Friday, June 19, 2009

"One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach. All the damn vampires."

I bet you guys can't guess what's in this bottle.  That's right, it's holy water!  And before you ask, no it didn't burn.  I needed to do some research for that book I'm still working on so Denise and I went down to Santa Monica to check out this (really pretty!) Catholic church that I found on the internets.  Since you ask, I'm writing a scene where the main characters have to go to a Catholic church and steal holy water a la The Lost Boys in order to fend off an evil vampire.  

The reason I had to go all the way to Santa Monica is because one of the characters hangs out there fairly often and I kind of wanted to pick an actual place.  As I was getting ready to go down there to get a feel for the church I thought to myself, "What the hell?  I might as well take this thing all the way."  So I brought a small glass vial that I happened to have sitting in my box of essential oils and, after making sure that no one was looking, I filled it up from one of the fonts.  I will admit it was kind of fun.  I'm not sure what to do with my little vial of holy water now that I have it.  I guess I'll just stick it on a shelf somewhere with a little sign that says "Break in case of Edward Cullen".  Yeah, ok that was a cheap shot.  Sorry, Kyra.

The church we went to see was called  (you guessed it) Saint Monica's Catholic Church.  It really is very pretty.  I believe the style is Romanesque if I'm remembering my architecture/art history terms correctly.  Out front was a statue of Saint Monica decorated with flowers.  I like when they adorn the statues like that.  It's almost pagan.  Shhhhh, don't tell them.  I would have set up Timmy for a picture but there were cars going by and I didn't want one of them to roll down their window and yell at me.

We got to the church around one o'clock or so and it was empty save for one person.  I would have taken pictures of the inside but I didn't want to disturb her.  The inside was supported with all these pillars and there were iron chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.  All very nice and peaceful.

Here are a couple shots of the front of the church.

It's a neat building compared to a lot of the modern looking churches you see nowadays.  We also walked around the block and saw the refectory as well as the elementary school and high school that are run by the church.  It took up the whole block.

So after I nabbed the holy water we sat in the pews for a bit so I could get a feeling for the space.  I don't think I've ever been in a church when it was practically empty before.  It was kinda neat and the atmosphere was very peaceful.  Could have used some Gregorian chants but I guess you can't have everything.

On our way out we saw what I think was a statue of either St. Joseph or St. Christopher carrying the infant Jesus.  Next to it was this plaque that said Maria Shriver & Arnold Schwarzenegger Sanctuary.  o.O  Well that was unexpected.

So after I decided that I had absorbed enough churchness we went to the Santa Monica Pier :D  Denise had never been and I wanted to do some writing with the Pier in mind too.  So we drove over and managed to find parking.  I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled and amazed Denise was that the Pier had rides.  She thought it was just going to be a piece of wood sticking out into the ocean.  But nope.  I'd like to see her face if she ever visits the Santa Cruz Pier (where it so happens much of The Lost Boys was filmed).  That'll really blow her mind.

The first thing we did was get some lunch because I hadn't eaten anything all day.  Denise was fine so she waited while Timmy and I had pizza.  After that we visited the aquarium and looked at the fishies.  It was very small, way smaller than the Cabrillo aquarium.  But at least they had jellyfish.  They also had the largest collection of starfish I've ever seen in a vast array of colors.  I got a picture of some fishy making use of camouflage for God's class.  They have an entire unit on animal camouflage and Mom's always looking for examples.  

Timmy went for a swim with the jellyfish and Denise pointed out a couple of mutants that had six or more stomachs.  I think normally  jellyfish are supposed to have four.  It looks like Timmy had fun though.  I wonder if hedgehogs are immune to jellyfish stings.  Denise made sure the jellyblobs didn't get too close.  Just in case.

The aquarium also had not one, not two, but three moray eels sitting in a tank.  For some reason they always make me think of The Little Mermaid.  One of volunteers told us that Morays have two jaws like in the movie Alien and showed us an x-ray o.O  It turns out that they grab onto food with their outer jaw that we can all see and once it gets into their mouth their inner jaw pulls it further in.  That has got to be one of the creepiest things I've ever heard.  Nonetheless, I insisted that Timmy take a picture with them.  He still has yet to forgive me.

After that we had ice cream!  Omnomnom!  Denise and I decided to share a banana split (Timmy had some too).  It was made with soft serve chocolate frozen yoghurt, strawberries, and pineapple.  The pineapple was interesting and I'm not sure if I liked it.  Maybe if it was fresh pineapple instead of the candied stuff.  It was also the gooeyest, drippyest banana split I've ever had and it's a wonder that we didn't make a mess.  Most of the drippyness fell through the hole in the table and the pigeons kept running under the table and over our feet to get to the puddles of ice cream underneath.  Eww.

We finished our ice cream and walked around Pacific Park where all the rides are.  We briefly thought of going on some, but they were like five bucks each and we didn't feel like buying a wrist band for $15.  We did play some skeeball though.  I need to start practicing again.  I used to be really good at skeeball.  Guess it's time to go to Chuck E. Cheese.

I stopped in to one of the giftshops and got more postcards for Skeeve.  We looked at the antique carousel and grabbed the chance to take some pictures with this sand dragon we found outside.  There was a pirate/viking ship too but some kids were too busy having fun playing on it.

I hope this dragon doesn't have a taste for hedgehogs


The coolest part is I think the dragon lights up at night.  His eyes appear to be red lights covered by a grating and it looks like there is a small light bulb in each nostril.  Richard would love that.

We got back on the freeway around four and of course ran into the traffic from hell.  We finally got off and managed to take Hawthorne the rest of the way home without getting lost.  Once I took Denise home I drove around like crazy getting cupcake ingredients for Mom's last day of school on Friday.   But that is another post altogether.

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