Saturday, April 18, 2009

LA and Surrounding Area

Got here just fine yesterday and have had a full 2 days of exploring and doing fun things.

Got Rent A Car and took off. There were a few "words" between us at a point in time about directions. I am going to chalk it up as he was hungry and frustrated and leave it at that. I have said the following statement about 10 times and thought it about 30 times--"."I miss Gloria and Jim."

Day is beautiful. Sun is shining so bright and everything looks green and lush.

First stop- Redondo Beach. Liked it. Had lunch sitting on a deck overlooking all kinds of people fishing. The pelicans made us laugh when they were stealing some bait and waiting for fish to be caught so they could steal them.

Driving the Pacific Coast highway. The ocean, hills, houses are awesome. Not sure what to look at. Look like the excorcist with my head spinning trying to take everything in. Stoppped in Malibu at Starbucks for coffee. We are sitting outside on their pretty courtyard in the shawdow of Pepperdine University. I would sure have a hard time attending classes there with the ocean and beaches so near. Love people watching but it is not the same without Gloria to help analyze and critique. We call them and it was great to hear their voices but still wishing they were here with us.

Went about 140 miles north following the ocean. Passed many strawberry fields and the plants are so laden with fruit that it is amazing. Got to the Danish town of Solvang about 6 pm. This town is adorable. It feels very much like Europe. It is nestled in a valley with high, rolling hills surrounding it. Got room at Solvang Inn and Cottages and took off to walk the quaint streets and alleys and check out the shops and restaurants. Much to my dismay most everything was closed. Got to look at the window displays/ There was a wine tasting going on that I got in on. No restaurants that would please Pudge. In the car and on to another neighboring town to find soomething to eat. Liked that town also. Looked like there was a lot there to see also. Did find a restaurant that was really charming and had our dinner. Back to hotel and put our weary bodies to bed. Woke about 4 am with both of us roasting to death. Pudge had cranked the heat per my request because I was so cold. Well it did the trick. We did manage to doze a little until about 5:30. Then we are more than ready to get up. All ready by 7 am. Went across street to bakery that was open and I had a hard roll and jam and of course coffee. Nothing opens till 10 am. Decided to walk the town and look at shops through the windows. We left there about 9:00. I had read about a lavender farm that we found. It wasn't too big of a deal but I enjoyed it.

Back to LA the same way we came. Once again following the ocean. The beaches are incedible. One place we wanted to see again was Santa Barbara. We had been there before and really enjoyed it. Found the Old Town. Parked car and went to a wonderful farmers market. I bought some strawberries that were so sweet and juicy. We spent some time people watching on a bench with our Starbucks coffee. Also, walked some of the Old Town. The day started out cold but warmed up nicely. Stopped in Ventura at an In and Out burger. Love those burgers.

We had a mission to reach Venice Beach and spend time there. It also is a place we have been before and really like it. It is so different. There is a huge boardwalk with vendors and shops and people, people, people. Very interesting people. Some very weird. I could spend all day just watching people. This is such a happenings place. So much going on all over the place. We walked the boardwalk from beginning to end and then to the beach and water where we spent a lot of time. Loved walking through the sand. It is a good workout and the sand feels good on your feet. Ocean was cold and my shorts got wet with some of the large waves that surprised me. I forgot to mention that it took about an hour to find a parking place it was that crowded. We did sit down at an outdoor cafe/bar and I had a glass of wine. The people watching is phenomonal. Left there about 5:30 and checked into our hotel in Long Beach. Drove to the docks where our ship will be tomorrow. Also found where we are to return the rental car. Went to WalMart, grocery store and Taco Bell for dinner. The Grand Prix races are going on in Long Beach so there are lots of people here for that.

We have settled in. ESPN is being watched by Pudge as I write this. This is a short summary of what we have done. Too many details and happenings to list. But be rest assured, dear readers that we are having a great time and enjoying every minute of it.

Tomorrow we board our ship. Probably will not have internet access.

Have to do some research on this computer so I am signing off.


  1. So far, so good! Your journey up to now has been interesting. Yes, people watching is fun. Of course, you realize you're being watched too, right?

    I hope the cruise is a fantastic experience for both you and Pudge. We'll be waiting for a full report when you return.

  2. Sound like great fun! We are jealous of the In N Out Burgers! Geez we do miss those.
    Have fun on the cruise.

  3. I love the area around Ventura...have been there a couple of times. The first time was way back in 1994, when I was dating my first Navy guy (there's a base at Oxnard, Port Hueneme, very close) and a girl friend of his took me to Ventura for the day. At taht time, there were thrift and consignment stores all over the downtown area and we spent the day digging through piles and piles and racks of old clothes. I'll never forget it.

    Have a great time on your cruise--hey, at least there won't be any arguments about directions!