My Experience

by Steven H Silver


California Before the Day

Our trip out to California was pretty booked up ahead of time, so I really have a chance to focus on my upcoming “Jeopardy!” appearance.  The Saturday before, we attended a wedding.  On Sunday, my parents, wife, daughter and I flew out of Midway in Chicago, spending a couple of hours at the Albuquerque airport where we visited with cousins from both my parents’ sides of the family.  When we arrived at LAX, we rented a car and drove out to my uncle’s house in Yorba Linda.

For those who aren’t familiar with LA, Yorba Linda is about as far east as you can go and still remain in California, at least, that’s the way it seems.  The only thing Yorba Linda has to offer, in the way of tourism, is the Richard Nixon Birthplace, Library and Gravesite.  This means that whenever you want to do anything, you first have to spend an hour or more in the car getting to the general area to which you wish to go.

On Monday, we took my two-year-old daughter, Robin, to Disneyland.  No matter what anyone says, the perfect age to go to Disneyland is in your thirties, assuming you are bringing your child along and can watch her expression as she tries to deal with the sensory overload, the shock and the pure, unadulterated enjoyment.  In the weeks leading up to my trip, I was telling people that I was more looking forward to taking my daughter to Disneyland than I was toward “Jeopardy!”.  After my return, I stand by that statement.

On Tuesday, Elaine, Robin and I met some high school friends for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, El Coyote, which, I am assured, is where Sharon Tate ate her last meal.  I was not particularly impressed by the food, the service or the history.  Our subsequent plans to visit Griffith Park were scuttled when Robin decided (much to her parents’ appreciation) that it was time to take a nap.  While she slept in the back seat, we drove up into the San Fernando Valley where we had dinner plans with some other friends.

After dinner, we drove back into LA proper and checked into the Radisson Hotel in Culver City.  I checked in at the concierge’s desk and was told that somebody had already booked a cab over to the studio for 8:00 the next morning and someone else for 8:30.  I decided to aim for the 8:00 ride with the option of switching to the later ride.