We wake early again, but not as early as 4am like the previous nights. The long power-park days are taking their toll!
We check out of the Disneyland Hotel (Goodbye! Goodbye!!) and jump in the car, headed towards Glendale to visit Forest Lawn Memorial Park. We’re on a mission to pay respects to Walter Elias Disney.
Arriving at the cemetery, we ask the security guard at the front gate if he can direct us to Disney’s grave.
“Sorry, out of respect for the families, I can’t.” he deadpans.
SharkBoy’s face becomes a study in dejection and horror – he hadn’t reviewed the internet enough to remember where the site was exactly. Thankfully I had reviewed a site before leaving the warm embrace of the hotel’s WiFi and had a vague idea where it was. Enough to give it a try. The guard tells us we are allowed to visit through the cemetery and we turn to go back to the car to try to decide what to do next.
“I can give you a map,” offers the guard.
We take it.
After a hilly drive through the warrens and trails that run through the Park, we find a perfect replica of Michelangelo’s David. Seriously. Only in LA, I guess. In fact all of the artwork and statuary in the park were amazing. I could have spent the day just looking at the statues.
After a while we come across a building I remember from findagrave.com (seriously) explaining that Disney is buried somewhere on the side of an entrance to this building that is surrounded with garden walls, juts and secret gardens. We get out of the car and start looking around. The morning fog was still sticking to the hills and the air was chilled. We found it after a good 30 min hunting around the complex building. SharkBoy took pictures and I stood and said my silent thanks. We both wiped a tear away from our cheeks as we climbed back into the car. Weird how that can happen.
Onward to our next destination: the carrousel where Disney watched his grandchildren play while he dreamed up Disneyland.
We got lost. It really wasn’t our fault, the street we had to turn up was closed to traffic and trying to find an alternative route turned out to be difficult. We gave up on that when we realized we were super close to the Observatory. We head there instead.
I thought it weird there was a bust of James Dean at Griffith Observatory just because of Rebel Without a Cause. Why not have a bust of Mark Hamill at Redwood forest? Shrug. The view was stupendous and we snagged a shitload of great city pics.
Then we hit downtown for a succession of tourist stops that included The Bradbury Building (where Roy Batty’s apartment was filmed for Blade Runner), City Hall, the LAPD headquarters – which you can go up to the top observatory if you agree to a pat down – yay! As well as the canal where Grease was filmed, and to top it all off, Disney Concert Hall for some outside shots. Our cameras cried with exhaustion.
We head over to our flea bag hotel for the night. The Beverly Lauren Motor Inn has certainly seen better days. We looked at the carpet in our room and speculated that the patches were created to cover up the bullet holes and blood stains. God help anyone who sprays the place with Luminol.
Later that night we met up with David Cobb and his boyfriend. Awesome chatty guys with a kinetic energy that was infectious. I wish we could have spend much, much more time with them. We had a typical tourist dinner at Hamburger Marys and they treated us to ice cream in a hole-in-the-wall place somewhere super east of where we were. Meaning: I had no clue where we were. David drove like a mad man through the streets of LA in his convertible Mini Cooper. The ice cream was delicious, regardless.
The dropped us off at a bar where a couple post-Ru Paul Drag Race celebrities were performing and after seeing one number from Chad Michaels we were beat. Back home to the Beverly where I dreamt of drug busts gone wrong and failed illicit trysts. Or maybe that actually happened in the room next to us. Too tired to tell.