Day 1 of the 2011 Oscar Tour Brings Clear Blue San Francisco Skies

In a couple hours we’re off to the Disney Museum and then over to Skywalker Ranch for the rest of the day and evening. It’s funny – in all the years we’ve been doing this annual tour and get-together with the animated short nominees, this is the first year I’ve gone on the northern California leg. One thing or another has always kept me in LA. I’m excited, though my room is freezing. I should drag this room heater back home – it would make a great air conditioner for my office.

Dinner at Gracias Madre - (from left to right) Ron Diamond, Max Lang, Saschka Unseld, Geefwee Boedoe, Jakob Schuh, Alex Woo (with apologies to Sara Diamond in the bottom left corner)

Written by Dan Sarto

Technically, this year’s Oscar Tour Travelogue began yesterday with a relatively uneventful plane ride from LA, followed by my feeble attempts to adjust the volume on the rental car’s GPS and then check-in at the motel under the name Joe Schmoe.  Well, Ron and I found it funny – the gentleman behind the counter politely indulged our lameness and gave us our rooms. It rained all day – nothing more oddly amazing than running around in a storm, jumping on a plane and in a few minutes, watching bright blue skies out your window. I’m hoping we get better weather but of course, that’s not up to me…or Ron.

In a couple hours we’re off to the Disney Museum and then over to Skywalker Ranch for the rest of the day and evening. It’s funny – in all the years we’ve been doing this annual tour and get-together with the animated short nominees, this is the first year I’ve gone on the northern California leg.  One thing or another has always kept me in LA. I’m excited, though my room is freezing.  I should drag this room heater back home – it would make a great air conditioner for my office.

Last night, we had a nice dinner at Gracias Madre on Mission, an organic vegan Mexican restaurant (in that order).  Those who know me know I’m a resolute carnivore – my meal, though different, was quite good.  Not sure about cashew cheese, or steamed kale, but Eel River Blond beer is mighty tasty.  The meal of course was secondary to the conversation – joining us were The Gruffalo directors Max Lang and Jakob Schuh, Let’s Pollute’s director Geefwee Boedoe, along with Max and Jakob’s Studio Soi partner Saschka Unseld, now at Pixar, as well as Pixar story artist Alex Woo.  My niece, Ron’s daughter Sara, now living in San Francisco, met us at the restaurant as well. 

Well, it’s time to shove off and hit the road…more later.