October 15, 2009
Lodestar Los Angeles
Our two short stays there on the way to and from Mexico were fantastic! Indeed we saw a few stars, or would be stars!
Being averse to standing in queues, we decided to forgo the obvious tourist destinations, although whilst under the influence of jet lag, we did go on a city tour to some of the hot spots. An enjoyable alternative as there were no crowds and an entertaining evening unfolded.
Our stop at Universal City was amusing .......................................
There is a cycle path that goes right along the beach for most of Los Angeles….apparently the longest cycle track in the world, although it was far beyond our capability to see how true this was.
Redondo Beach seemed to be the fitness center of LA or maybe it is just that the vista enthuses people to be part of the landscape. The infamous ‘Golds Gym’ was next to our hotel and we had free membership. We will have to take some appropriate clothing next time!
High on Peter’s ‘must do’ list was a visit to Marina Del Ray, so he was quite excited! On our arrival at our destination we went to see a broker, as you do, who then drove us around to look at a Baltic 49. (Free tour of the marina!) Amazing yacht, but as it drew 8’8”, it was out of the question.
Of course the marina has a West Marine Store which was like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coup. We feel that we will become well acquainted by the time we finish fitting out the new Stolen Kiss, but that is another story!
Being close to Pacific Highway we caught the public busses down to Long Beach and up to Santa Monica. I had to almost restrain Peter from jumping out the bus as we went passed the car yards as the price of luxury cars is very cheap! We ventured through some not so salubrious suburbs which we were happy it was not night.
So many clichéd songs came to mind. Hotel California is just south of Santa Monica Pier and will be savored for the next visit. Unfortunately, I did not have any Beach Boys songs on the ipod. The pier was entertaining with buskers and interesting people doing different things. Long Beach, as per usual for a port area, was a little tacky but worth a look to stroll around the marinas.
The most single aspect of life in LA that amazed us was the people who were so friendly and kind, with manners you would only dream of most of us in Australia having. Every where and everyone we came across. Certainly, the idea of customer service in America would have to be a shinning example to Australia.
In a unique way that can only be American, a lady stopped us as we were crossing the road, leant out of her car and asked if we would like to buy her house! She assured us it was a great house, on the beach and she was offering a really cheap price. Perhaps a bargain was to be had there, but not by us!
Some restaurants we found were just not for us...
In a little shopping centre near our hotel was a gourmet, organic supermarket with an enormous range of ready to eat food. There was also a microwave and a small eating area for those who were eating on the run, which took customer service to a higher level. In every restaurant we ate at, there was no problem at ordering one meal between us. We just were not up to eating the huge portions they dished up. One favourite was American pancakes, which reminded us of what Bill used to make for us at Chagos.
Los Angeles was also very colourful, with many murals and quirky houses. The Whale Walls were all along the coast, decorating otherwise huge bland cement walls. An amazing feat!
So now it is back to work in Perth until my contract expires at the end of November. Peter scored a frequent flyer seat back to LA in November via Tokyo and I will follow a week later. We plan to meet the Blue Bananas in LA (in the snow!) for the festive season. A little collection of some snow gear will have to be had!