Dad wanted to drive up to Griffith Observatory but the old road from by the carousel had been converted to trails, so we took the long way up and found out that the observatory is still closed for renovation. The parking lot outside the construction area is open, so we stopped up there and took a few photos with the Hollywood sign and the trailhead sign for the Mount Hollywood Trail.
We took a detour west down Hollywood Boulevard, where Laurel wanted to stop and see the "dinosaur building" (the Ripley's museum), and then out to Santa Monica Pier. We missed the last carousel ride of the day, but Laurel loved a bubble machine someone had going on the pier in front of the carousel building and had a corn dog from Hot Dog on a Stick to buy us some time to figure out where to eat.
David wanted lobster but Bubba Gump's didn't offer it and the cafeteria-style seafood place on the pier didn't look enticing, so we headed home with possible plans to go to Tokyo Lobby. (Psst, RQE: there's a tofu place next door to the Tokyo Lobby in San Gabriel.) Somehow we wound up heading east to Industry and a Joe's Crab Shack, where Laurel wanted to go outside and play after she realised the balloon twister was working the far side of the restaurant from where we were seated after we ordered.
Between our appetizer and our entrées arriving, the balloon twister made it around to our side of the restaurant. He looked awfully familiar and when he said "I'm Eddie," Dad replied, "Eddie Spaghetti?". He replied that it was one of his stage names, so we all started talking at once: "Eddie from Moose Camp?" "Eddie that was with Ringling in 2000?" "We saw you in Colorado Springs!".
He affirmed that yes, he's that Eddie Medrano and was amused when I told him I have pictures of him and Amy and him holding Laurel when she was six weeks old. (I have to find and scan them now -- I know I have a low-res scan of the photo of him and Amy, but I'm pretty sure one copy of the film prints made it into my photo storage box in Colorado.) He twisted a red and purple butterfly balloon hat for Laurel and an orange octopus hat for my cousin, which I wound up wearing afterward, and posed for a photo with Laurel. Couldn't ask for a nicer dinner surprise.
Eddie also let us know that we could catch Don Caldwell at Café Tu Tu Tango in Orange on Wednesday through Saturday nights. I know where we're going on out next trip down there!
(Background: Eddie and Amy met at Mooseburger Camp 1999. We next saw him with the clown alley with Ringling's red unit in 2000, where Amy recognized him during the floor show and he came up and visited with us during intermission. He's an event clown now, which is how we came to see him this year -- he twists at the Joe's Crab Shack in City of Industry on Thursday nights.
Bonus trivia: if you look in the Camp Yearbook page, you can see Rosie [Amy] just left of center in the 1999 group photo and Rosie and Petunia [Amy and Mom] in the center right in the Week 2 2000 group photo.)
On the way out, we giggle over the t-shirts in their gift shop one last time and drop a little on that month's featured shirt, which sayd "Diamonds are forever but a girl never forgets crabs". I figure I could do a little t-shirt surgery later and make it a fitted tee, but I ultimately decide to leave it alone so Vogon can wear it.