Read part one here.
So the rest of our trip consisted of the most notable stuff. We woke up really early on Sunday morning and went and had the free “continental breakfast” in our hotel. There was nothing “continental” about this breakfast. It was a full-on buffet with make-your-own omelettes and all-you-can-eat bacon. Is there anything better than all-you-can-eat bacon?
We left the hotel around 7:30 to drive to the site of the car show that would be doubling as a memorial service for my uncle. Some people said that there would be people getting there as early as 6 to “get the good parking spots”. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant until I got there.
The above picture doesn’t do this car show justice. There were well over 300 hot rods in the parking lot and a bunch of other just regular old cars. All these people were there for one of two reasons:
- They had been coming for a while and knew my uncle, since he started the cruise and was crucial in organizing it or,
- They knew my uncle and were there in support of my Aunt Paula.
Either way, the amount of support was overwhelming. By our estimation, there were about 1,000 people at the car show / memorial. Quite a testament to my uncle and the number of people that he effected.
Once the memorial started, it was even more clear:
I took this from behind my dad (the bald guy with his arm around my aunt) and it doesn’t even capture all of the people that were there. It was amazing. I’m so glad that we were able to be there.
The cars there were pretty cool too. There were two cars (that I knew of) that were worth over $1 million. One was Howard Hughes’ car. Hughes, a notorious obsessive-complusive germophobe, had completely sealed the windows of the car and put a commercial-airline-grade filtration system in the trunk. That guy was crazier than a straw.
After the memorial, we went on the cruise. Jake rode in my late uncle’s ’56 Ford Fairlane (probably the sweetest car at the show) and Alli and my mom rode in my Aunt’s ’37 Ford Pheaton. I rode in a sweet early 21st century Lincoln Town Car.
After, we went to one of my aunt and uncle’s friends’ houses for some food and then it was back to just hang out and be together as a family. Despite the sadness of the day, it really was great to see all my family from California that I never see. We had a great time with all of my cousins and Alli even got a hair consultation with my cousin’s husband. She was VERY excited about that.
Monday, we didn’t do much. Slept in, had some breakfast (more “continental”…mmm…bacon), and then walked around Long Beach a little bit, but most everything was closed. After that, we met up with my aunt and walked around on Rodeo Drive and then drove up into Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. There were some insanely huge houses up there…some I’m sure that were celebrity houses, but none of which I could identify since I didn’t find this list until yesterday. Would have made things more interesting, I think.
We got up early Tuesday and flew home. It was a long, exhausting trip, but one that I was happy to make and one I would make again in a heartbeat. I think that it still hasn’t hit me that my uncle is really gone. I’m trying to make sense of that. In time, I think I’ll be able to sort it out. Until then, thanks for the prayers and thoughts.