Friday, January 30, 2015

Ride Up the Hollywood Hills

That's me and Pat at the top of Hollywood Hills behind where we were staying.  Checkout downtown Los Angeles behind us.  Just one more fabulous view of Los Angeles.

During our recent stay in Los Angeles, our accommodations were a lovely little bed and breakfast on Hollywood Boulevard at the base of the fabled Hollywood Hills.  One morning, when we headed out on our daily by the seat of our pants adventure, Pat suggested that we take a ride up the Hollywood Hills behind us. 




Ever since we had arrived in West Hollywood we had looked in amazement at the homes perched precipitously on the steep hills behinds us.  "Who lives there?" was the thought that often crossed out free spirited and adventurous brains. So Pat said "Let's take a ride" and we did.  And what a ride!  

We thought it would only take a few minutes to ride to the top but were we ever mistaken.  Up we went. One twist to the right then another to the left. Finally we reached the summit and what a view of downtown Los Angeles.  And folks, I have to tell you, I got a little dizzy. A bit of vertigo with your old pal Ron here.  Pat thought that was cute.  


One of the few non-selfie pictures of me and Pat - this one taken at the top of Hollywood Hills

At the top we stopped and got out and talked to a few construction workers who were shoring up a base to build a new house for one of those many rich Angelinos.  "Who can afford this?" we asked.  A better questions might be "Who wants to drive home every night on a rode like this to the top of Mt. Vesuvius?"  Wow, this ride up and the one down, where we almost collided with a trash truck (trash trucks on those roads?) was more exciting and thrilling than any fake Universal thrill ride.  


Ride down those perilous Hollywood Hills

Yet another adventure for the intrepid duo of Ron and Pat, those two Old Guys who don't know how to act their age.  And guess what?  Pat wanted to do it again the next day!  Maybe next year Pat.  I had enough excitement for one day. 

22 comments:

  1. Ron,
    Thanks for the mini movie of the Hollywood Hills. It made me dizzy just watching you guys! I don't do heights well, something that has become worse as I age. My eyes would have been closed for that entire ride. It was so much fun to watch though from the safety of my computer chair. It is obvious you and Pat are very good traveling pals, I just love his accent and could listen to it all day long. I can't wait to see and hear about everything else you did. I am looking forward to your next adventure too.

    I leave town a week from today, and San Francisco a week from tomorrow. I am hoping I have half as good a time as the two of you did! I also hope I have as much energy as the two of you. Long day ahead of me a week from tomorrow, but I am so excited.

    Cindy from Sonoma

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    1. Cindy,
      You couldn't ask for a better traveling companion than Pat. And I love his accent too, I never tire of it. He tells me I have an accent too but I don't hear it (LOL). By the way, those hills are STEEP. You literally could fall over the side and tumble down the hill. Heights never used to affect me but as I got older I've noticed that I get that woozy feeling if I'm up too high, higher than a six foot ladder of course.
      I hope you have a good time on your trip. And the "energy" thing? We were both worn out at the end of each day. In fact it took both of us about a week to recover from our ten days in L.A. Pat figures we averaged about four hours of sleep a night and were on the go every day. But we did have fun. And we're going to do it again next year, health permitting.
      Ron

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  2. The higher up, the bigger the clout!

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    1. Bob,
      That was some "ride" up those hills and Pat wanted to do it again! Maybe next year. I got too woozy this time. I could have fallen down that hill all the way to the bed and breakfast where we were staying. Man that was high up. I can't imagine having to commute back and forth to my home every day on a high hill like that.
      Ron

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  3. Ron - thanks for the video. That brings it all back. My apologies to the folks for saying "holy smokes" over and over again. But I was mesmerized. What was interesting too was that these good construction workers/engineers said these houses on perilous slopes are probably the safest in LA due to the fact they are anchored 60 ft (I think) into the bedrock. Also - and I didn't even consider this at the time - huge construction trucks must make their way up to these heights. And what was I saying - 2 million dollars. - I think more likely 10 million dollars minimum for these places.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Posting these videos are bringing back all those wonderful memories of our adventure in California. What a great time we had. And we're doing it again next year, different sights and different adventures. Can't wait!
      Ron

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  4. Ron,

    And this wasn't even the rich side of town. Very similar look, except the houses were larger, in Beverly Hills and Belair. You would have probably been arrested if you cruised up there and began filming, though. My fear of hight has lessened as I have gotten older, but I wouldn't want to live on the side of a cliff like that. Same thing in Colorado. If those places are anchored in so well how come we are always seeing a few slide down the hill in rainy season? I give Pat props for driving those streets.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      Even though I suspect those houses we saw on this side of the Hollywood HIlls were very expensive, I knew we weren't in the really ta ta section of the Hollywood Hills. It is interesting that your fear of heights has lessened as you've grown older and mine has heightened. I got positively woozy looking down those hills and over to the city skyline of Los Angeles. By the way, Pat is an EXCELLENT driver. I couldn't have had a better driver, unless it was you of course. The three best drivers I know are you, Pat and my late friend Ed Cage. Ed may have had his faults but he was one good driver. I think that's because you guys have been driving for so long. Both you and Ed had cars while you were still in high school.
      Ron

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  5. You should check out the roads in Benedict, Laurel and Topanga Canyons next time you’re in LA.

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    1. rjjr8878,
      Good suggestion which we will take up next year when we visit. So much to do in L.A. and so little time.
      Ron

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  6. I got chased off Bob Hope's twisting driveway in Palm Springs. By a talking bush. Actually, two of them! HAHAHAHAHA

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      We talked of taking a drive over to Palm Springs. Maybe next year.
      Ron

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    2. I think you will be disappointed. Here is my take:

      They waste water. PS is in a desert, but there are HUGE fountains and PLUSH golf courses everywhere! They "mist" to cool down outdoor cafes. Even the median strips are irrigated. It's amazing how much water they waste. I think they encourage toilets that use 20 gallons per flush!

      EVERYTHING is EXPENSIVE!!! "Back in the day" when I could wear a Speedo, I decided while there to "extend" my tan. $68 dollars later...

      In the summer (I know you'll be there in the winter) EVERYTHING is closed except the expensive cafes.

      All communities are "gated". The expensive ones with ornate fences, walls, and guard stations, the trailer parks with cinderblock walls with broken bottles embedded in the top, with chain link fence gates.

      You can't get up in the hills without using the (closed in the summer) tram. All other roads are gated (except Bob Hope's driveway, which has talking bushes to chase you away).

      There really is little to see except expensive golf courses and posh hotels. Oh, and the bird killing wind farms.

      Plus side: They have bars in the pools, so you can float, swim, wade, whatever and still get BOOZE!!!!

      Take my word for it, Fort Grayling, Michigan, in August, with the mosquitoes so big that they got sucked into jet engines on the helicopters and caused problems was more fun (but that's another story altogether).

      Peace <3
      Jay

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    3. Jay,
      You have convinced me to pass up a visit to Palm Springs. I was only interested because Dr. Spo and a longtime friend of mine have been talking it up but you have confirmed my suspicions, Palm Springs is an exclusive enclave for rich old gay guys and their cliques. Pat and I wouldn't fit in because we're not rich or cliquish. Old and gay, yes but lacking the other "qualifications."
      Ron

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  7. Extremely enjoyable videos, Ron. I said it before and I'll say it again - - I applaud Pat for being brave enough to drive. You could easily get lost in the HLYWD hills and wander around for years.

    In retrospect, it's hard to believe that I once walked up to the Hollywood sign at night (I was only 20 and with a friend). I also walked from Hollywood to downtown L.A. at night (and lived to tell about it). Those were the days......Your fantastic vacation is bringing back old memories and I really appreciate it.

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    1. Jon,
      I am so glad you're enjoying my videos of our L.A. stay. I was having second thoughts about posting all of them (and the photos) for fear that I would bore my regular blog followers, but with the positive response I've received from some has only encouraged me to post ALL of them. I have a ways to go. I can honestly say that our ten day stay in L.A. was probably the best vacation I've ever had. More to come; both photos and videos! By the way, I saw the Hollywood sign, that was some trek you made. We couldn't do it. Kudos to you Jon.
      Ron

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    2. Southern California is a place that you have to see to appreciate it. I'm so glad that you and Pat got to experience it together.
      I agree that Palm Springs is a place for "rich old gays and their cliques" - but it's still a lovely area to visit, at least once.

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    3. Jon,
      I would like to visit Palm Springs at least once. I'll have to think on it. But I've had enough exposure to "rich old queens" (mostly U.S. government retirees from Washington D.C.) right here in River City . . . er . . . . Rehoboth Beach. I've made a few friends but not like I thought I would when I moved to this East Coast gay retirement community. The guys here are pretty cliquish or maybe it's me. I think it's ironic that the best friend I've made happens to be a guy from Toronto Canada who happened to see my mug on the Internet testifying before the Delaware state legislature for marriage equality and did an Internet search and found my blog and me. Wow, that was a long sentence wasn't it? But the point I want to make is I've made far more friends through my blogging and presence on the Internet than I have because I moved to southern Delaware. I'm a pretty friendly guy so the only thing I can figure is either I'm not rich enough, gay enough or . . . . I don't know what. But because of my continuing experience here in the Rehoboth area I'm not inclined to visit another "exclusive" gay community of rich old queens with young houseboys hovering around looking for a few crumbs. Not my thing ya all. (smile).
      Ron

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  8. Quite amazing film, Ron. I was transfixed. Recognised the view of LA from the height, with that distinctive clump of skyscrapers - rather like a tuft of grass in the middle of an otherwise cleared area.
    Was wondering, with long-overdue next major quake which, I understand, is more likely to be under parts of LA rather than SF again (after 1906) how many buildings and homes would survive, particularly all those perching on the hillside like birds' nests. Doesn't bear thinking about.
    You've got a unique piece of film here. I'm just trying to think how many, if any, films featured this sinuously twisty climb - more especially going downhill, with a car running downhill with its brakes not working (as in Hitchcock's 'Family Plot' - which probably was filmed on some different road)). It's okay - I'm just thinking aloud.
    Most fascinating.

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    1. Ray,
      You should experience that ride in person. Pat wasn't kidding when he said it was like an amusement park ride even scarier. We were told by those builders that we were talking to on this video that those houses are secured into the hillside by bedrock. Uh huh, all I know is you can literally fall down the side of those hills to possible great damage to your body or worse. I can't imagine living there and commuting back and forth every day up those steep, winding roads. I guess you get used to it.
      Ron

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  9. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Next time get adventurous and try Mulholland Drive (at night) and Topanga Canyon. And honestly I think you'd like Palm Springs, for a day or two, if just for the architecture. Take care. ~~~ NB

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    1. NB,
      I'm open to all suggestions. Palm Springs we may do just for the architecture. Both Pat and I like to see different types of architecture. Thanks for the tip. I think we already did Mulholland Drive at night, in the rain when we went to Oil Can Harry's.
      Ron

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