Los Angeles - day 7

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Magic Castle

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, June 26, 2010

We got up early and were waiting at the door of the hotel restaurant when it opened at seven. When we had popped in at Hearst castle the night before, I spoke to a lady who had just completed the tour. She said how much she had enjoyed the tour and how she had booked her tickets weeks ago. We wanted to get on the first tour of the day at 8.10am so we hopped onto the website that night and booked the tickets. Lucky we did, because there were only 9 tickets left for that tour.

There were about thirty of us on the tour, and we went on a bus for about 2 miles up this very steep road to the castle. Most of the way there was just a sheer drop, and I said to Dave that I hope that they give their bus drivers regular psych tests because if she was a bit loopy she could drive us all over the edge without missing a beat!! J

We met the tour guide up there, and he did a great job. The houses and gardens that Hearst built up there were absolutely amazing. He spent so much money, and everything is "over the top"……marble statues all over the place, and beautiful mosaics; some with gold leaf in them. The gardens are really beautiful and very well maintained. I can't even explain all the gorgeous things we saw….you will have to google it! Unfortunately it was very foggy and we couldn’t see the view which is supposed to be spectacular.

After we came down in the bus (relieved to be alive!!), we set off for Los Angeles. The road was good, and not much traffic until we got closer to LA. We stopped for lunch and petrol at Santa Barbara, and had a little look around. It is quite an upmarket town with great beaches.

We reached the outskirts of LA at about 3.30, and decided to book in at the hotel first and offload our suities, and then go and hand in our car. We had to do that at LA International airport, and we didn’t want to lug our suities in on the train after we dropped our car off.

The traffic was very busy and our GPS decided to direct us off the Highway because of traffic delays; and gaily took us right through all the city streets!! It didn’t give us enough notice when we had to turn, and we missed several turns because we were in the wrong lanes, and Dave didn’t have time to get into the right one, and it had to recalculate our route…….We were so nerve-wracked by the time that we arrived.

Our hotel is nice; a little bit run down, but in an excellent location. We have a one bedroom suite with a lounge room and a full kitchen. Our balcony overlooks a little park area, and we were amused/saddened to see a couple of homeless people sleeping there all night under the trees.

Dave decided that he just wanted to give the car back as soon as possible so that he didn’t have to worry about driving any more; so we set off at about quarter to five to go to the drop off place. Again the traffic was bad and it took us about 45 minutes to get there, but when we finally handed the keys in, Dave said he felt like a huge weight was off his shoulders!

The car hire place has a courtesy bus which took us to the airport terminal to catch the shuttle bus in to the main train station in LA. We had to wait quite a while for it to come and then it kept stopping off all around the different terminals picking up people. Finally we were on our way, and it took a solid hour to get in to the station.

Our concierge guy at the hotel told us to take the red line train all the way to the last station, and gave us a little map on how to walk to the hotel from there. We very obediently did what he instructed, and stood for the half hour trip because the train was so full. We really saw a slice of LA life on the trip!! It was fascinating….all sorts of people that we don’t usually rub shoulders with!!.

A guy got on with three middle size kids, and said that he had lost his job and needed to beg for money. They played musical instruments and sang at the top of their voices, and most of the passengers either ignored them or rolled their eyes! There were druggies, there were drunks, there were mums with kids, there were people in suits, there were rappers and people who looked like gangsters, there were kids with bikes, there were funny hairstyles, coloured hair, strange clothes, a strange looking guy talking loudly to himself, raving on about homosexuals. You name it; we saw it!!!! Quite an education J

We got off the train at the very last stop; fought our way up the escalators to the top, and were dismayed to find that the names on the streets didn’t correspond with any of the names on our map. We worked out the concierge had given us a bum steer and we should have got off the train two stops back!! We finally arrived back at our hotel at 10 pm after leaving before five!!

After warming up a couple of frozen meals that we bought at a convenience store on our walk home from the station; we finally got to be just before midnight! Hence I couldn’t write my blog yesterday, but I hope to catch up tomorrow.
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dad on

Goodness me Jancie,

But you did see LA didn't you. It must be very interesting to see USA right now as the jobless rate is so high as they just can't break out of the economic downturn and poor old Obama catches all the flack. - suppose that is politics.

So now you are in LA. Have never liked it so will be interested to hear what you think. To me it was always unreal and synthetic,gloss and tinsel and little else, apart, of course from those hanger ones who make their money out of it, the stars and the peripherals.

Looking forward to tomorrow as youy must be. A long day for you wasn't it?


Jenny on

Dave and Jan, good blogging, what a great way to keep in touch and keep a record of what you are doing. Your trip sounds fabulous.

Laddy on

Glad the castle came up to expectations! You are certainly seeing things and places and by the end of it all your education will be complete!! xx

Nicci on

The castle looks so amazing.. i loved LA, its a good people watching place

scatterling on

I now remember the Magic Castle. We drove past it, and they told us that it has the magic show there ... all magicians come and it is a great honour to be in the show ... hard to get tickets too ... did you go to one being a guest in the hotel and all?

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