Curriculum of the Day: Rest
The next morning, we were in a fabulous mood despite the fact I had an 8 a.m. conference call for the Indonesian Sesame Street. Marty was in a great place since all the Emmy pressure was off. He was already dreaming up ideas for HandyMan on an adventure in Hollywood. He took care of the babies while I did the call and typed up all the script review notes. Then, we packed up our clothes, our babies and checked out of downtown LA.
First stop on our tiny holiday was the Jim Henson Company Studio
. About a decade ago, the Jim Henson Company purchased the original Charlie Chaplin studio in Hollywood. They renovated it, putting back some of the charm that had been lost over the years, even ripping out blacktop and putting in cobblestones. Of course, a large Kermit the Frog now graced the front gate and other Muppet memorabilia was spread out around the facility. We were given a tour, Marty got to play with some of the cool, digital puppetry equipment, and we even put our feet into the concrete footsteps of Charlie Chaplin. The girls were just wonderful, never getting fussy despite the Hollywood September heat. A healthy salad at the commissary made it the perfect visit.
We headed west to the other side of the 405 and my friend Greg Germann’s house. We were going to spend our last two days here, enjoying the 20 degree cooler weather and visiting with friends. For dinner that night, we brought the girls to the Santa Monica Promenade. We strolled them up and down the blocks, with no agenda whatsoever, settling on a Japanese restaurant for our meal. Lyra decided it was finally time to kick up a fuss, so I walked her back and forth in front of our outdoor table, picking up a piece of sushi every time I passed by.
The next morning, the girls and I played on the floor of the playroom while Greg’s son, Asa and his friend played some car chasing video game while Marty kibitzed. The girls had their first balls to play with and got very excited by the potential of round things that roll. We all headed to the Santa Monica beach and the girls and HandyMan got to dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean. Dolphins were swimming in the distance. The girls tried to see what sand tastes like. Thanks to our SPF 50 sun block, the afternoon was burn-free and quite idyllic.
We did some quick shopping for food since we were having some old friends from my theatre days over for dinner. Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, and Mark Linn-Baker started New York Stage and Film Company
back in the late 1980s. I was their only employee at the time and I stayed for a decade becoming their literary manager for the last several years. It was my working graduate program where I got to meet fabulous actors and learn what makes good writing. The theatre is still going strong, although I had to move on and into children’s television land to earn a living.
Leslie, Max and his daughter Jude, Terry Urdang and her family, Jayne Atkinson and her son all hung out in Greg’s playroom catching up and meeting the twins. We ended the evening with a friendly game of poker with the kids. It was so good to see Greg after almost a year and a half. I love being able to just pick up where you left off with people, despite time and distance.
The next day, HandyMan took a little visit to Hollywood Boulevard, and then we were off to the airport. This time, we gave ourselves PLENTY of time. The airline wasn’t nearly the disaster it was in LAX. It even had a security line for people with strollers and kids. The rest of the trip was uneventful, even getting everyone into the car at JFK was rather painless.
It was a fast and furious five days. Despite Marty and my three nominations, we didn’t have any Emmys to stash in the overhead compartments on the way home, but we’d certainly be happy to try winning again next year, even in Los Angeles.