Monday, 11 April 2011

Friday - Day 9 LA

Another lazy lie in this morning. Today we were meeting up with poet, songwriter,  recording artist and raconteur Stephen J Kalinich. But not before finding some time to sit by the hotel’s rooftop pool and try and catch up with this blogging malarkey. This was actually the first time we’d actually SEEN the pool!
We had just planned on having a coffee with Stevie K, but Stevie being Stevie had other plans. He wasn’t sure where we would go, but he was going to take us off the beaten LA track and show us the non-touristy side.
We headed out towards the hills in Glendale, and ended up in the scenic town of La Canada, pronounced “La Can-yard-a” as the Beeb kept on reminding us in a Peter Sellers French accent. This was a gorgeous town set at the foothills surrounding LA. Although it was a sunshiney day, the skies were threatening a bit of rain, which we tried to capture with our photo!

The skies above La Canada
We had a lovely lunch in a very classy cafe called Penelopes that also doubled as a book shop and art gallery. The owner of the place obviously knew Stevie and they had a chat while our lunch was ordered. Minty had a toasted cheese and ham sandwich and has never seen so much ham in a sandwich before – about a quarter of a pig!!!

The Beeb and Stevie K, with the wonderful backdrop of the mountains

After lunch we went for a drive as close to the hills as was possibly before a tour round some stunning houses just off Chevy Chase Drive. Stevie thought it was hilarious the Beeb thought the street was named after the actor. Apparently the US has a more famous Chevy Chase!
It’s always great to see Stevie, but once again it was even nicer being able to spend some quality time with someone for a change. Then it was time to head back to the hotel.
At this point Minty caught up with a bit of blogging again, while the Beeb took a stroll down to the Grand Central Market  and Theatreland in Downtown LA.

Downtown LA - one
of the old theatres
He was delighted to find a big guitar store almost immediately. Unfortunately there was no-one there who seemed to speak English. Either that or Mexicans don’t watch enough Taggart on the telly. He found a second, then a third and fourth music store...ALL with the same result. Not even a bit of Spanglish to be found.
It’s still an eye-opening part of town though. It’s clear to see it was once a thriving area of theatres. Sadly they’re all closed now and have been turned into jewellery shops and guitar shops where no-one speaks English!
The plan for tonight was for a meal with Dom and Becky, and Lina and Rory. The convoy arrived at the hotel and we headed off to Mexico City. That was the name of the restaurant, not over the Mexican border.
Once again the Beeb suffered because of his accent. He ordered burritos and was brought fahijas instead! He even ordered in his posh Sean Connery accent this time. At least it was veggie and he was able to scoff it down with the help of some Mexican beer.
After dinner we headed out to visit Luxuria music DJ, Kari Kaos. She lives in a really old part (by LA standards) of town, in a little narrow street. The whole area was an arty/bohemian type place. And  Kari’s gaff was no exception.
This place was like walking into an LSD trip. There can’t be another house in the US like it. In fact we found out it was featured in the new edition of some style magazine. Every room had a different theme, and each was filled with all kinds of Barbie dolls, 60’s ornaments, artifacts, pictures, name it, she had it. Anyone walking in immediately found themselves part of a 60’s Psychedelic movie. Her walk in closet was something else too!

Kari at the bar in her awesome TV lounge......
We stayed for about an hour or so, and by then it was past midnight and the tiredness was starting to set in. So reluctantly we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. At this point we also had to say farewell to Lina and Rory, and for The Beeb, it was like parting from a long lost sister. If he wasn’t such a tough Scotsman you know, he would have had a tear in his eye.
Dom & Becky dropped us back to the hotel, but not before they had a discussion about keeping us in LA for a few days more. Unfortunately we DID have to say our goodbyes to them. Hugs all round and we headed up to our room.
So ended our final night in LA........ time spent perfectly with the two couples who had made such an impact on our time out there. Thanks to you all.

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