This past weekend I was able to let go a bit and relax with friends.

Friday night started with drinks out at El Torito Grill with Colleen, then ended up finishing out the night at Uncorked with a few glasses of wine. Not a bad way to end off a crappy week if I do say so. There are a few things we’ll miss once we leave OC, outside of our friends, and one of those things is Uncorked. I swear it feels like Cheers every time I walk in there. And I ALWAYS walk out a happier person!

Saturday morning came way too early, but I sucked it up and rode up to John’s so we could head out to the Pines to Palms highway for a nice long day of riding. Turns out, that particular highway/mountain road is a BLAST to ride. Yes, it eats up the gas, and can be quite technically challenging in more than one area, but the road is lightly traveled and makes for a very comfortable jaunt. We didn’t get to take many pictures because we were having so much fun carving through the twisties. We did, however, get a few which can be seen by clicking the photo below:

Sunday also came a bit too early, but somehow we made it out the door and met up with John, Mary, Colleen, Ant, and Lisa to go on a Cemetery tour day trip.

We ended up at about 5 different cemeteries in the Los Angeles area, finishing off with Hollywood Forever. Even though the day was a bit too hot and bright for the lot of us, we had a fabulous time walking around the plots, noting years and architectural elements, marveling at the workmanship of the older carvings, and standing in awe at most of the mausoleums.

We also saw some interesting examples of nature reclaiming the ground, and got a picture of one such oddity:

Yep, that is a tree which has overtaken a headstone. I find images like this (and the ones from our Monterey trip in 2001) to be very comforting. There is just something so -right- about deer grazing in a cemetery, and headstones embedded into tree. Cemeteries shouldn’t be cold and sterile. They SHOULD be natural, inviting, and comfortable. In fact more people should start going to cemeteries for picnics and the such; after all, people have spent billions of dollars to be remembered, shouldn’t we do them the honour of actually going to these places so their memorials are actually seen? What good is it to create a memorial and put it in a place where no one other than the grieving relatives of those you are buried next to will see it? We should all take a lesson from the Mexican culture and move past our fear of death; rather, we should embrace Dia de los Muertos, and make a point of visiting cemeteries to remember those whom have gone before us. Celebrate their lives, and enjoy the beauty which has been created from their remembrance.

It seems a few of the cemeteries don’t take kindly to grave tourists, so we left Lenore at home. (Well that and it would have cost us around $25000 in gas to make the trip following behind the rest of the gang!) At some point, though, we will need to make a local trip to Fairhaven, and maybe Holy Sepulchre in Irvine with Lenore to take some photos and have a picnic.

Oddly enough, the only hearse we saw during the entire day, was one at Hollywood Forever, which apparently hadn’t moved in quite sometime:

All in all it was a wonderful way to spend a day. We’ll definitely be doing this again, since we really needed more time at Hollywood Forever. That, and it was just too much fun NOT to do again!

8 thoughts on “This past weekend I was able to let go a bit and relax with friends.

  1. So how was the new El Torito? Ant and I found a really great website last night with all kind of insider tips, etc…..need to use it next time we all go!

    1. Oh, we didn’t go to THAT one… I am still boycotting it since they made Agave leave. We went to the one on Main and Von Karmen. Now, what;s this about a website with “insider” tips?

      1. It tells you where everyone is buried (throughout LA) and where to find them. Even in the Forest Lawn’s because they don’t want people “dead star gazing”. Apparently the one in Glendale (where my Aunt is buried) has Humphrey Bogart, Gracie Allen and George Burns, Clark Gable, Liberace, Betty Davis…and a bunch more that I can’t remember! I will find the site and email to everyone.

  2. You should add Bonaventure (sp?) Cemetary to your list of Must See Cemetaries. It is in Savannah, GA and easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. I would agree to be buried if I could be buried there.

      1. We were really lucky; when we were there we had a tour guide who specialized in headstone symbolism. It was faciniating to learn what all the statues meant. He walked around with us to explain things when we had questions but wasn’t overbearing.

        When you make it to Savannah I can definitely give you lots of tips. It is my favorite city! Not to mention it is the most haunted city in the US. 🙂

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