Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wheels in L.A.

A disrobed Pat making the call to the car rental agency from the airport - note that Pat has donned his winter gear for the tropical climes of L.A.

When I told people I was vacationing in Los Angeles, almost every one to a person said "You'll need a car!"  Pat, my traveling companion, who has visited L.A. before didn't want to get a car.  He said he could manage "quite well" without a car.  He didn't have a car during his previous visits.  He either walked or used public transportation. I almost went with his recommendation for no car until a few days before the trip when I finally succumbed to my bosses lamentations "You're crazy if you're taking a vacation in L. A. without a car!"  So I insisted on getting a car.  Why not?  Pat is an excellent city driver Hey, if anyone who can traverse the treacherous Toronto byways and highways can handle L.A.'s freeways.  So we got a car.


The very efficient Enterprise car rental terminal - I was so impressed with their efficiency!

I have to say that the car rental was so easy.  A few minutes after we landed at LAX, we found the public phones to the car rental agencies.  We placed a call and were told that there shuttles rode by the airport terminal every few minutes.  And they were right!  We turned around after Pat's phone call and there was the Enterprise shuttle.  


Pat, my never complaining subject for many of my photos, working out the details of our car rental "We only need a compact car -we don't need a BMW"

We took the shuttle to the Enterprise car rental location a few miles down the road.  On the way we were immediately stunned by the mild (72 degrees) temperature and the REAL palm trees.  I have to admit I was impressed seeing a boulevard lined with REAL palm trees, not the faux plastic ones placed here on Route One toward Rehoboth Beach.





I have to admit that I LOVED the summertime temperatures that greeted us upon our arrival in L.A. LOVED IT!  Riding down those palm tree lined boulevards was a dream come true for me.  Like so much in my life, a long time I've dreamed about times like this and new those dreams were finally coming true.

We finished out paper work on the car, hoped in, set the address for the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast where we would be staying for the next ten days in my iPhone GPS and we were on our way! 

The traffic wasn't too bad and in only a few minutes we were on Hollywood Boulevard, arriving at our destination.


Pat, standing at the entrance to our home for the next ten days, the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast - check out the palm trees - I couldn't get enough of them!
We checked in and checked out our digs.  Very nice.  A bit "busy" for Pat's minimalist's tastes but doable (he said). 


The pool and patio area of the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast
We checked in our our hosts and were shown to our room. We unwound a bit but not too much, because we wanted to take a walk on Sunset Boulevard, which was just one street over. And we walked in that beautiful, warm, California sunshine.  I'm telling you folks, I could get used to this!


Here we are!  On Sunset Boulevard.  Doesn't take too much to impress us.
We were really soaking up this "summer" day in L.A. Super duper.  Wow!  We continued to walk on Sunset Boulevard, looking for some place to eat.  Neither of us had eaten since last night.  We didn't partake of the airline "meals" which you pay for now.  I did have a watered down orange juice, gratis but I hungered for something more substantial now that we were in L.A. How how I love saying that "We were in L.A.".  

Then what great luck.  Right on Sunset Boulevard we found an enclosed court of shops, restaurants and a fitness center.  And right in the middle was a place, which we were destined to eat most of our meals the next ten days, called the "Veggie Grill."


Pat checking out his veggie options at the order line at the Veggie Grill
Our all veggie lunch - "Bombay Bowl" for Pat and "Sonoran Bowl" for me - delicious! 

Was our first day getting started off right or not?  Wow.  Talk about everything going right.  I'm going to be boring here folks.  We had a great time.

After feeding our faces we went out to explore more of Sunset Boulevard.  Guess what was right outside of the court where we had our lunch?  The Chateau Marmont Hotel.  That's right folks, the famous (or infamous) hotel where John Belushi died and other famous folk have stayed.


A selfie of me and Pat with the Chateu Marmont behind us
With this photo began our first "celebrity" sighting, only dead celebrities or where dead celebrities used to frequent.  During our whole stay in L.A. we didn't see one live celebrity.  Take that back, maybe we did but we didn't know it.  They might have been incognito or has beens.  We did see a Mae West type woman pushing a laundry cart at the Ikea store in Burbank.  I'm pretty sure she had something to do with the movies but I was to embarrassed to asked her, especially since she was pushing that laundry cart even though she did have bleached blond hair with a big flower on the side and way too much makeup and that forlorn look of someone who didn't quite make it.  

I'm sure Pat and I were very obvious as your typical awed Eastern tourists but no one bothered us.  They let us have our fun.  One thing we did notice that there were no overweight people.  Pat was the first to notice that phenomena. Everyone was gym trained slim and the guys all had on those tight legged pants, the fashion de jour. 


Pat in front of another landmark on Sunset Boulevard - no, we didn't run into Clint Eastwood.  He was probably busy talking to an empty chair.

During our walk on Sunset Boulevard we saw many familiar landmarks like the one below, The House of Blues.  But we didn't find what Pat was looking for, "77 Sunset Strip."  I think we found that later, the marker in the ground was covered by construction going on. Pat was disappointed but not me.  I was living the dream, walking the fabled Sunset Strip.  A place that I have heard so much about.  Thus began our first day in La La Land.  As Lawrence Welk would say, "Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!"


Pat at The House of Blues

16 comments:

  1. Taking a walk around, is always a nice way to get the feel for a place. I have gotten use to traveling without a rental car most of the time. Someplace you just can't see much of without a car. I have a one day car rental scheduled in Honolulu, and a one day rental booked in Iceland for next summer.

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    1. David,
      I gotta find out what you do for a living that requires all your travel. I've always wanted to travel, that's why I joined the Army. Never did much though. Trying to make up for lost time now.
      Ron

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  2. The B&B reminds me of the one (now closed) in Key West. Oh how I miss it so.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      Tell you what, you and Someone join us next year in L.A. for a Winter Getaway. We can stay at the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast and do the town and even take a ride to Palm Springs, which we neglected to do this time. I got the car rental covered. As a matter of fact, let's have our mini Bloggerpalooza there next year. Ask whoever else wants to attend.
      Ron

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    2. As a followup to my Bloggerpalooza suggestion, we can all gather at Oil Can Harry's for our get together. They have a Seventies Disco night. Let's do it! This way we can meet the west coast bloggers like Tony and Nadege.
      Ron

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  3. Ron,

    See the photos I posted on Facebook concerning 77 Sunset Strip.

    Lar

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  4. Ron,
    I am enjoying your vacation posts so much! Almost feels like I am on vacation.

    Cindy from Sonoma

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    1. Cindy,
      I'm enjoying these posts too, it's like I'm taking my vacation over again.
      Ron

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  5. Great photos! It's funny that you mentioned Lawrence Welk. Many (many) years ago, on my first trip to California, I was taken to Lawrence Welk's restaurant down in Escondido (don't know if it still exists). All I could think of while eating was "anna one-ah, anna two-ah!" Oh, the memories.

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    1. Walt,
      I grew up watching and listening to Lawrence Welk on the TV. Memories of him and his show quite frequently invade my mental space. Some bubbly music please!
      Ron

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  6. Actually, that veggie food looks pretty good......
    Yes, Ron! You definitely need a car in order to properly explore L.A. - and I applaud Pat for driving. When I was a kid and lived near Disneyland I used to take the shuttle bus to LAX just for the free ride (I seriously doubt if it's free nowadays); And, even after living there for 30 years, I never got tired of looking at the palm trees!

    The Chateau Marmont? I only stayed there once - - but I must have driven by it hundreds of times. To me, it's more impressive on the outside than the inside. I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts and photos.. It's igniting a lot of old memories.

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    1. Jon,
      The veggie food was excellent! What a concept, good, healthy and affordable food in a relaxed environment. Don't I wish I had that here in LSD. I am so glad I insisted on renting a car. And it wasn't all that expensive either. Pat is an excellent city driver although at times I did get nervous with the high volume of traffic but he always reassured me not to worry. And the palm trees? Oh yes, I could take that the rest of my life. The traffic? Now that's another story. We didn't go into the Chateau Marmont but will next year when we visit. By the way, make plans to visit at the same time, you can show us around.
      Ron

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  7. That's funny Walt. I grew up watching Lawrence Welk on TV. References to him and his show frequently invade my mental space.

    Ron

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  8. Ron - I'll have to check out Larry's 77 Sunset Strip photos. There were lots of memorable TV shows from that era - Perry Mason was another hugely popular one. But what I liked (and understand now that I'm older) was that 77 was trying to do film noire on tv. And it was on the famous strip - right next to Dino's Bar and Grill which really existed as it was Dean Martin's. I think once they have construction finished on that block where the 77 office apparently was - another plaque or something will be placed there. What a great time - what a great city.

    Pat

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    1. Pat.
      I sent a "friend request" to Larry for you. I didn't realize the both of you weren't friends on Facebook. I think you're right about the location of "77 Sunset Strip." That was where the construction be underway. Maybe it will be there next year when we visit.
      Ron

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