All posts by Hobie

A Hell of a Weekend

We partied like we were 25, and damn, it was fun, but utterly exhausting.  I highly recommend doing this maybe once or twice a year.  Then go back to normal regular weekends.  🙂

Up first, we were invited to longtime friend Ken Basin’s wedding up at Saddlerock Ranch in the Malibu mountains.  Many of my good friends were also attending as obviously Mila is going to be at her brother’s wedding, as well as many others that I love.  We knew it would be a boozy affair, so we Uber’d there (and let’s just say, Uber drivers can be very good or very bad….), got promptly lost (Uber driver not so great today) as we got dropped off at the wrong location within the complex, and started walking around based on vague directions from staff who have no idea where weddings are held on the premises.  The pictures here are of that random walk, which happily ended when a car driven by some other guests had the unlucky happenstance of going where we were – but lucky for us.  We all found our way to the right place and we managed to get to seats just shortly before the ceremony began.  D’oh!

The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful.  The weather couldn’t have been better, what with it being mid-October.  But it’s of course been a ridiculously hot week for us with temps in the 100s this week, so our trend of having very late LA summers continues on.  Anyway, that wasn’t quite the case on Saturday, so it was great.

Highly recommend, if you can afford to, a wedding here.  Beautiful vistas, gorgeous lighting in the trees, good food, and just a spectacular venue.  It being a Jewish wedding, there was of course the hora to dance to, and of course, I did.  I also managed to roll my ankle at the very end of the dance as it was a packed dance floor with 300 guests, a hardwood dance floor that I managed to find the end of with my right foot and landed poorly.  Happily, it’s just rolled/sprained and not worse, because as of today, it’s mostly back to normal.

Lots to drink, lots of dancing with close friends and loved ones, some good food (not enough to keep me from getting hammered), and a great party all led to us not getting home until 1 in the morning.  LOOK OUT YOUNG FOLK!

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 – Ken & Lisa’s Wedding @ Saddlerock Ranch

We were primed to be hurting on Sunday, and while it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been (I’ve been WAY HUNGOVER before, believe me – this past Sunday was nothing like that), it was certainly one of those days that could have been spent sleeping in a lot more and then do something lazy.  But we had more plans today, as we were going to celebrate Mom’s birthday with a lunch and then follow that up with a birthday celebration for Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake.

We got ourselves ready to go and off we went to Arcadia’s Westfield shopping center, which looks so freakin’ different than the Santa Anita Fashion Show mall I grew up with and had my first B Dalton Booksellers job at.  Unrecognizable.  Anyway, there’s a Cheesecake Factory there now so we met up with Mom, Stacie, and Trent for a good lunch.  As much as I can sometimes look down on Cheesecake Factory for being ‘just a’ chain restaurant, they are always packed for a reason:  the food is pretty damn good and it’s not a bad price.  It was a nice lunch though catching up with everyone and slowly but surely feeling like a human again.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 – Birthday Lunch w/ Mom

Larry & I then had to figure out just what we were up for in terms of the Silver Lake birthday fun.  We were both exhausted and the idea of wine at the time didn’t sound appealing, nor did the follow-up oysters restaurant.  But there wasn’t an option of not going, so we stopped at home first to take a sanity break, and then it was time to call an Uber to take us to Silver Lake.  God bless Uber – it makes going places where the parking is horrible not so awful.  The flip side is that the hesitancy to drink evaporates as there’s no reason to be cautious.  So while we didn’t just decide to get blitzed, we certainly did have rosé while having a freakin’ blast at Silver Lake Wines.  It’s a fun place as while it is a wine store, you can also have them open the wines and serve it to you while hanging out.  And so yeah, we did that.  A few hours later, we all then went over to L&E Oyster Bar for some follow-up food.  I passed on oysters as ew, gross, but they did have cheese plates and bread and that was delicious.  It wasn’t enough for dinner though, and by around 7pm, I was starting to need more.  So with Carey, Rekha, and Megan, we left the group and headed just a bit further south to Silver Lake Ramen, which OMG is so good.  We had to wait for about an hour though, and happily a bar is next door, The Thirsty Crow, so yeah, more alcohol.  Dude, we were rockstars this weekend.  No idea how we made it through it, although Monday admittedly was a rough day to wake up to!

Birthday Wine with Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake

And that was our weekend.  I’ve been remiss in showing the many pictures from our exciting other weekends…so I will endeavor to do that as well.  Let’s see if I’m more successful this time than every other time I say that!

Tickets for Last Jedi? Check!

It took a few tries, and finally yet again got them via the MovieTickets app on my iPhone, but here we are, with tickets to see the next Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, at the AMC Universal City IMAX.  Hells yeah!  And here’s a trailer that shows a lot more new footage that may be revealing a lot….or not.

The Final Frontier & Other Seattle Fun our last day

Ha, I’m the worst at staying on top of posting these pictures.  That Twin Peaks post documenting the previous day’s amazing activities wiped me out!  Anyway, 2 weeks or so later, here we are and haven’t even touched the Vancouver stuff yet.   Let’s do this!

Morning Wandering

This morning, we had a great breakfast at Biscuit Bitch and then a stroll along the Pike Place area, checking out the Pike Place fish market.  Not much to see this morning, as only some squid was getting thrown around.   Then we took a walk over to the original Starbucks location – didn’t buy any coffee as I’ve had Starbucks coffee plenty of times and there’s no need to wait even longer than normal for it.

Monorail Madness 2: Monorail Harder

Now that it was a weekday (this was Wednesday, Sept 6, for reference), there really weren’t that many people as before out and about doing touristy Seattle things.  Made for a much less crowded experience everywhere!  And so this time on the monorail, we were able to get a seat right up at the front of the train, next to the driver.   Living the sweet life, we are.

 

The Seattle Museum of Pop Culture

If there is a museum that is more suited for either Larry or me and the things we truly love, it will be hard to tell me what or where that is.  As this museum is just amazing:  it’s got a Frank Gehry-designed exterior, the interior is wild and eye-catching, there’s a giant cinema screen in the middle highlighting all the exhibits in an awesome way, and of course the exhibits themselves are just a blast.  We went through many of them, but our prime directive for coming to the museum?  The 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

The exhibit for Star Trek contained more than enough to satisfy most Trekkies’ needs.  Models of every Enterprise ship?  Check.  Costumes and props for EVERY series?  Check.  Videos and Trek history everywhere?  Check.   It was incredible.  I loved the Star Trek timeline that tied together every show, even the JJ Abrams alternate universe.  Just amazing.  And the fact is that the exhibit is done with style too – see the pics below.  Larry was in heaven, and it was interesting for anyone, honestly.

There were a few interactive portions in the exhibit, one of which is being able to put your face on top of William Shatner’s in the iconic “KHAAAAAANNNNN” scream from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  See below:

So here are all my pics from the Star Trek exhibit…

Other Exhibits at the MoPOP were also not to be missed, including:

  • Jim Henson Exhibition
  • Bowie by Mick Rock
  • Infinite World of Science Fiction (as seen in the last 2 pics above)
  • Indie Game Revolution

As you’ll see below, these were all a blast.  The Jim Henson Exhibition notably was magical to visit, as not only did you see plenty of stuff about the Muppets (which was ahMAZing), but the stuff that Jim Henson did before the Muppets as well as after.  I loved that you could stand in the Muppet Show’s iconic opening structure!

The MoPOP museum is right smack dab in that whole touristy central area, so we were able to go to the Armory to grab a quick bite before deciding what to do next.  After yesterday’s adventures, not having a plan was a bit of a nice thing.  We saw the ‘Ducks’ office right across the street and it was like, hey, why not just sit in an amphibious vehicle and drive around Seattle and then Lake Union?  And so we did.

The Land Portion of the Ducks Tour

We got driven all over the main downtown area of Seattle, and for the most part, it was stuff we’d had a chance to see ourselves.  It was just nice to not be walking or doing anything  except go along for the ride.  Also, the tour guides are funny and charming, and you listen to fun music while you’re zooming around town.  Highly recommended way to do this!

And then we went into the water of Lake Union, a small lake right north of Seattle and sandwiched between Lake Washington and the main Puget Sound:

Pictures in Lake Union:

After that, it was time to start wrapping up the day, so we did that by going to a fantastic restaurant, Von’s 1000 Spirits, for a delicious dinner and some beers.   And then back to the hotel to pack up as we had a decently early start the next morning to get to the train station and make our way north to Canada!

Not YOUUUUU Bitch!

The Emmys were on last night and the amazing FX mini-series, Feud:  Bette & Joan, pretty much got shut out from winning any awards.  It’s too bad, but there was some pretty fierce competition.  Anyway, I got to thinking about one of the funniest scenes from early in the series, when Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) have one of their many arguments – and Joan Crawford storms away mocking Bette Davis’ regret at not winning the 1950 Best Actress Oscar for All About Eve:

It’s hard to believe that both Bette Davis for All About Eve AND Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard lost that year.  HOW????

Anyway, I’ll get back to posting pics from the many vacations we’ve taken over the last year – think I’ll still have to go in reverse chronological order as I’d like to finish ONE of these trips!

Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

There’s no other way to put it:  this was one of the best days of my life.

Cooper and Carrie (Laura) confused by what they’re looking at

I’ve posted very little over the last few months due to work and indifference, but the few posts I’ve done have largely involved Twin Peaks.   The 3rd Season, aka The Return, wrapped up its season on Sunday, Sept 3, and it’s very likely that is the end of the series too.  I can live with that and spend time reading all the many, many articles trying to decipher what the hell just happened with “Laura” screaming out the lights in and outside the Palmer House with a confused Cooper looking on.  I’ve been a fan since 1990 and as I got older, I wanted more and more to visit Seattle to go see all these iconic places for myself.  Finally, this dream came true as we came up to Seattle and I staked out one of the days as a Twin Peaks day.  And oh lordy, this day exceeded any and all of my expectations.

For some of my Twin Peaks bonafides on this here site, I present some of my posts:

Twin Peaks: Up Close and Personal

Also, lots of other Twin Peaks-related stuff at this tagged collection:

http://www.hobiebarnes.com/?tag=twin-peaks

And to make it easier since this post is looooong, I’ve created some links to be able to jump ahead to the major section headings:

Twin Peaks Locations:

 

You can’t go on a Twin Peaks adventure and not start it off with doughnuts.  Larry’s boss had recommended an outstanding place, Top Pot Doughnuts, that we could walk to in the morning before picking up the rental car.  It was a very cool space in and of itself (Barack Obama also had visited there) and the doughnuts were delicious!

Top Pot Doughnuts

We obviously had not driven from Los Angeles to Seattle for this trip, as that is a vacation all on its own, and while I had pondered if taking an Uber all around would make sense, I ended up realizing that was a terrible idea.  So for $48, I rented a car for the day from Enterprise.  And while I was expecting something like a Nissan or Chevy mid-size somethin’-or-other, and was disappointed when the initial check-in guy hadn’t offered any potential upgrade, when we got up to the level in parking lot where you pick up your car, the clerk there took a look around and asked if we wanted the silver Cadillac!  For a second I was like, I don’t wanna have to deal with driving that big ol’ thing, but then I immediately reconsidered and was like, HELLS YEAH.  Gimme that Caddy!

The driving that day was done in style, my friends.  And throughout the day, what with the very smooth ride and the many electronic features throughout the interior including CarPlay, I’m not exactly ruling out a similar Cadillac in the future when it comes times to think about getting a new car.  It was that good.

You can see that the Snoqualmie / North Bend area isn’t all that far from Seattle – just about 30 miles or so.  Off we went on the I-90 to destiny.  But as you’ll notice in these pictures, already the air and sky this day was much different than yesterday, as the smoke from the fires was much more present.   Wasn’t gonna let that stop me from having my day though, that’s for damn sure.

Driving to Snoqualmie

The only first point I ever considered on this adventure was the Great Northern and the accompanying waterfall.  No other destination was more iconic, and likely easy to find and get to.

I’ve made lots of previous plans in my head about what things I’d have to see when doing this trip.   I’d found a few great online resources that had mapped out quite a few of the locations from the original 2 seasons along with Fire Walk With Me, and those in Washington state are some of the most iconic ones.  Not surprisingly, a lot of what posed as Washington was in good ol’ Southern California, including a few places in Monrovia, CA.  I’m heartbroken though as just now I was planning to link to this site, http://www.intwinpeaks.com/, as it’s by far the most comprehensive collection of filming locations and I get a ‘no website found’ error!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooo!  Well, maybe it’ll come back and it’s a server error?  Anyway, going to the Snoqualmie Falls was always the first place I wanted to go…..and so we pointed our Google maps to the Snoqualmie Lower Falls area, as we were ready to do some hiking.

As we approached the destination, we traveled Railroad Ave over the river and you could look to the left and see where the river “ended” as it went over the falls, which made me realize HOLY SHIT the Great Northern Hotel is gotta be coming up on the left, and sure enough, we drove by the Salish Lodge (aka the Great Northern Hotel)…but didn’t stop.  Like I said, we were gonna work our way back up to it, so we kept going on down to the turnoff for the Snoqualmie Lower Falls park area.

You’ll see in the pictures, but it’s just gorgeous here.  The trees and the river are beautiful nature all over you, even with a sun that was shrouded in smoke and seemed little more than an orange fuzzy ball.  We were HERE.  At the Lower Falls park area, you can hike along the river on a boardwalk to an area near the bottom of the falls, giving you a beautiful perspective of Snoqualmie Falls from the bottom.  You’re not all that close though, and I had seen previous pictures where people were standing on river rocks and were much closer to the Falls.  I think that’s frowned upon now.

Snoqualmie Lower Falls

Again, no “Twin Peaks” filter was used to get this yellowy tint on the photos.  That’s courtesy of the fire and haze in the air around us.  In Snoqualmie, the main impact was the color of the sky, as the temperature really wasn’t all that bad.  Once we went to North Bend though, the temperature skyrocketed and the smell of smoke was awful.  But I jump ahead.

After soaking in this view of the falls, we then backtracked and then took the other path available to us, which was to hike up the hill to Snoqualmie Upper Falls.  This was a hell of a hike.  It’s only about 1/2 mile, but pretty much it’s all uphill.  With the smoky air I’m sure that made it more difficult than normal, but also, it was just a steep climb!  A beautiful steep climb to be sure, as it was a path through the gorgeous trees.  Lots of markers were there to indicate what you were looking at, and it was easy to imagine David Lynch using this area as scenery for establishing shots of the deep, dark woods.  After a sweatier-than-hoped for climb up the hill, we started seeing yellow poles, and it was clear our hike up was close to an end.

Sure enough, it was concrete walkways and wooden rails and the sounds of waterfalls….and then we rounded a turn and HOLY SHIT IT IS THE FUCKING TWIN PEAKS CREDITS PERSPECTIVE OF THE GREAT NORTHERN AND THE WATERFALL! I can die now.  I couldn’t stop taking pictures, and they’re really not all that different from each other.  I. Don’t. Care.  It was my moment and I was going to capture it.  I even took a damn video mimicking the credits pan to the bottom of the falls.  This is Twin Peaks.  I was here.  I’ve made it.

Hiking Up The Hill

The Snoqualmie Falls & The Great Northern Hotel Next to it

And yeah….here the hell we were. This is the view.
Wanted a pano with the bottom of the falls included

I eventually was okay with tearing myself away from this experience.  Larry knew better than to try to rush me.  I did want to keep seeing stuff though, so we trekked a bit further up the hill to take a look at the Salish Lodge / Great Northern itself.

The exteriors of the Great Northern were obviously from what is now the Salish Lodge, but the heavily-Native American and wood-paneling interiors are from different locations and stages entirely.  So going inside, you won’t be seeing things like this:

It’s a bit more contemporary and not nearly as dramatic looking as what was in the series.  We didn’t spend all that much time in there, as it is a hotel, but there was a gift shop and oh man it was a treasure trove.  First:

This was the motherlode of usefulness for the rest of the day.  It basically points out where all the other nearby, relevant sites are, with addresses on the back!  That was funny actually as I was showing this to Larry and he’s like, great, but we need addresses for the GPS…and then I turn it to the back cover and voila!  I’m not going to scan this as I’m leery of giving away copyrighted material, but the inside can be seen in these pictures below…along with my other treasure – a Room 315 Great Northern Hotel keychain!  Yep, I can now apparently enter the Black Lodge / White Lodge / Odessa based on the last episode of the Return!  Yay, me!

The friendly clerk in the gift shop was happy to indulge my questions and she told us that we were lucky as these were selling out like crazy and it’s hard to keep them in stock as the manufacturer has difficulty getting the particular plastic needed for these kind of tags.  So yeah, totes lucky.  Got some other stuff there too, including a Thanks for Visiting the Great Northern magnet, a pad of Great Northern Hotel paper, and much needed water after our hike!

The Salish Lodge / Great Northern & the Goodies Within

Larry had been interested in crossing the bridge, but I pointed out it just goes to the parking lot across the highway.  But it did provide a nice shot of seeing the interior driveway circle that is the entrance to the hotel.

With the Twin Peaks Driving Map in hand, we could now see a few more things that I hadn’t really even expected to see, and happily, they were all kind of nearby and relatively easy to travel in a line for.  But first, we had to hike back to the car!

The Giant Log

The nearest next thing was the Giant Log – you only see it occasionally in the show, usually if the episode would air the ‘long’ credits.  I think it would also show up in various scene changer clips too, but hey, it was here, so we drove to the nearby Snoqualmie town center to see it, although it was kind of hard to miss (surprisingly) as it’s all covered with a roof now!

This is how the Giant Log looks in the Twin Peaks credit sequence

And here’s what it looks like when you go see it for yourself in Snoqualmie:

Ronette Pulaski’s Bridge

On the original series, the murder of Laura Palmer is the main driver, but there was an additional victim who didn’t die: Ronette Pulaski.  She manages to stumble away from the scene of the crime and eventually falls into a coma for most of the show, notably waking up to pinpoint that BOB was the one who assaulted her and then at the end of Season 2 to verify that the smell of scorched engine oil was present during the assault.  Poor Ronette looked like this trying to find some kind of help:

And happily the bridge itself is still present but it’s no longer got train tracks running across it.  In fact, the part of the bridge that would have gone over the road you drive to get here is gone and is capped off with a staircase to get up to the bridge.  It actually looks like a nice long bike or running trail starts at the bridge.  So that’s nice.  Although there is still an isolated creepy factor to this bridge.  I wouldn’t want to be here at night.

The Twin Peaks Sheriff Station / DirtFish

Right around the corner from the Ronette Pulaski Bridge is the location for the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station.  As you come down the hill, it’s unmistakable that you’re seeing the back of the building as the windows around it are very telling and familiar.  The colors of the building, mind you, are quite a bit different from the scheme used by the Sheriff’s Dept, but that’s because it isn’t a sheriff’s station at all.  It’s now the home of DirtFish, a rally car racing school.  There’s no way to disguise the fact that it is the same building though, even with different colors.

As we pulled in to park, it was impossible to miss the fact that a Twin Peaks Sheriff Ford Bronco was parked there for anyone to look at and take pictures with.  It was amazing.  We meandered around, taking pictures of the Bronco and the exterior of the building as with this being a business, it’s probably not too keen on visitors.  But then, I reread one of the notices in the Bronco’s windshield:  they were quite okay if you wanted to go inside and look at the lobby and take pictures.  SAY NO MORE.  I admit to still being nervous but I entered and made sure the woman up front knew I was totally a nerd and just wanted to see the Twin Peaks stuff…and she ended up being AMAZING.  Not only could we take pictures, but she asked if we wanted to sit at Lucy’s desk.  UM, YES!?  So yeah, we sat at Lucy’s desk.  And DirtFish kept a ton of the look of the reception area intact.  It still actually looks quite a bit like the interior of the S3 sheriff station, and those windows around the building are distinct and still present.  It’s awesome.

Welcome to Twin Peaks, kinda

One of the images many people have of Twin Peaks in their minds are images from the opening credits, especially the Welcome to Twin Peaks sign that greets you when driving into town.  Well, there is no sign.  At least, there’s no sign here in reality land.  And even if one were to be put up, I’m sure it would be stolen in a heartbeat as the one for the Twin Peaks in California always was.  I’ll eventually update this post once I find the picture I took with that particular sign back when I was 14…it’s epic.  I’m even wearing my Who Killed Laura Palmer? signed-by-Sheryl-Lee t-shirt.

MEANWHILE, the driving map gives you the exact address to plug in to find the bend in the road where the sign should be.  We were tooling around and blew past it as there was some deserted car already there and I was like…um, what?  It was a fairly empty road though so I 3-pointed back around and parked in front of the empty car.  Happily, it didn’t interrupt the scene!  We were where the sign would be!  The haze was really bad though so the distinctive mountains in the distance were nowhere to be found.  🙁

Larry will have to photoshop something up to add the sign back in.  Will update this post accordingly when that happens!

At this point, it was time to eat.  Hmm….where should one go to eat if they’re in Twin Peaks?  DUH!

The RR Diner / Twede’s Diner in North Bend

It’s a short drive to get to North Bend from where the sign location was, and it was a beautiful drive too…but damn, the heat freakin’ jumped up in that short distance.  And the smoke from the fires was particularly pungent at this point too.  Didn’t matter though – we were here….and after parking, suddenly my hopes and dreams crashed.  The entire street that Twede’s Diner is on was completely closed and getting torn up for a re-do.  Ruh roh, Shaggy.  We persisted though, and saw that the We’re Open sign was present…so off we went, crossing the street, and entering nostalgiaville yet again.  It’s the freakin’ RR Diner!!!!

Well, at least the RR Diner seen in the Pilot episode and all throughout S3 / The Return.  The one seen in the remaining S1 & S2 episodes was a set in Los Angeles, so that version seemed to have a bit more space than reality.  It’s amazing to actually walk in and see the lights on the ceiling, the familiar booths on the left, and the booths on the right.  Norma’s office of operations booth was in the back left (unfortunately populated by others already) as was the booth on the right where Bobby & Shelly were having a parental intervention with Becky this season.  I headed towards a booth along the wall on the left (the one where the white-haired lady is sitting in the Starring Kyle MacLachlan screenshot above) and promptly sank into bliss.  We were sitting in the RR about to have lunch.  Seriously. This was happening.

Everyone working there was super nice and obviously used to people coming solely for Twin Peaks stuff.  The food was good too, although we were too full from the lunch to think about dessert.  Cherry pie isn’t my thing anyway, so even if it had been good, I wouldn’t have cared.  🙂