Tuesday, June 28, 2005

In The City Of Angels 

California Road Trip with Dad: Day 1

First morning in LA, yet another part of the world both like and totally unlike everything this wanderer has experienced. Just back from a full breakfast by the pool and Stevie Wonder's son; had a few minutes to blog before heading out to Ventura via the Chinese Theater to see a whole side of my father's family I've never met.

We're a long way from yesterday. Leaving Vermont at sunup to beat Boston rush hour I got stopped twice on my way out by cows crossing the road, but voyage to the airport solo -- and then with Dad -- was otherwise uneventful. Had no idea it took 6 hours to fly across the country. Thank god for nicotine gum.

LAX by midafternoon, picked up the rental car, headed out past glitterati cars and Rodeo Drive to West Hollywood and Le Montrose Hotel, a wood-paneled hotspot currently under renovation but still famous as a popular meet-and-greet for musicians and their agents. Fireplace in the suite and a hot tub on the rooftop; a grand vista of palm trees, smog, and cliffside ranch mansions just like in the movies.

Drove down to Santa Monica Pier for my first look at the Pacific waves and to ogle the boardwalk in the setting sun. Vagrants mix with the Hilton-esque blonde and tan under the psychedelic ferris wheel; the smell of fried food rises over the traffic and saltspray. Fine Italian dining on the patio at Il Fornaio, a Zagat-rated spot just off-pier, and back to the airport to trade the car in for another that didn't hurt Dad's back as much.

What with the early morning start and the time change, by the time we got back off the rental lot I had been up for 20 hours, was getting pretty loopy. Crashed back at the hotel by eleven. Up refreshed at 7:30. Maybe I'll be a morning person here.

Two more nights here in the city of angels and we're on our way up the coast. Thanks to those who have already written in with SF suggestions -- keep 'em coming, folks!

posted by boyhowdy | 12:53 PM |

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