We were getting ready for the day when Erin and Gina knocked on our door from their adjoining room. Big news! Gina had gotten a text from another coworker saying that our principal had accepted a job in a nearby Missouri district. She was leaving us and taking some of our staff with her. Rumor? Gossip? We weren't sure. This news immediately threw us into a tailspin. Personally, I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under me. Mrs. H. has worked very hard the past three years to raise achievement in our school, we've done some very cutting edge things that work and felt like we were on our way from being a ghetto school to a blue ribbon school. She always said she was with us for the long haul. Now she's leaving without any kind of warning?
Of course, a couple of the girls I was with are very young and dramatic so we had a lot of dramatic discussion and conjecture along with mad texting to coworkers at home. Melissa was one of the people who we heard was going with Mrs. H so we weren't sure how or if we should talk to her about it. We did know that she was away from our group often and on her phone talking to her friend, Desiree, who was also thought to be going with Mrs. H. We really knew nothing for sure. The younger girls devised this covert way of bringing it up in the car. I personally wanted to just ask her straight out if it was true and what she knew, but before I could ask, the performance had begun. There was mad texting going on between the four of us in the back of the car. I'm sure Melissa knew that we knew the gig was up. Melissa didn't say a word but encouraged us to go to the source and ended up texting Mrs. H herself. It was clear to me from how nervous and tense she was acting that she was going too or at least knew what was up.
At some point in the morning, we all got a Facebook email from a coworker stating that Mrs. H was inviting us to a staff dinner at Red Lobster on Thursday for an announcement. A facebook email? Not even from Mrs. H herself? Really? Could this have been done in a more UNprofessional manner? I don't think so.
We decided to adopt the same plan. One session and then do something fun. The presentation on technology was entertaining but really didn't deliver any new information for us. We went to Pink's Hot Dog Stand for lunch where famous people are supposed to go often. Good hot dogs but no famous people.
While at lunch we all got a text from Mrs. H. A text. Saying that she'd accepted an offer in another district but that we'd always be family and that we'd all keep in touch because she'd still be our mentor. What? Could this get any more bizarre? We all felt totally betrayed. I'm sure Mrs. H has been working on this for a while and I think it's wrong to act like we're all so close and that she will be there for us while she's working on getting away and taking staff with her. I was not asked to go....what's her real opinion of me? I'll never know.
After the text announcement, I'm glad to say we were all able to forget about the school drama and just enjoy being tourists. We stopped at a bakery and got cupcakes which we planned to eat at the Hollywood sign to celebrate Gina's birthday. It was quite a trek getting to a good place to view the sign. Narrow streets with short curves and switchbacks. Cute houses tucked into the hill, so close I felt like I could reach out and touch them. We were too taken by the sign to eat the cupcakes, just enjoyed the view and had fun posing for pics. If I had worn different shoes I would have been up for hiking all the way up.
Then we went to Hollywood Boulevard and Vine to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At first we were in an older part, great old stars but kind of a skanky area. We knew we weren't going to find a park or picnic tables at this point so we just sang to Gina and ate our cupcakes right there on the street. Very laughable!
We found the newer touristy part of Hollywood Boulevard and had so much fun gawking at Trousseau's Wax Museum, the Kodak Theater, and all the stars on the sidewalk. I was especially thrilled when we found Grauman's' Chinese Theater. How to explain? There seemed to be a special vibe there. Those stars had actually been there! It was like they were there with us! It was all very nostalgic and I felt a special link to the Hollywood royalty.
We then drove through West Hollywood. Colorful and beautiful. Creative, artsy shops and restaurants. Rainbow flags everywhere. I would have liked to stop and walk around but we just didn't have time to do everything. And we were on our way to ....
Rodeo Drive, Baby! Beverly Hills! Wow! I'm not usually one to be impressed by possessions or money or status. But that place really is like a different world. Everything is so beautiful, clean and sort of... shiny? Even the people walking around were beautiful. I wanted to stop them and ask what acting job they were on their way to. I've never seen so many BMWs and Mercedes in one place. We all screamed as we turned onto Rodeo Drive!
As we turned, I spotted a gorgeous couple walking with their family. Not sure if they were Arab or Indian but they were wrapped in beautiful garments that made me think they possibly were. The woman was carrying a real Fendi bag! That is something I never thought I would see in real life! It was quite a thrill for this farm girl. Keep in mind I'm not into designer stuff at all and I only know about Fendi from Sex in the City but it was like I couldn't believe my eyes. A real life woman carrying a fabulous bag that to have cost a few thousand dollars. Right after that we spotted a sleek, black Lotus just cruising along. A Lotus. On Rodeo Drive. And then we passed the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I'm telling you I felt like I had entered the movie Pretty Woman.
We went back to our hotel (NOT the Beverly Wilshire but still very nice) and went to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner. I had a great steak with crab stuffed shrimp and a fancy drink called a Chocolate Macaroon. Very good!
I'm so tickled we were able to do and see so much despite the school drama going on. My eyes were practically popping out of my head most of the day. I kept thinking that seeing these things was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We certainly made the most of it and experienced everything we could.