…as you may have seen in my previous post, I’ve flown through LAX a bunch of times without ever having been to Los Angeles. I finally, finally got my chance to leave my footprints in the City of Angels.
Rewind – as soon as we knew we would be moving to California, I started looking at dates for the Hamilton tour. We wouldn’t be able to catch it in San Francisco, but Max’s brother lives in Los Angeles, so I figured that would be a great opportunity for us to visit…and to see the show. When tickets went live in April, I spent three hours fighting through Ticketmaster’s terrible interface and finally managed to score some tickets.
So, fast forward to November, and we were on our way. We needed to bring the car up to the shop in San Mateo, so we made plans to grab some lunch at a Burmese restaurant in the area. Unfortunately, we managed to hit the one window during the day where they were closed, so we headed into San Jose. Max remembered a market-type area from when we were in San Jose for the Sharks/Sabres game a few weeks prior, so we went downtown and got some drinks and food at Firehouse No.1 Gastropub. They had some fantastic cocktails – I had a blood orange mule that was A+ – and we split mac & cheese and a bison burger. Both were delicious, so in the event we end up looking for food in San Jose again, I would definitely go back. We killed some time at a local mall and then went to the airport. A quick SJC – BUR (how funny that when I finally visit LA, I’m not flying into LAX) flight later, and I was finally there.
We spent Friday night catching up with family, recovering from the flight with some wine (naturally) and game planning the weekend.
Saturday morning, we met up with Max’s uncle who was also in town for the weekend and went to breakfast at Tallyrand in Burbank. I had a chili breakfast burrito (accidentally a trend, but I’m not mad), Max got his corned beef hash fill, and the rest of the group had assorted omelets and burritos.
After breakfast, since I had never been to Los Angeles before, we spent some time driving around to do the touristy things…
Mulholland Scenic Overview. Look at that skyline!!! 😍
The Hollywood sign!!!!
We needed a nap and to get ready for the main attraction of the weekend – Hamilton. 😍
Before the show, we had dinner reservations at The Hungry Cat on Vine near Sunset. I picked it after reading some Yelp reviews, and it reminded me of Oyster Club – one of our favorite restaurants back in Mystic. These displaced New Englanders were so happy to get some oysters and cocktails. I ordered trout, Max got the stuffed lobster – both were fantastic.
And then, it was time :
I cannot say enough about how amazing this show was. I’ve been obsessively listening to the cast recording since it came out – I know every word (almost – some of Jefferson’s raps still escape me) and I have listened to it enough that even Max knows most of it by now. Seeing it on stage, though, blows all of that out of the water. The set is so cool, very minimal in design with a turntable in the center of the stage; the lighting design was phenomenal. The choreography was stunning and god, the vocals. Emmy Raver-Lampman made a perfect Angelica, Joshua Henry played a powerful and nuanced Burr, I wasn’t sold on Michael Luwoye until “Yorktown” but once he won me over I was absolutely enraptured by him. I wasn’t expecting to cry in the first act but Solea Pfeiffer’s Eliza got me right in the heart with “That Would Be Enough.” And man, “Schuyler Sisters” is my jam on the recording; even better live.
And then the second act happened. It’s such a strange thing to watch something were you know how it ends – you know what happens, and yet it catches you in the heart anyways. I knew that “It’s Quiet Uptown” would get me. Ever since the first time I listened to the soundtrack, and then when Kelly Clarkson’s version was released on the Hamilton Mixtape…and then reading the chapter about it in Hamilton: The Revolution, I have had so many emotions tied up into that song. It’s become particularly poignant in the last few months as some people I love dearly have experienced some devastating losses, and the hardest part of Navy life is being so far away from people you love when you want nothing more than to be there to hold their hand through the darkness. So I sobbed, even more than I was anticipating, because not only did I already have emotions about the song but the Angelica-Eliza-Hamilton trio on stage performing it just did me in. And the duel and the finale. Perfect. Perfect. As Max said while we were leaving the theater, “that was so much better than I could have imagined.” So, if you are able to get tickets, go see Hamilton. I could never do it justice.
Sunday morning, we gathered up our crew and rolled out to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to see the Rams game. Max’s brother is a season ticket holder and participates in a pretty great tailgate, and it was a great ending to a fantastic weekend. We grilled (if you see a large man grilling chorizo burritos on NFL network – that was our tailgate, FYI), we drank, we explored, and then we went into the game:
Our seats, and our crew. We had a blast cheering on the Rams – me, especially, seeing some former Bills players running around on the field – and spending time with the family. While we may be away from a lot of friends and family – it is pretty awesome to live on the same coast as Max’s brother, and assorted aunts and uncles and cousins from Max’s side. And luckily, we get to go back to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, which I am thoroughly looking forward to (mostly because it means I won’t have to cook! 😂)
But for now, we had to head back to Monterey. I am enjoying the traveling…but I am also looking forward to a weekend at home. The crazy November rolls on; of course, we will be plenty busy in our downtime – these Traveling Chucks can’t stay still for long.