A day in LA.

Being such a supportive husband, when Liz decided that she wanted to make a quick weekend trip to maximize her miles for the year, I was quick to say that I would come along to keep her company.

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After an end of the week beer at The Wellington, it was an early start to the day, what with a 6:44 AM departure. It is always weird to be out and about driving to the airport at such an early hour, and with it being Friday PM/Saturday AM…you had to figure some folks were still on their way home for the night.

But we got the upgrade, so we were able to enjoy some omelette action on the flight before dozing off for a little bit of sleep recuperation.

Liz hooked up the super affordable rental, and I have to say, for $14…I couldn’t complain about a Corrolla. And, I wasn’t even driving.

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Knowing that the super LA sunshine (it was about 58 degrees) was not a guarantee for the day, the first target was the beach, so we headed to Marina Del Ray (I think?).  After strolling the pier and making sure not to get hit by any fisherman hooks  as they cast from the deck, we stopped to watch a seal playfully ride the surf, just like the 30+ humans were doing. Only he didn’t have to don the wet suit.

A nice second breakfast on the day outside along the beach then fueled a trip down the Venice beach storefronts, which had a lot of stuff that you don’t see in Indy. We happened upon a skate competition at the permanent skate park on the beach. The fun part was watching the well knee- and elbow-padded youngster who could barely fit his helmet, likely not even five years old. The other skaters were really supportive of his riding, it was cool to see, even though he is no question a better skater than I…

And the older kids were literally radical, getting big air and all of that stuff that made me cringe each time the trick didn’t work and they would come slapping into the ground, only to get up as though nothing had happened.

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This was the first place I went to pull up the Zillow to see how wildly expensive the real estate was. Looking at those figures…it made sense that there were so many vans you can live in parked there for the surfer set.

From there we headed to the Hollywood sign. But first, a stop at the Hollywood Bowl. There were barriers set up at the parking lot, but not all of them so it was easy to drive on in. I’d been there a couple of times (before going to Australia, and also in 2006 with Dennis. Both times I guess with Dennis…).

Liz wasn’t liking the feeling that we were going to get thrown out of there, but no one was there and no one bothered us then we went and checked it out. Liz also didn’t want to see if we could get up on the stage so we skipped that attempt.

IMG_7977Eager to miss traffic, we headed back out to make our way to the Hollywood sign, as we’d read about a number of hike opportunities with different approaches to the sign. Clicking on the easiest one meant a lucky find —parking in the parking lot— at the Griffith Observatory, and then a 3 mile hike to get a closer but still pretty distant view of the sign, which looked from the side like it said “Hollywoo”

IT was warm enough to warrant a move to shorts, and we both got a little bit sun kissed with the clear conditions.

IMG_7978Having worked up a hunger, we again braved traffic to hit another California classic, In N Out. It was depressing to see “77” on our order…as they called out “22” to be served. But, the wait was not terrible. I passed the time by burning my mouth on the chillies that they serve as a side.

From there we got our architecture on with a visit to the R. M. Schindler house. (http://makcenter.org/sites/schindler-house/)IMG_7983

As we headed back to the car..the rain came. Having already put in a pretty long day, a quick stop for coffee as the 4:45 PM sunset neared and the rain got heavier was a good boost.

IMG_7985With no real planner, we then decided a book store was a good rainy day activity. We found one that focused on art books and comic book (graphic novels) …but no parking. A second target, a Taschen store, as foiled when it was discovered that it had moved/gone out of business. We keep looking thanks google! and found ….g

Spent some time there and scored a pair of barsain books, as well as seeing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lena_Dunham

From there we did a dark tour of West LA, and then were heading down Rodeo drive, spotting some pretty sweet car stores along the way.

IMG_7980Trying to avoid the fortress of RED that surrounds .. we kept to the surface streets, IMG_7993which also gave us a better look at the environs that you might not picture as being LA, but are no less so.

Then a super stop for some outstanding sushi, and then on back to LAX for the red eye home. A great day out West!

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