DAY 13 - MONDAY AUGUST 15TH 2005
Tam and I wake around 7.30am. Packing is started as we are moving to West Hollywood today. Its been quite a pain staying no more than 3 days in any one place. You never really get to unpack properly, but I suppose thats the price you pay for moving around so much. On the plus side, you see much more of the state than you would with just a 2-centre holiday.
overcast outside so I try to ask temperature lady how warm it is,
but shes in a huff and refuses to talk about the weather
until the sun comes out.
Its at this point that our second minor disaster occurs. The spare camcorder battery has been charging and I go to put it back in the camcorder carrying case. Now where did I put it? Nowhere apparently. We definitely had it at the Hitching Post last night and now it cannot be found. Not only does it contain the camcorder, it also has all of the tape we have taken to date.
We MUST have left it at the Hitching Post. When I say we read me as Im usually in charge of carrying the thing around. Tam has the sort of look on her face that suggests she would like to introduce certain dangly parts of my anatomy to some sort of clamping device at the earliest possible opportunity.
We meet Susan
for breakfast and she has kindly talked to the front desk and
found out that the Hitching Post does not open until 5.00pm, but
there might be somebody there this morning. I ring and talk to a
lady doing the baking. She doesnt know where the lost and
found is, but says that the secretary is due in around 9.30am.
We finish breakfast, pack up the car and head off up the road the couple of miles it takes to reach the Hitching Post. The secretary is not there so we wait for a while. At 9.45am she arrives and we explain the situation. She goes to look for us and Tam and I wait on tenterhooks. She returns triumphant, camcorder in hand.
Tam, me and my dangly bits breath a huge sigh of relief.
By the way, if you are ever in a sticky predicament, Susan is the woman to have in your corner. She is so calm when Im running around waving my arms about and shouting Dont panic! Dont panic!
The plan now is
to drive to L.A. airport to drop off Susans car, as she
will be joining us for the rest of the trip.
On the way we stop off in Santa Barbara and have a walk along the pier. I can imagine this must be a very pretty place when the suns shining; unfortunately its still dull.
We continue along Highway 1 through Malibu, me in front with Tam and Susan following womanfully behind. She has the girls in the car with her and Tam and I are tempted to floor it and leave them with her. Sadly she also has the Disney tickets, so we have to abandon this plan.
We arrive at
the National car hire return at LAX and Susan drops off her car.
We then go straight to the Encounter restaurant, which is
situated right on the airport. This is a space age style
restaurant, which Susan tells us they called in Disney imagineers
to help re-design. Its a weird round building supported on
a centre pillar and 3 legs. You go up in an elevator, which plays
spacey music and reminds me a bit of the elevators in Disney
The main restaurant is round with huge glass windows overlooking the airport. Its a very unusual design and a great place to eat. Even the toilets are spectacular with work surfaces inlaid with many different colours and bright red and blue lights set into the walls. I want to take a photo, but I think the sight of me exiting the loo with a camera and a big smile on my face is not an image I want to portray to the world. I send Tam instead.
The lunch here is mostly sandwiches, soups, salads etc. and is ok. Not wonderful, but ok. It was great to see the restaurant and Susan says its lit in different colours at night.
Back in the car we head for Le Parc in West Hollywood, which is going to be our home for the next 3 nights. Susans directions sound like they are straight out of a film. Drive up La Cienaga, turn left on Melrose.
Susan has stayed at Le Parc many times before and recommended it. We check-in about 4.30pm and go to look at our rooms. They are excellent with a kitchen and living area with a step up to the bedroom and bathroom. There is a TV in the living area and a huge plasma screen on the wall in the bedroom. Its very nicely decorated.
The girls are
going to stay in Susans room and they arent so lucky
as their room doesnt have the plasma TV.
We need provisions so go looking for a supermarket. Down Santa Monica Boulevard, Wilshire, Le Brea etc. We cant find anything so head back to Le Parc to lug the suitcases up to the room while Susan asks where the nearest store is.
Tam wants to get the girls some trainers so we walk the half a mile or so to the Beverley Centre. On the way we pass a shop called Trashy Lingerie and Susan takes a picture as shes sure this is the sort of establishment that would appeal to Matt. Shes right.
In the Centre we eventually find some trainers for the girls in the Skechers store. Kev is not a happy bunny both with the shopping trip and the bill in the Skechers store, which comes to $120. Im told this is less than would be paid in the UK. Oh yeah, a real bargain.
Back to Le Parc where Tam and India stay to unpack while the rest of us go to get provisions. On the way we pass the Le Brea Tar Pits. Hmmmm .. if Tam goes on any more spending sprees Ill know just where to dispose of the body.
8.00pm and we walk up the road to a fast food place called Koo
Koo Roo, which mostly serves chicken.
We share a family chicken meal with mashed potatoes, corn and Caesar salad. Its good enough to fill us all up and cheap at $22.
Back to Le Parc and the ladies want to use the hot tub. We go up to the roof pool where it is now dark. Its very pretty with candles in large glass lanterns set around the pool and hot tub. You can look out across the Hollywood Hills and its a great view. The pool area is really lovely.
In the hot tub (which is really only warm) we chat away for a while. On the way in we passed all sorts of weird places including somewhere offering colonic irrigation. Tam says she has always wanted to try this. Told you shes strange. I suggest that if she were to sit closer to one of the hot tub water jets she could get one for free.
The Le Parc ladies synchronised jacuzzi team.
Back to the room where I write up my trip report and watch a little TV. Did I mention our massive plasma TV?
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