L.A. In A Day

Chad flew into Santa Ana on Friday afternoon where I met him and rented a car. We drove back to Corona for the evening, but not after sitting in traffic on Interstate 91.

Once we made it back to the hotel, we went and sat out by the pool for about an hour to enjoy the sun and warm weather. By then it was about 4 and the sun was being lost to the shade of the buildings in the courtyard, so we headed back to the room, changed and headed to Honolulu Harry’s for some Mai Tai’s on the patio. The waiter was super impressed when Chad told him we were from Minnesota. He kept saying “That is Sooo cool that you’re from Minnesota” We really suspect that he doesn’t get out much… it’s not like we’re Aliens! Deciding that we shouldn’t just eat appetizer’s for dinner, we headed back to the hotel, and then next door for some Mexican Food at Miguel’s. YUMMM. It was excellent, but I couldn’t even eat half of my quesadilla after the wings and chips and salsa. That was about it for our night, as we wanted to get an early start on the morning and Chad was still on Central time!

Saturday morning, we were up early for breakfast and our drive to L.A. Chad also was on a mission to find a Starbuck’s before the tour. Luckily he had me, and I can spot those green signs anywhere, even on the outskirts of Little Tokyo, around Union Station where we met the tour.

Our tour guide was a little man who drove 6 of us around in a big van. The others included a young couple from Switzerland who were touring California in a Rented camper, and a couple from South England (who had forgotten it was the Queen’s 80th birthday) as they had been on “holiday” since late January.

Our first stop was in a Mexican market not far from Union Station. It was interesting to see. L.A. is not all glitz and glam, but many happy people dancing in a square, and it wasn’t really touristy. My guess is our stop was convenient as it was near the start of our tour.

We then headed to the Hollywood Hills. Our tour guide pointed out many buildings along the way that were used in filming various movies, like the elevators from “In The Line of Fire” and some Die Hard scenes. We drove up to a view point where we got a good view of the Hollywood sign and also the Hollywood Bowl. Of course, Chad and I had all kinds of references to the show “90210”. (i.e. The time the “Gang” covered the Hollywood sign when they graduated high school. And that Kelly Taylor had her 21st birthday party at the Hollywood Bowl)

After the Hollywood Hills, we headed down to Hollywood to see the Walk of the Stars. We walked up and down several blocks, without seeing if Hall and Oates had a star. (We will have to research more next time) But we did manage to see Ryan Seacrest’s and Aaron Spelling’s (another tribute to 90210) and many many more! The Kodak Theatre is also right down there, so we got to see where the red carpet would be rolled out for Oscar night.

After downtown Hollywood, we got to drive through some residential areas of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, although we did not see “Casa de Walsh” (sorry.. had to put in another 90210 reference) , we did see “Camp Cruise” where the papparozzi were camped outside of Tom Cruise’s house hoping to glimpse his new TomKitten. We also saw about 6 of Paris Hilton’s red and yellow Ferrari’s lined up in her driveway. Also we drove by Sylvester Stallone’s house, Matthew Perry’s apartment and many more.

Next was Rodeo drive. We walked pretty quickly up the drive as we only had 20 minute stop and we were on the lookout for a Starbucks. Again I spotted the green! Also it’s just not something Chad and I are both interested in, so not a big deal. They were doing some filming on the street, but we didn’t see any stars or anything.

After Rodeo Drive, we headed over to the Farmer’s Market for lunch. It’s not a traditional Farmer’s Market like we saw in Seattle, but there were a lot of lunch stands. Also a newer shopping area just off of it where there was a Grand Opening for the All American Girl store… So we saw lots of girls walking around with their matching dolls.

After a French Dip Sandwich and an Ice Cream Cone, I was pooped and we still had the Dodger’s game! But with a couple hours to kill before the game.

After our tour guide dropped us off, we scoped out where the stadium was and then thanks to Chad’s phone we found a quiet sports bar, where I recharged with some Diet Coke’s and a few games of Solitaire on Chad’s phone, while he watched basketball and the Twins. Yes the Twins were on, because the waitier was a transplant from the South Side of Chicago, so he was watching the White Sox. After killing about an hour, we headed back to Dodger Stadium.

Chad did some great negotiating and we got seats on field level right behind Home Plate for under face value. After we found our section we headed off to the Pro Shop, because neither of us had headed to L.A. prepared for 60 degree weather that morning! Our seats were great! We could even see Tommy Lasorta from our seats when they presented an award to him during the pre-game without looking at the JumboTron.

The game was pretty good, the Diamondbacks bounced out to an early lead, and even though the Dodger’s rallied later in the game it wasn’t enough. But it was fun, I got to eat a Dodger’s Dog, some great Nachos, and see a great stadium. There is something about sitting outside for baseball. I think if Minnesota could build a stadium like that I would want to go to a game every chance I could. Maybe not in April, but a stadium like Milwaukee with a retractable roof would be so ideal!

After the game we headed to LAX where I dropped Chad off for his red eye flight and I headed back to Corona, where I now know I am on Pacific Time, because I slept in!!

After getting up, I headed to the exercise room where I ran “a 10K” on the treadmill. Back in my room, I ate a little, showered and headed out to explore what “Savi Ranch” was at a nearby exit on the interstate.. It was just a shopping/business center, not a “Ranch” I had suspected so much, but I still wanted to find out. But I stopped at Best Buy and picked up Season 1 of Gray’s Anatomy, and at Kohl’s for a birthday card. On my way back to the hotel, I stopped at In ‘N Out Burger for lunch, the drive-thru had an incredible wait, and had I known it would take that long, I would have gone inside and not wasted the $3+ per gallon gas in the car! (We saw Regular Unleaded as high as $3.73 yesterday! Although around here it is $3.09)

Back in my room, I watched Episode 1 from my DVD and then took a short nap. I’m off to watch Episode 2, and check to see if my friend Kim has called…

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