Sunday, May 1, 2016
It was the last day of the film festival. I had just seen the excellent Faye Dunaway who was a trip. During the hour-long conversation she never once spoke of Mommie Dearest. I was sad but had heard that it's a bit of a sore subject for her. I won't say much more because the event was taped for a special that will run on TCM sometime next year.
After the Dunaway interview, I had time to hit up In ‘N’ Out for a fantastic cheeseburger. It was number one on my list of places to visit while I was there and luckily it was only a few blocks away from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It was worth the short walk, and I would recommend it to anyone. It is a must during the festival.
After a fantastic greasy meal, I met up with Jessica at Grauman's Egyptian Theater for the last film of the festival for us both. We walked down to the Egyptian and saw Faye Dunaway introduce the film Network. I had never seen this film and knew very little about it, so I was excited especially when I saw William Holden was also starring in it. I loved the movie even though I scratched my head for a good few minutes after it ended. I was heartsick once the credits began to roll because I knew this truly was the end. No more popcorn aroma, no more theaters, and no more cheering before, during and after a film.
Everyone somberly filed out of the theater. I took one last look at the palm trees that line the sidewalk. It was the last glance I would have of the Egyptian Theater until next year. (If I would be lucky enough to attend again next year.) I took in the last sights and sounds as I walked down Hollywood Boulevard to the Roosevelt Hotel. Most of us would be boarding a plane in a matter of hours.
Monday, May 2, 2016
We joined everyone else whose films had already ended in the lobby of the Roosevelt for the closing night party. Everyone wore their best attire as we shared our favorite stories and said goodbye to the new friends we had made. I was lucky enough to meet Ben Mankiewicz and chat with him for a while before we were told to head back to our hotels or go home.
A large group of us decided we weren’t ready to call it a night. Luckily we were in Hollywood and At the end, there were just the four of us roommates, and we were all incredibly sad.
In ‘N’ Out was open until 2:00 a.m. Nearly 25 of us filed into the small burger joint ready to close the place down. We laughed, told stories, took photos and ate until we were nearly sick. It was one of the highlights of the trip. After a couple of hours, we were kicked out of yet another establishment and told to head home. We all started the long walk back to our hotels. One by one we lost people as we went. It was sad seeing each person walk off into the darkness knowing you wouldn’t see them for another year.
Once we made it to the apartment, it was about 2:45 a.m. We were all so tired from the lack of sleep the last few days. Kristen called an Uber to take her home. Angie and I had a shuttle coming at 3:30 a.m. so we tried to stay awake. I sat on the bed listening to Angie talk but kept dozing off. Before I knew it, we were saying bye to Jessica, who didn’t have to leave until later that day.
Angie and I got outside and waited and waited for our shuttle. It seems as though they couldn't find us. So we had to run down the block to the Lowes Hotel where we found our shuttle on the map on our phone.
The drive to the airport was long, and my head floated in a sea of sleepiness and excitement. I was so ready to get home and so ready to sleep for days, maybe even weeks. I was the first passenger off when we made it to LAX. I hugged Angie hard and wished her a safe flight before I turned and took one last look at the palm trees. I would miss the idea of California but not Hollywood.
I made it through the line and stopped in a little shop to get myself a snack, bottle of water and a blanket. One of my favorite parts of travel is exploring the airport. I love the shops and people watching, but this time I couldn’t do it. I was too tired. I found a seat and sat down to wait for my 7:30 a.m. flight. I had about two hours to go.
The next thing I remember my phone was belting out the theme to one of my favorite films The Third Man. I fumbled as I answered and tried to adjust my eyes to the sun now shining in front of me. Brian wanted to make sure I was awake and wouldn’t miss my flight. I looked around and noticed that my flight was about to board. I thanked him and tried to pull myself together before I boarded. Next thing I knew they called my row, but I was half asleep an sat up clapping. I had spent days clapping non-stop, and I guess my body thought I was still in a theater. Everyone looked at me, and a few people laughed while others grabbed their children and pulled them a bit closer and away from me. I popped up and stood in line swaying back and forth. I had never been more tired in my life. On the plane, I sat in my seat and willed myself to stay awake. I hadn’t seen the ocean when we flew in, so I wanted to see it on the way out. I held my eyes open and squeezed my thigh over and over until we were finally ready to take off. I grabbed my phone and started to tape the ocean below; I woke up four hours later as we landed in Kansas City. My phone was nearly dead because it had tapped the entire flight.
I ran off the plane and saw my two fella’s waiting for me. It felt like a movie as Alex ran to me and wrapped me in a hug. It was the perfect end to the perfect trip to California.