I took the pictures below with my Blackberry, which worked out great... until the end of the ride. My horse, Sundance, was very fond of the leafy green eats on the side of the trails and had been trying to sneak some nibbles during the entire trek. I'd been pretty good about keeping him on track; however, I got a bit distracted taking one last picture on the ride down, so he saw his opportunity and went for it. Now, these trails are essentially right on the edge of the mountain, meaning walking anywhere but the trails is a one-way ticket off a cliff. The horses certainly don't have a death wish, but nonetheless, they have no problem flirting with the edge, especially with treats in range. Sundance sensed my distraction and all of a sudden I found us reaching dangerously close over the edge for a quick bite to eat. I panicked, yanked the reins, and managed to drop my phone. I then panicked that he would back up and step on it, but fortunately a hiker was close by and scooped it up for me. Crisis averted! Phew!
Anyway, here are some of the shots we got.
The ride is also good for an ego boost. If you're in LA but lacking that "celeb, paparazzi" feeling, definitely get on a horse. You'd think no one had ever seen one before! I can't begin to tell you how many photos I'm now in. Eventually I just started to wave and smile. You're welcome, fellow tourists. Friend me on Facebook. According to our guide, we also apparently passed the lead actor from Brothers & Sisters, but I couldn't pick the guy out of a one-man lineup so it was lost on me. Darn!
After we got back to the ranch and gave our horses a few pats goodbye, we headed to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Perhaps not the classiest or most special spot to eat, but when people act like it's the greatest thing in food, I had to try it seeing as we don't have it on the East Coast. It was very tasty, but I'm not sure I understand all the hype. It's still just fast food. I also find it cruel that the calories are listed right on the menu. Just what I need, more guilt. Thanks. And what's the deal with getting your burger "Animal Style"? And why isn't that on the menu? I feel like you have to know a secret code to order.
But I digress. After consuming far more calories than one could ever need and slipping into a light food coma, we headed to The Grove to walk around and check out the shops. Outdoor malls are another California luxury I find absolutely adorable but completely baffling. They would never work with the ADD weather we have on the East Coast. I'm pretty sure we passed Ray Liotta while we were there, too. Celebrity sightings: 2. Me caring: 0.
When we grew tired of the crowds (which didn't take long) and had procured a new pair of sunglasses for Steph, we headed to Studio City for more wandering around. We eventually wound up bowling and having dinner before it was time to head to the Hollywood Bowl to see Star Wars in Concert.
The Hollywood Bowl is a truly spectacular venue. It's a giant amphitheater with a view of the Hollywood Sign. Does it get any better? (Not really, though I wouldn't have complained if it was a touch warmer, but I guess you can't control the weather). The show itself was pretty cool, but still rather odd. Essentially you watch clips from the movies while the orchestra plays the score. When it gets dark they throw in some lasers too. The actor who played C3PO hosted the evening, and John Williams even came out at the end to conduct a song. Very cool.
When the show was over we headed to Sardo's for karaoke. I didn't sing anything as a courtesy to anyone with ears, but it was really fun and hysterical listening to the rest of the bar. I'd say the highlight of the night was a group of girls singing Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way." Always a hit! When we'd consumed enough alcohol and lulled ourselves into a comfortable state of contentment, it was time to head home and hit the hay.
And so we have the completion of Day 2. Up next, stories from our time at Disneyland, the *second Happiest Place on Earth (sorry California, Disney World holds that title).