January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009
Welcome to the City of Angels

Welcome to another day in my life as a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS in America. I am honored to have you join me again.

After driving back from South Carolina, Gary and I flew to Los Angeles very early this morning. We had to be at the airport in Jacksonville by 4am and our Delta flight left shortly after 5am.

After a very quick plane change in Atlanta, it was time for our five hour flight on Delta to Los Angeles, California where I use to live over a decade ago. Now Gary hates to fly so I had to make sure he had taken his anxiety medicine and he did fairly well on the trip. Luckily we had great weather for flying and very little turbulence.

When we arrived at LAX, it was time for our shuttle ride to the Hotel Palomar in Westwood (part of LA). The Palomar is a beautiful eco friendly hotel. It is decorated in a modern style that Gary loves and the staff were wonderful (especially Kerri Douda) and the beds and furnishings were very comfortable. Plus they donate every year to HIV/AIDS organizations with their Red Ribbon Program. I gave the general manager, John Doupounce and their Red Ribbon representative Kim Ben-Hunn, one of our HIV awareness teddy bear pins and one of my business cards.

After getting settled into the hotel, we walked to In and Out Burger since Gary had never had one of their great hamburgers. They have some of the best hamburgers you will ever eat. Then we took a quick ride to Forever Cemeteries where Marilyn Monroe, Rodney Dangerfield, Jim Backus and many other great stars are buried.

When we came back to the hotel, we decided to take a taxi over to Hollywood and the Grahman's Theater in Hollywood. We took a ton of pictures of the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and Grahman's and then went shopping for souvenirs for awhile. I even got some shots of Dab the AIDS Bear on Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor's sites in the concert in front of Grahman's Theater. Gary also got to see the Kodiak Theater which had just been built as I was moving from Los Angeles.

After Gary started getting tired and it was getting dark so we grabbed a taxi over to West Hollywood so he could say he had been there. Then we grabbed a cab back to the hotel. We had just missed the wine social hour so we decided to go out and get some dinner and found a great little Italian place not far from the hotel. We had a nice quite romantic dinner and walked back to the Hotel Palomar.

Gary was ready for bed by the end of dinner since our bodies are still on east coast time so it was time to head back to the hotel and take our evening meds.

Tomorrow we have another packed day of activities so we will be going to bed shortly but I wanted to get my daily blog done before retiring.

Gary and I rarely get to take vacations together since he only gets one week off a year. So it is really great to be away by ourselves having a romantic getaway. Plus I am sure it is helping him deal with his mother passing.

I hope you are having as great of a week so far as I am. Now true I am on vacation and most of you are not. So please feel free to live vicariously through me for once.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab