I recently had the occasion to make a weekend round trip from my home near Albany, in New York State to Los Angeles. The purpose was to help our 21 year old son move to LA. I was required because Mrs LHP didn’t want to drive a rental car in LA, so I was recruited.
The trip started very early, up at 3am for a 5:50 flight to Washington DC, then a connection to the 5hr flight to LA.
We arrived in LAX at around 11:30 am local. Waited 30 minutes for the shuttle bus to the rental car place, which was located in a warehouse district close to the airport. Finally got the car after queuing for 15 more minutes and got on the road. First stop was to pick up the keys to my son’s new (thankfully furnished) apartment and drop off our bags (containing most of his possessions, the rest to be shipped at a later date). First impressions of his neighbourhood in Culver City were not good, it’s run down and pretty diverse. 2 Halal only Indian restaurants, pizza and Mexican restaurants, 7-11 convenience stores and several car repair shops on the immediate blocks around his place.
Having assessed the amenities available in his apartment, we went to purchase some necessities and groceries to get him started. This was accomplished at a massive mall nearby. Having found parking and wandered in, it felt like we were in any country other than the USA, several languages spoken, lots of headscarves, Hispanics and yapping Chinese and Koreans. Not a tourist spot so I am assuming mostly locals. We had some lunch at a chain restaurant and then picked up the things we needed.
Back to his apartment, Mrs LHP helped the son to unpack and put away his things. Only one breakage in transit (coffee machine) thankfully which was easily replaced.
By this time (6pm LA time, 9PM at home) we called it a night. As his apartment is a one-bedroom studio, the wife and I went to our hotel, had a quick dinner, a couple of glasses of wine and straight to bed.
Awake early the next day, I watched Lewis win the Italian grand Prix on TV in bed (Yes!!) and then a quick shower and over to pick up our son and drive to Santa Monica for Sunday Brunch. After brunch at a nice hotel, that my wife had booked previously, we had a wander around Santa Monica beach (think Baywatch) and the famous pier. The resident sealions were missing and if it weren’t for the weather, it could have been Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, with the rides, gift shops and gobby Russian tourists (do Russians go to Gt Yarmouth?), but without the palm trees.
Next stop was Hollywood, Mrs LHP is a big fan, so we sought out Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Boulevard is Tourist Central, lots of bewildered tourists looking down at the stars on the sidewalk and being hustled by tourbus operators and people in movie costumes looking to make money for pictures. Lots of lowlife street vendors and homeless panhandlers too (top marks to one panhandler whose cardboard sign proclaimed he was collecting for cannabis research!) and it stinks. That hot steamed piss smell that seems to pervade most cities in the summer, and cannabis being openly smoked on the street, as it is apparently legal. We stopped into the Hard Rock café for a couple of drinks to avoid the crowds, took a quick detour to take a picture of the Hollywood sign and then back in the car.
Next on our itinerary was a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to Malibu, so we drove out of Hollywood on Sunset Blvd, past the Strip Clubs, Smoke Shops, Taco joints and the Whiskey A Go Go bar (RIP Lemmy) of the Sunset Strip and into Beverly Hills. What a contrast, in 100 feet, we all noticed. From a tacky urban landscape to perfectly manicured lawns, huge mansions hidden behind giant walls and wall to wall Tesla’s, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Rolls Royces. The homes of the rich and famous carefully protected from the riff raff.
We headed back into Santa Monica and picked up the PCH, which runs right along the shoreline, four to six lanes of wall to wall traffic with the beach on one side and expensive homes on the other. All packed with beach goers, hippies and surfers. On into Malibu, where the beach houses got bigger and more expensive and now located between the beach and road.
Wanting to head back for our flight before it got too late, we took a detour through the Santa Monica Mountains State Park, up a wonderful road that carves its way up a spectacular canyon to an almost desert landscape at the top of the mountains. We saw two California Condors, enormous raptors with a 10’ wingspan, soaring on the thermals, which was the highlight of the trip for me. We then picked up the 101 freeway and fought traffic all the way back to the 405 and onto Culver City. Enjoyed a nice Thai meal with our son, dropped him off at his new place and said our goodbyes. Then back the airport for a few drinks before our red-eye flight back to New York, via Chicago.
A total of 36 hours on the ground, we got our son settled and did some touristy stuff as well so job done.
Well, the weather is great (but I couldn’t stand it all year round) and it seems to be a disconnected series of different cities, like Culver City and Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Downtown LA, all amalgamated together by a number of boulevards and highways. It is extremely diverse, not just in the people but the extremes of rich and poor within the various cities that make up Greater LA. And traffic, lots of traffic, mostly Teslas.
© Lady Hamilton’s Pussy 2018