Thursday, 7 April 2011

Monday - Day 5 L.A.

Well, there was no way on earth, Monday was going to top Sunday, so having readjusted our expectations of the day, we had our usual breakfast in Uncle Johns and then headed onto the Metro, to get to LAX and pick up the rental car we had booked.

We had considered this route on Saturday to get as close to the Marina Del Rey for Adam Marsland's gig before getting a cab, and the hotel concierge had advised strongly against it (bad part of town, you have to change lines etc). We had no problems what so ever and the changing from the blue line to the green line was simple.

We got to LAX and decided that as we were already on Aviation Boulevard and the number of the building next door was not too far from the number of the car rental place, we would walk......... After about 20 minutes we conceded defeat, and stopped at a restaurant where they called us a cab. This was just as well as the rental place was much , much further than we had anticipated.

Picking up the car was not a pleasant experience. The guy behind the counter lost his charm certificate somewhere in his life and when Minty insisted on reading the document put in front of her prior to signing, he got the biggest hump on his shoulder. He grunted something about "line 4" and sent us on our way.....

Outside, in the lot, we found someone who was aplogetic about his colleague's demeanour and showed us the choice of cars we had.... The Beeb picked a sporty little Dodge Caliber and within minutes we were on our way....... with a Sat Nav (GPS for our American friends).

The Beeb and the car

Now, driving in the US is not easy and with Mrs Sat Nav to confuse you.....well, the fun begins!!!! When the Sat Nav tells you to "keep right", it doesn't necessarily mean that you will end up turning right and when the Sat Nav tells you to "keep left", it really does mean keep in the furthest left hand lane otherwise you end up being railroaded onto a slip road (ramp) you never intended to take!!!!!! After a number of false starts we were finally on I110 and then onto I10 to Santa Monica.

Minty outside Chez Jay's
It was a glorious day (well into the 80's we think) and we found a $6 parking lot right next to the beach and took a wander.

The Beeb on Santa Monica Pier
Neither of us were dressed for the beach so we just wandered along the Santa Monica Pier, then we wandered onto Ocean Avenue had a peek at the menu at Chez Jays (the hang out of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson) which held nothing for The Beeb to eat (it was all fish or meat) and then walked a mile or so along the beachfront to Venice Beach. Half way, we stopped at a beachside cafe for a bite to eat - the food was not very nice to be honest.

The Beeb at Pacific Ocean!
Venice Beach was really busy, with many street artists selling their wares and happy hour being made full use of by many beach goers in the bars.

On the beach front walkway
Knowing we had to meet a friend later that evening, we turned around and headed back to the car and then headed back to LA........
Eventually we made it back to Downtown LA and found a lot to leave the car overnight, where the attendant didn't charge us anything as he was about to shut up shop and we could "sort it out with the attendant in the morning".

Back at the hotel, a quick change of clothes and then we walked down Grand Avenue to the LA Live area on Olympic Boulevard to meet fellow Beach Boys / Brian Wilson fan, Mike Walker (also over from the UK) for a light bite to eat and a few drinks in Trader Vics.

The area was very quiet tonight, and the bar was almost empty. But we spent a few hours chatting about just about anything! Mike had not been able to make it to the party the day before which was a shame as he realised just what a treat he had missed.

Mike and The Beeb
The hint was taken when the staff started to disappear, and the tables and chairs outside were being chained up for the night, so we left and headed "home".
So ended our 5th day in LA. It was great to meet up with Mike, and we were glad we had got to see the beach and weather permitting, intend to get back there and spend some time in the sand and sea!

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