FINAL DAY - BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - TOMORROW CRYSTAL SERENITY
Thanks to those of you who have posted comments on the Blog. We welcome comments, and or/questions throughout this adventure. We read each one and we will do our best to answer any questions.
Since we enjoyed a three-hour lunch with our friends, we took a long walk following lunch and ended up getting takeout of salad entrees to bring back to the room. We enjoyed wine we had purchased along with these entrees and some fruit from the fruit plate the hotel changes daily.
We began today with breakfast in the room. We stayed with cereal, banana, coffee and water. There are many choices available on the room service menu but as we prefer to keep it simple. Our friends were asking how we avoid gaining weight on a long trip. We explained that one of our approaches is to have a light breakfast and to make other healthy food choices combined with increased exercise. We will indulge from time-to-time, particularly for dinner, and enjoy a range of food and drink but try to offset that in other choices we make.
This morning we visited the former Grauman's Chinese Theatre. They now call it TLC Chinese Theatre. The theatre opened in 1927 and kept that name until 1973. Between 1973 and 2001 they renamed it Mann's Chinese Theatre reflecting the name of its new owner Ted Mann. After his bankruptcy it eventually returned to its original name of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. TLC group purchased the property and renamed it TLC Chinese Theatre.
We have not visited this venue on prior trips. We wanted to visit because it is a venue that Keith's Mom told him about.
Keith's Mother's father passed away when she was young. She was an honor's student in school and graduated three years early. She was accepted to Cornell University and other Universities. However, this was during the Great Depression and there was no money available for her to attend. They lived in The Bronx at the time and like many people they struggled financially. Keith's Mother and Nana moved to California for a better life. With few possessions they took a bus cross-country to Southern California where Keith's Mom could find work at Grauman's Chinese Theatre and his Nana found work at a Department Store part of the May Company. Keith's Mom would escort people to their seats including movie stars at film premieres. We think this was somewhere around 1937.
Eventually they moved back to New York City as they didn't achieve that better life in California. The good news is that Keith's Mom met the man who would become her future husband and Keith's father on a date. They dated two times and then corresponded for a few years as Keith's father had enlisted in the Army before the start of World War II. When they met again, they went on a third date. Keith's Father proposed to her, and she accepted. They remained husband and wife for forty-nine years until Keith's father's death. She passed ten months later. When they married Keith's Nana was part of the package and she lived with them until her own death just a few years before the two of them passed.
It was touching for Keith to see the theatre and to think of his Mom and Nana. As challenging as many people think it is today, those were very challenging times between the Great Depression and World War II. It was a time of great sacrifice by so many people including both military and civilians. Keith never remembers his Parents nor Nana complaining about those times. Like many from that generation they saved money (remembering those years of the Great Depression), encouraged their children to do likewise, and took pride when their own children went to University as for several families this represented the first generation of family who attended College.
We owe so much to what some people refer to as "The Greatest Generation".
Photo of Keith's parents while his father was still in the service.
We also walked a portion of the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and read the names as we walked several blocks. As we walked we saw flowers near one of the stars and we thought it would be Penny Marshall who we remember from Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days and some of the movies she directed such a A League Of Their Own. She was born in The Bronx as Anne Marie was.
After a couple of hours we returned to Beverly Hills where we continued our walk. We walked by Nate'n Al Deli which we ate at in 2008. Of late it has struggled a bit financially so not sure how long it will remain in business. Larry King who for many years hosted a nighttime talk show on CNN was a frequent guest at this deli. Unfortunately it is not possible to get a clear shot of the front of the deli.
We spoke via Face Time to our son, grandson Jackson who turned four years young today, and the youngest of the four grandchildren grandson Preston who turned one years young in late October.
Sorry for the quality of the photos. We took screen shots while doing Face Time.
We also picked up a few items for some members of the crew, had lunch and did some packing back at the hotel.
Later we went on another long walk and just got back to then hotel. As they say the night is young so we will go out again and then have dinner.
Tomorrow we board Crystal Serenity. It was only two months ago when we left Serenity in Lisbon, Portugal right before her longest ever dry dock at a shipyard owned by parent company Genting in Germany. Six weeks after the dry dock we are back on-board.
We thought we would include a short video prepared by Crystal Cruises of the dry dock.
Our next post will be after we board Crystal Serenity.
We can't wait.
Anne Marie & Keith