Highway 10 winds through Los Angeles like a giant metaphor, full of talented people driving forward, eager to arrive, but occasionally, communally stuck. Life follows the flow of traffic there, exhilaratingly swift and easy by turns, then excruciatingly slow and, once in a while, stopped cold.
“You are 4.7 miles and 45 minutes from your destination” our GPS told us in her pleasant, matter-of-fact voice. I checked to be sure I hadn’t accidentally clicked the walking navigation, and then settled back to enjoy the ride crawl.
If difficult to navigate, LA is also just so beautiful, a pampered pearl protected by her mountains on one side and ocean on the other. We hiked trails that offered our calf muscles the benefit of natural elliptical machines and our cameras stunning views of the city.
Each morning we squeezed fresh juice from citrus fruits we picked off our friends’ trees in Palm Springs. Each afternoon we turned our faces toward the ubiquitous California sun. With temperatures topping out in the mid-sixties, Californians bundled up in parkas and thick boots.
Meanwhile, psyched by the sunshine, we pranced around in shorts and sandals. Our pale Midwestern skin elicited many, many offers from industrious guides anxious to sell us maps and take us on a “star tour”. We declined, though, thrilled to spend the weekend with our daughter Katherine, a new transplant to the City of Angels.
Our Air BnB turned out to be just 140 steps from her apartment (because we’re those parents), which afforded us plenty of quality time. As any parent of multiple children will tell you, it’s always a special treat to get two-on-one time with your kid, even when that “kid” is all grown up and on her own.
In addition to Katherine, we know several people who have made their way to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. I think if you pause at any time in that city, you can feel the pulsing ambition of its residents pounding steadily like ocean waves.
It’s an energetic. sprawling stage built on optimism and big dreams. I wish them all — Katherine, Leah, Hillary, the other Katherine, Kyle, Felix and all their friends health and happiness in all they do.
There are 2,500 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Who knows? Some day one of them could be theirs.