Saturday, June 27, 2015

Vacation in California

6/27/15 Indian Wells, California

We flew out of JFK on Thursday at 5 PM on Virgin America.  Maybe, I built up the airline too much to my family since they were not that impressed.  I wasn’t that impressed as well.  If you sit in the back, you will end up paying for the movies you thought you’d be able to watch…for free.  Food was an extra charge, each bag was $25.00 but I get it, this is the way most airlines make some money.  What ticked me off was the the flight attendants who barely cracked a smile.   Maybe they are based in New York?  Most of the flight was smooth, but we hit a little turbulence, as we crossed over Colorado.  The good news, we landed before the estimated time.  We checked into the Marriott Residence in near LAX which was about a five minute drive from Enterprise where we picked up a KIA minivan.  It’s a comfortable ride and there are three rows which is perfect for when we need to pick up Amanda who is flying in on Tuesday.   Although it was late in New York, it was early here and we bought some food at Burger King.   I thought we paid a lot, but when we came through the hotel lobby we saw another family who were coming back from the pool.  The father pointed at the bags we were holding.  “Did you also end up paying seventy dollars?”  “Nope, but it was more than $40.00.” He smiled and made a sour face. Our room was spacious and from the 11th floor it looked across toward the airport where we could see the white line of bright lights as other jets landed.  It turns out the hotel is only three months old and for the traveler who is in the area for business or pleasure it is very convenient.   Included with our rate was breakfast.  It’s not your typical bagel and cold cereal and juice dispenser; there was actually food, scrambled eggs, potato pancakes, hash browns and turkey sausage as well as the other items which are more common.  I don’t mean to sound like the world traveler but had to share. 
We journeyed into Los Angeles and the first stop was Randy’s Donuts.  This is the famous landmark which has been in movies and TV shows.  The jelly donut was incredible, soft and sweet with a mouthful of sugary jelly.  Ali wanted to go to the Griffith Observatory which is another LA landmark and has one of the best views to the Hollywood sign.  It is free for parking and free for the entrance.  But the main reason she wanted to go was to see where James Dean was as he filmed in Rebel Without a cause.  We slowly winded our way up the hill to the observatory; both sides of the road were lined with cars, trucks.  I dropped off the family and turned around and parked at the bottom of the hill and walked up.  The walk was not strenuous, the air was mild, and there was no humidity even a slight breeze made the walk more pleasant as it blew over the brown hills.  I passed some families who were taking their time and met Ali and the kids outside.  We walked around the perimeter and went inside to see some of the exhibits.  We bought some food, great selection there and priced very reasonably.  We ate and I walked down the hill to fetch the minivan.
We made our way over to Amoebe Music which is on Sunset Blvd.  It is another landmark for the music fan and after watching many YouTube videos of, “What’s in my bag,” I was eager to get in and get lost.  I could have spent hours in there, but we came out with a good share of REM and Replacements CD’s as well a Clash t-shirt I had to have.  And then it was tattoo time.  I’ve wanted this one for the past couple of years and we made it happen.  It’s the REM bicycle which they used for some of their 45’s when Reckoning was released.  We made our way over to Hollywood Tattoo Studio.  Joe had the image of the bicycle on this phone and we went in and asked how much.  $80.00.  I was not sure if that was a good rate.  Both Ali and Emma said it was and it was a done deal.  A sketch was made and it was traced on my skin on inside left arm.  The fun began.  Not really, it felt like someone was jamming their nails deep into my tender skin.  I was wincing, but grateful Ali and the kids could not see my face.  I looked up at the dingy ceiling and the dirty shelf's and hope I did not make a mistake.  I didn’t.  Jay has been there since 1977 and before that he was providing his artistic skills in Hong Kong.  After a half hour of enduring the pain, we left the city…in rush hour traffic.  I had my arm wrapped in plastic which felt as if it was burning and we slowly rolled down highway 10 EAST towards Palm Springs.  After a three hour drive we pulled up to the condo where we are staying.  We are surrounded by arid rocky mountains.  Last night as the sun was setting, the world in which we were standing… appeared mythical. 

Thank you for reading this.

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