Finally we were on our way to Los Angeles, which is a long time dream of Lee’s. Personally I have been to every major city in the US, but have avoided LA because frankly it really intimidates me. When we started looking for a place to stay, I realized LA is really a collection of cities and I chose an Elks Club in Burbank as a place to start and get acclimated. Thankfully this turned out to a a good choice and the allowed us to book for a full two weeks. I was going on vacation Dec 15th so we would have plenty of time to explore and decide if we wanted to stay in a different place.
This Elks club has a very busy bar and since it was the holidays they were also having lots of events. One night they had a motorcycle club toy drive and Lee went out to ask someone to turn their music down and it was Robert Patrick (from T2 and 1923). He was a really nice guy. Actually that’s the weirdest thing about being here, a lot of the local houses have been used in TV and movies and as you are driving around EVERYTHING looks familiar but you can’t quite put you finger on it. We went on a couple of car rides specifically looking for a few places but if we hadn’t known what we were looking for we probably would have passed it by. Let me show you some examples.
You have to understand that with the exception of the Brady Bunch house people, regular people live in these houses and they are ALL in regular neighborhoods. They are really not hard to find and its obvious from the annoyed neighbor stares they are used to the traffic. We tried to be as unobtrusive as possible but I can see how it would get old.
In addition to the smaller houses there are lots of 1960’s (or older) iconic buildings that you have again seen in things. In particular I wanted to see an old hotel from the show Angel and was pretty excited when we found it. It’s an historic place but also people live there.
In addition to the buildings the streets themselves are iconic. I started singing reflexively when we saw the sign for Santa Monica Blvd …”and the sun comes up on the Santa Monica Blvd.” And we drove on Mulholland Drive (super twisty turney) where we even saw an absolutely beautiful and health coyote.
It was fun checking things out, but my major complaint was the air quality. It was overcast and smelled faintly of exhaust most place we went, which was kind of a bummer. Even the day we drove Jack to Huntington Beach (one of the few dog beaches in the area) it was hazy, which honestly I don’t care for. And of course the traffic is pretty nuts. 45 minutes to go 12 miles nuts, but we learned and by driving during non peak hours were largely able to avoid the worst of it.
Speaking of the dog beach it was really nice and all the dogs were very friendly. This isn’t a super dog friendly town so it was nice for Jack to get out and run a little. I did find it odd that the tankers were all off in the distance, plus I missed the clear blue water you see further north. Everything looked slightly grey.
Next up we tour Paramount which is probably the best tour I have ever been on in my life.
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Please tell us if the greater LA area is as dirty and drug ridden as we see on TV. Are homeless living on the streets? Are there a lot of illegal immigrants?
I’m going to get into that in future posts so stay tuned
I think of “All That” as LA too. Yes there’s more traffic, craziness and smog and homeless but we’re talking a HUGE. There are many nice areas too. It all depends on how much city you like. It’s way too much for me but we have driven through many times! People always think of LA when you say California, but even with all the large cities there is still way more wilderness. It’s a big state!!