Los Angeles 2012 – Part 2: The Lost Boys

So to recap our LA trip that was organised for us… We all arrived Friday morning and we were chauffeured to the hotel in Beverly Hills. After much welcomed showers we then hopped on the tourist bus, where hubbie and I dozed a bit, but we got to see most of the sites and some famous houses as well! Then we had an afternoon nap, to then join the world for drinks by the pool.

Drinks by the pool consisted of buffet hanger steak and lamb; paella; deserts such as red velvet cupcakes, mango jubes and all sorts of other goodies; and of course all you can drink alcohol. I don’t think I have ever had hanger steak before, but it was absolutely mouthwatering. It was served with some sort of brown sauce and a pinch of salt. After a taste of the paella (Spanish rice dish) and lamb (not as tasty as Australian!) we went back for more hanger steak! I must ask my butcher friend about it… it is sometimes called ‘butchers steak’, ‘skirt steak’ or ‘bistro steak’. I hope we can get it over here!

Saturday morning consisted of three hours work for hubbie, and I went shopping at Macy’s. I love Macy’s – especially when it is 25% off all day if you buy a charity voucher for $5. We had free time Saturday afternoon, so I took hubbie back to Macy’s and he bought 2 suits, 2 shirts, 3 ties for $500! We walked down the street to get his suits hemmed and had another afternoon nap before the Playboy Mansion.

Sunday was Universal Studios and thenMichelle's Labyrinth we were taken out to dinner. Everyone wanted to go out drinking after dinner, but thankfully hubbie listened to my voice of reason and we headed back to the room after dinner. We had another 3 weeks worth of travel, and after all the alcohol consumed at the Playboy Mansion I didn’t want another big night. We were also supposed to go on a bike ride at Santa Monica the next morning after breakfast on the beachfront!

Michelle's LabyrinthI had asked hubbie if we could skip the bike ride if I wasn’t feeling 100%. I would hate to be half way on a bike ride and feel like being sick, or worse – fall off! I  hadn’t looked at where we were going for breakfast, or where the bike ride was going, I was just following the crowd; but as the bus came into view of the ocean and I saw the pier, I thought of The Lost Boys and knew we weren’t going on the bike ride.

The Lost Boys is one of my top 10 favourite movies and The Lost Boys soundtrack is my number one! I just need to hear the words “People are strange, when you’re a stranger”, or “Mary Mary you’re on my mind”, or “Through the storms, Through the cries, And through the wars, Oh, I still believe” and I am transported to Santa Carla and a world of vampires and cute boys. My sisters and I would have chosen this video in the video store because of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. We were huge Corey fans. My love started for Corey Feldman in Stand By Me and of course The Goonies. We also knew the evil Keifer Sutherland (also in Stand By Me), but Jason Patric was new to us!

So as we drove down towards the pierMichelle's Labyrinth and I saw the Ferris wheel and the roller coaster  I just wanted to explore the pier and re-live The Lost Boys as much as possible. Santa Carla (“Murder Capital of the World”) is a fictional town in California based on Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is further up the coast closer to San Francisco, so Santa Monica would just have to do for me.

I love American piers and I just hope that the Perth foreshore incorporates the tourist appeal that American piers have. We walked the pier after breakfast and I was praying that the roller coaster and Ferris wheel would open (hubbie and I are not morning people, so to be somewhere where things weren’t open yet was a bit foreign!). We then went for a walk along the beach and walked under the pier. One of my old time favourite songs is “Under the Boardwalk”, so I was excited to be under the boardwalk :P. It was also a little spooky under there, since so many murders in TV shows and novels occur on the beach and/or near boardwalks.

Michelle's Labyrinth   Michelle's Labyrinth

We then went on the roller coaster and theMichelle's Labyrinth Ferris wheel. The roller coaster was completely tame after being at Universal Studios the day before. But we got to go around twice and there was a spot where I lost my stomach twice! The Ferris wheel was quite tame too, except the fact the sides of the car seemed quite low and hubbie has a habit of moving seats and rocking the car. I had a plan to quickly sit on the floor and hug the pole, which I think scared hubbie a little bit that I had a plan! The view from the Ferris wheel was great though.

Michelle's Labyrinth

We explored the pier some more and found Zoltar – from Tom Hanks’ Big. And no I did not ask for a wish, don’t you remember what happened last time! We also saw Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (inspired by the 1994 film Forrest Gump) and Soda Jerks (just a random name!! hehe).

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

I wanted a little more of The Lost Boys at this stage and was looking in every store for comics. I just loved the movie so much. The scene where Star (Jami Gertz) and Michael (Jason Patric) make eyes at each other during “I Still Believe” was so seductive, even for a young teenager! Some of my favourite quotes also come from this movie:

  • Grandpa: “No. I just like to read the T.V. Guide. Read the T.V. Guide, you don’t need a T.V”;
  • David: “What, you don’t like rice? Tell me Michael, how could a billion Chinese people be wrong?”;
  • Sam: “Are you freebasing, Michael? Inquiring minds want to know”;
  • Sam: “Death by stereo!”;
  • Grandpa: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires”.

The movie is just the perfect mix of comic, suspense and horror and even some love. Sam’s line “Look at your reflection in the mirror. You’re a creature of the night Michael, just like out of a comic book! You’re a vampire Michael! My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait ’till mom finds out, buddy!” pretty much says it all. The movie was probably my first introduction to vampires as well. The Lost Boys was in 1987, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were 1992, Interview with a Vampire was 1994, From Dusk Til Dawn was 1996 (all movies from our video teenage era!).

The last stop on the pier, which should have been the first stop if we has actually done it in order, was the carousel. I love the first scene of the movie where Keifer Sutherland (David) and his boys are walking through a carousel as it is going around. Keifer’s long black coat is flapping, his colour turned up like Dracula’s would, and he is smirking and just looking menacing. It is the perfect start to a movie so I was glad to see the carousel. A comic book store would have sealed the whole experience, but I walked away with a big smile on my face.

Michelle's Labyrinth

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down 

When you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
When you’re strange
When you’re strange
When you’re strange

 

Yes I am strange :)

 

 

 

Perth Royal Show 2012

As part of my preparation for my “shows” challenges I went to the Perth Royal Show this year. I carted myself to Claremont and after about 40-50 minutes driving around I found a parking spot costing $10. After walking another 15-20 minutes to get to the show (at this stage I am sure you are asking why I didn’t catch public transport?) I finally made it in. I then had to navigate the masses to find the stand my friend was manning. Telstra then decided to fail and my SMSes didn’t send straight away! But after another 20 minutes I found her – and guess what? She was right next to the Cooking Pavilion!

I wanted to show you some of the cakes that were on display. I felt I was out of my element looking at these cakes. But they were inspirational and have also given me some ideas. I have no idea who made these cakes. The photos were also taken with my iPhone (and through glass!).

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

I think the second scarecrow is amazing. I am not even sure how they did the wheat, unless they used real wheat. It’s supposed to be all edible. I love the first scarecrow too… this one is a bit more in my range of skill.

Michelle's Labyrinth       Michelle's Labyrinth

I was really taken with the girl scarecrow – very Tim Burton-ish. And with the Gidge Show being held on the 27th Oct I thought Halloween themed was a cool idea.

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

I liked the idea of the pigs. They are agricultural shows, so maybe some farm animals or tractors would be a good theme. But I don’t know if that has all been done before.

I liked the rabbit on the hat cake too. Gothic meets Alice in Wonderland.

Michelle's Labyrinth      Michelle's Labyrinth

All I can say about the Africa cake is wow!

Michelle's Labyrinth   Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth     Michelle's Labyrinth

Well you can tell by the sashes on the above four cakes what the judges thought of them!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I love love this blue wedding cake. It is absolutely stunning. Uncomplicated, perfect colours, it’s just elegant. (And we’ll ignore the upside wedding cake on the top right – wow!).

Michelle's Labyrinth

I think this pink cake is intriguing. I love the colours, the mushrooms and the eyes. I am unsure about the girl on it. Overall, so very clever.

I feel like my visit to the Perth Royal Show was a success and my friend’s kids got to do everything they wanted to do (and I was roped into going on the 3D Ghost Train!). It didn’t take me long to get home since we left as it was just getting dark (and cold!) and the driving masses had seemed to have already left. I was glad I drove in the end.

The next decision is to work out how many cakes to make and what! Ideas and suggestions are very welcome. I love getting comments on my blog, so who is going to set my next challenge? I think I will enter a cake into each class.These are the classes the shows have:

GIDGE SHOW

GROUP: O3 DECORATED CAKES CLASSES:
O301 Special Occasion Cake
O302 Article From Moulded Fondant

WANNEROO SHOW

SECTION D: COOKING
1. Decorated Cake, two or more tiers. Suitable for wedding or special occasion.
2. Decorated Cake, one tier. Fruit cake only. Suitable for a Christmas Cake.
3. Sugar Art, anything goes.

My blogging feels even more like Julie and Julia with all the challenges I have been set (by others and myself). I watched the movie again the other day while I was making the ‘craft cake’ and it really is a lovely story. I totally agree that butter is absolutely divine; whoever thought of churning cream (and don’t forget it would have been by hand) until it turned yellow was an absolute genius.

Oh and I must tell you another story from when I made the ‘craft cake’. I was home alone with Makita and she can get rather annoying. She wants in the house. She wants out the house. Each time I let her in or out I washed my hands again, so as you can imagine this got quite tiring after a while. So while I was rolling this lime green coloured ball, to get the colour even, for the palm tree and it rolled right out of my hand and onto the ground I just left it there. I was not washing my hands again! The second movie I watched while making the ‘craft cake’ was It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. (Just to quickly digress, Whoopi Goldberg as Daniel’s ‘Boss’ (aka God) was terrific!). So I was busy cake decorating and listening to the Muppets when I stood back said “Oh no!” and seriously, as soon as ‘no’ was out of my mouth Kermit said “Oh no!”. I looked at the TV. I looked under my thong….

Sorry Kermit’s offspring. It’s not easy being green. 😛

 

 

 

Cakes For All Occasions

One of my very good friends is involved in the Wanneroo [Agricultural] Show and has been for years. Too many too mention! Last year she said I should enter a cake in the Wanneroo Show, and when I decided to go on my sabbatical she pretty much made it a requirement (a challenge!). My Mum is now on the case and has an entry form for the Gidgegannup [Agricultural] Show… so I have until 26th of October to deliver a cake (or two) to the hills, and until 23rd of November to deliver a cake (or two) to my old stomping ground.

Also in October I am planning to make a cake for my niece and my brother-in-law (they are visiting from the UK), so I really need to start planning what I want to make, as sometimes that is the hardest part. So to give me some inspiration I thought I would recapitulate some of the cakes I have made thus far:

Christmas in July:Michelle's Labyrinth

My youngest sister had a Christmas in July dinner at her house this year. Delicious moist turkey, crackling (that crackled!), apple sauce, cranberry sauce…. hmmmm, how many days until Christmas? It was amazing and we were very impressed her oven (and her planning) coped feeding 9 adults and 2 kidlets!

So I offered to make a cake! The first cake I was to make on my sabbatical!

Now to me a Christmas cake (and a Michelle's Labyrinthwedding cake) should be a fruit cake, but I understand for some strange reason that people do not like fruit cake – is it because of the word fruit? So I decided to make a dual-layer cake, one fruit and one chocolate (fail safe right?). But I guess instead of layer, in my case I Michelle's Labyrinthmean mountain! The back mountain was made from fruit cake and the front one is chocolate. I also made the little Christmas characters – my Dad didn’t seem to believe it!

(And yes I did some gimping on the first photo, I wanted to highlight the snowball that had hit one of the penguins, and also to see if I could make it snow!)

Baby Shower:

Earlier this year I offered to make aMichelle's Labyrinth cake for a baby shower. We were lucky and knew the bub was going to be a baby girl. It was fun making this cake because the colours were so cute, and I bought a few more cake decorating supplies (letter and feet cutters!). But I will admit decorating the square blocks took a while.

A little girl was scrolling through the photos on my phone today and this cake got a bit of a squeal from her. I’ll take that as a compliment :)

Michelle's Labyrinth

Birthday Cakes:

Last year the girl, that squealed at Michelle's Labyrinththe baby cake today, asked for a Disney Princess cake for her birthday. I could not work out how to make a cake with all the Disney Princesses, so I chose one. Being a lover of early Disney cartoons I chose Cinderella, plus an idea started to form of making mice and pumpkins!

The hardest part of the cake was finding the glass slipper! Good old Target came through in the end.

 Michelle's Labyrinth

Another cake I made earlier this year was the indian teepee cake. It wasn’t specifically a birthday cake, but IMichelle's Labyrinth was visiting some friends with two gorgeous children whom I hadn’t seen for a year – any excuse right? For this cake I used the picture of the ‘play wigwam’ for inspiration from Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes book. I did learn a lesson from this cake, that chocolate cake (and under icing) is hard to worth with when using lighter fondant colours!

A Cake To Say “I Love You”:

A few weeks ago my Granddad was moved into a “retreat”. He is 92 and he had been living by himself with his labrador, which I think is amazing. I don’t know if I would be able to live by myself at this age, let alone in nearly 60 years time!

My youngest sister and I went to visit him and I thought I would take him some cake. I had some spare fruit cake from my Dad’s birthday cake (something you are yet to see!), so I made this bright cake for my Granddad (affectionately known as GG – Great Granddad to his 22 (?) great grandkids!). I decided after this cake that using gel writing pens is not that easy! Squeezing hard and trying to write neatly is difficult!

Michelle's Labyrinth

P.S. He can be a bit of a rascal hence the P.S. on his cake!

So I have a lot to think about (and plan) for October and November. Would anyone like to suggest a cake they would like me to make for the Wanneroo or Gidge shows?

 

 

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