The Price Is Wrong, Bob!

To make the journey from Lima to Los Angeles, I had four flights (layovers in Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, and Las Vegas).  I can’t complain though because those flights cost less than half the price of the other more-direct options.  So after literally sprinting through the Fort Lauderdale airport immigration and customs (because of a mere 45 minute layover) I was back in the good ole US of A!

I found it necessary to rent a car in Los Angeles, and found that after a couple of months of not driving, it was a shock to suddenly deal with the notoriously horrible traffic in the area.  I also very much missed my car, mostly because it’s a hybrid and that would allow me to drive in the carpool lane by myself.  Every time I see the high-occupancy-vehicle signs I think of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where Larry David picks up a hooker so he can drive in the carpool lanes…  Just to be clear – I did not use this loophole.

I wanted to make the most of my time in LA and do some fun stuff before the “real world” and networking conference began.  My first fun stop was to view a taping of the game show “The Price is Right”.  The whole task of viewing the taping was a cumbersome and inefficient process.  After reserving a voucher a month in advance for the specific show, I was still obligated to show up nearly four hours before the scheduled time in order to actually preserve my slot.   The people with “priority” (given after showing up early) got shuffled to some benches within the CBS lot.  In the next six hours we had to fill out paperwork, have our picture taken, be “interviewed” by the producer (so he could hand-pick the contestants), and then hand over all electronics before being allowed into the studio for the 41 minute show.   After this arduous process, I got seated in the first row!  I was actually hoping to just anonymously sit in the back, and not have to become an unnatural version of my “cheerleader” self; continuously clapping and high-fiving everyone.  By the end of the show my hands were swollen from clapping so much and I lost my voice from hooting and hollering, but I think I successfully fulfilled my role in “winners’ lane” (as the producer called it when he came down and told the group of us to be ‘extra energetic’ because we’re on camera a lot).  I guess I’ll find out how I actually did when the show airs in January…  Unfortunately I didn’t get called to “come on down”, so I didn’t win anything…

My next fun stop was to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  And to explain, I really do think that this is a fun activity.  It was definitely a fantastic place!  Probably the best library I have been to, and that list is fairly extensive so there is some competition…  The setting overlooking the Santa Susana Mountains was specular and the guts of the museum were very good as well.  Probably my favorite part was reading the script of Knute Rockne opposite Reagan and then viewing the ridiculous playback; it’s a good thing I’m going back to school because it’s pretty obvious I have no future in acting…

My conference involved two and a half days of seminars, lectures, and networking receptions at UCLA (a very pretty campus, fyi).  The conference was for the Forte Foundation – a group that emphasizes giving women opportunities in the business world.

My final stop before heading home was in the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda (south of LA).   So yes, I choose presidential libraries over Disneyland, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, etc.  One of the many ways that my nerdy travel habits sets me apart from the norm…   But bonus, libraries are air-conditioned and have far fewer lines!

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