middle finger.
The panel lasted about two hours, and then were on our way back to Vegas by 10pm. We picked up much needed iced coffees & junk food ( road trip necessities, obvs) and then spent the next four hours just talking about everything we got to do. I know I said that The Grand Canyon tied with LA as my favorite part, but after typing this post & going through these photos…LA beats it. Driving back to Vegas with my best friend after the panel was the happiest I had been in a long time. I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to visit LA.
And that was our day trip! I think we got back to our hotel around 2:30 am, and then got up at 6am to get ready for our flight back home. It was a crazy, tiring, hazy couple of days, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!