I know. The name is very deceptive. But I swear to god . . . no belt buckles. No cowboy hats. No boots.
Well, that's not true. The Ferragamo and the Jimmy Choo store both sold boots. Just nothing like Betty would have found in Montana.
We had an extra couple of days in LA with Dr. Chako, due to the fine Seattle weather and Alaska Airline's reluctance to fly in it. But Monday started out a little too rainy to make Disney a good option. So we decided to take the rental car and head north to the bright lights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
After driving through the Hollywood hills (admit it . . . you can hear Seeger in the background, can't you?) and getting a few pictures of the Hollywood sign, we headed back down into the valley, letting Santa Monica drop us off at the start of Rodeo drive.
Rodeo drive is unlike any other shopping area I've seen. A few places in Europe come close; if there is one that exceeds it, I haven't been to it yet. Even their holiday decorations are beyond . . . well, beyond.
Of course, the Chako clan shows up dressed for a day at Disney. Which entails multiple layers of ridiculous sweatshirts and jeans (including DrChako in his finest "Dead Men Tell No Tales" Pirates of the Carribean sweatshirt and me in some random poker sweatshirt that was swag from some random tourney). My children look like ragamuffins, but this is nothing new. Boys of this age tend to be attracted to ratty t-shirts and jeans.
However, when Dr. Chako started dropping some brands in the fru-fru watch store, the sales associate's eyes lit up and soon he had us back looking at $60,000 watches. The saleswoman in the Jimmy Choo store fussed over my feet. Jason, in the Cole Hahn store, tried his darndest to find a new leather jacket in Dr Chako's size. The watch store even gave us the best swag I've ever seen in a store . . . leather-bound editions of the latest watch catalogues. The binding alone had to be worth a good $30.
Alas, we did not buy. Amidst the Gucci, Fendi, D&G, Chanel, IWC Schaffhausen, and other brands whose names shouldn't even be uttered if you don't have a five figure bank account, we only window shopped.
Well, that's not true. We spent $32 on chocolates from Teuscher, where gourmet Swiss chocolates sell for $75 per pound. They ship, if you're interested.
It was a pretty two hours in fantasyland. The valet parking was free. The pictures were priceless. And a semi-toothless woman walking down the street swore she saw Governor Schwartzenegger shopping just 30 minutes before . . . Maria must be getting something good for the holidays!
Amidst all the diamonds and furs and titanium . . . I did keep my eyes open for any random cowboys . . .