Since moving to California, my wife and I have noticed a strange phenomenon that takes place whenever we host visitors. Somehow, no friends or family visiting Casa de JB can relax until they have seen the ocean. They don’t have to get into the ocean, mind you. They don’t even have to walk the sand. They simply have to see the damn thing; then they can relax and enjoy the rest of their trip. I guess one way you can tell that we have lived here for more than a year is that we already take the ocean completely for granted.
“Oh, that’s right. There it is. It’s that big blue thing right over there. On the left, whenever we go to Sea Fresh for fried shrimp...”
Recently we entertained some visitors who broke the mold. They had no desire to see the ocean. (Although they may have satisfied their brine-jones in Long Beach, which is where they spent some time before coming up the coast to us!) They knew what they wanted to see—old buildings and dead people. Both Lauren and Steve are big fans of Frank Lloyd Wright and wanted to see three famous and historical FLW houses that are Hollywood adjacent. Lauren and Steve also know the fun to be had in famous cemeteries. So off we went.
When you first arrive at Hollywood Forever, you are greeted by a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Cloud hearse. Peacocks roam the grounds freely. The place just drips with atmosphere. We chose to drive around the place quickly to get our bearings, then set off on foot and scooter to more closely explore. Hollywood Forever did not disappoint.
Then it was on to lunch at the Smokehouse Restaurant, just across the street from the Warner Brothers Studio, and like Hollywood Forever Cemetery, just dripping with atmosphere*. Try the garlic bread.
Such is part of the fun of living in California. We are constantly seeking out interesting spots to share with friends and family, and people are constantly suggesting places we must visit. Kind of makes you want to stay alive... and out of the cemetery.
*Really. On our most recent visit, some of said atmosphere dripped into my shrimp cocktail.