Before I get into the rest of my trip, I just wanted to say I saw The Dark Knight yesterday. I really think they should have waited for Christian Bale to get over that cold before they shot all his Batman scenes or at least given him a lozenge.
It's now Wednesday morning. I completed my pitch yesterday and now I have 6 days to kill before I fly back to Atlanta. I have several friends that work for O Entertainment, the studio that produces the Nickelodeon show Barnyard. The studio is located in San Juan Capistrano, a 45 minute drive south of the OC. I hop in my rental and make my way down the highway around lunchtime.
San Juan Capistrano is a weird place. None of the land is owned by big corporations, and that is sort of the whole towns thing. So there are no buildings higher than two stories, and they all look like they were shipped in from an old Mexican village.
Here is a picture of the mission I didn't pay 8 bucks to go in.
O Entertainment is in a strip shopping mallish structure. You would never know that's where an animation studio was stashed.
I met up with my friends Jon, Tom, Ben, Mike, Paul, and Jason for some lunch.
This is where we ate.
They specialized in a four horse meal starting with horsederves. Everything was delicious, I ate like what I was eating! I was stuffed at the end of the meal and almost said neigh to the desert.
It was awesome catching up with all my old DNA pals. While getting a tour of O Entertainment, this robot try to rip off my arms, but I escaped.
Jason wasn't so lucky...
Or was he?
I was going to Crash at Tom's place that night, so I drove to his apartment to drop off my shit and waste some time until we could all hang out. Tom lives in San Clemete 3 blocks from the beach.
I took a walk and discovered that this place was without a doubt one of the coolest areas I've ever seen. I've seen a lot of beach towns, but none of theme ever looked like I imagined they would, until now. I couldn't stop taking pictures. Each little apartment was cooler than the next.
The roads were winding and hilly.
There was a cool restaurant on the pier over looking the beach.
There were more underaged girls in bikinis then you could shake a stick at, I tried. I fell in love with this town.
I drove back up to San Juan Capistrano and met the guys for some beer and Mexican food. A couple of the guys had to split early. Our group, now smaller and more compact, went to a bar on the pier in San Clemente. We drank and then walked the streets for a while. It was a ton of fun, I can tell because most of the pictures I took are out of focus and poorly composed.
The next day I had planned to go to a casino with my friend Vanessa's sister, Noelle. She was in San Diego the night before so we met up and drove for 2 hours, eventually arriving at a casino in Palm Springs.
It was crazy how the casino was just in the middle of absolutely nothing.
The drive was through a desolate wasteland, that would have made Mad Max jealous. Desert all around you for miles and miles then all of a sudden, CASINO!
This caught my eye right away.
I'm not sure who I'm more excited about seeing, Ringo or Rat Dog.
I usually play roulette, but I was sad to find out they only had this video roulette table thing. I played it for a while, lost almost all of my cash.
Miraculously I won all my money back, so I decided to cut and run while I was 40 bucks ahead.
I was happy to see this casino wasn't bias against religion.
JUMPIN' GIGAWATS MAWTY!
Between loosing money I walked around the casino/hotel and wandered into this store.
When the clerk asked if she could help me with anything, I jokingly said, "Do you know where I can find a Hawaiian shirt?" This then lead into a 20 minute conversation about her husband being from Hawaii, her oldest boy about to get married, her first husband not being worth the dirt he walked on, and her son wanting to invite his biological father to the wedding, even though it would upset her. It must get lonely out in the middle of a desert.
After 4 hours in the casino, we decided to make the long trip back around 3pm. We drove through a windmill farm and it was absolutely breathtaking. These windmills seem to go on forever and they are all huge. If you stared at them while you drove you started to get vertigo.
Rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, I saw a vision that I could not believe on the horizon. There before me in the distance was something amazing, something astounding, something of story book legend. Materializing in front of my weary video roulette playing eyes was an iconic image from my childhood and like a ship drawn to a lighthouse, I directed the car straight to my destiny. Take a look.
That's right bitches, it's the dinosaur that none other that Pee Wee Herman himself sat inside on his journey to recover his bike. It was awe inspiring.
They even had a prehistoric Burger King. Unfortunately it took hours to get a burger, because they didn't have fire back then to flame broil.
The gift shop was all up inside this Brontosaurus.
If going inside these amazing life sized hollowed out concrete creatures from my childhood memories wasn't enough, the lady in the gift shop told us they had just finished their new "dino museum". Four bucks later we got to walk among the dinosaurs. The big, rubber, motionless dinosaurs.
I almost wet my pants when I saw this...
But it turned out you had to be a little kid to do it. Fucking kids suck.
I felt bad for the special needs dino.
One thing that bothered us about this "Museum", well there were several things actually, but two of them are pictured below. Peppered in-between the dinosaur statues was this statue of a lion and a lamb.
And this medieval crusader.
Granted the whole place had a religious slant, so the lion with the lamb thing sort of made sense, but the crusader dude made little to no sense at all. Confusion aside, none of it mattered once I was inside that Tyranisorous Rex, peering out through his teeth, just as Pee Wee had done back in 1985.
Next stop the basement of the Alamo!