From the cool to the clammy

Trip Start Mar 28, 2012
Trip End May 24, 2012

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Where I stayed
Sea Rock Inn Gardena
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An early start - up at 5:00 - apologies to my host, Vic. It was a good week in Winnipeg and I am grateful for the opportunity of seeing the city and meeting some of its people - and watching 8 films in a week - all reviewed here.

The check-in was quick and easy and it was great to clear US immigration and customs in Winnipeg - no hold ups this time. It has ben 20 years since I travelled extensively in the US by air. Back then it was not uncommon for a plane to have only a handful of passengers. Today, every plane is full and it's a real squeeze - never enough room for everyone's carry-on.

The 500 mile jog down to the twin city of Minneapolis/St Paul was uneventful - just over an hour. I then had a 2.5 hour lay-over before catching my connecting flight. Delta are a large airline and Minneapolis is one of their major US hubs. However, they operate like a budget airline. You have to pay $25 for each piece of checked baggage and onboard the only thing that is complimentary are a range of rationed Coca-Cola beverages - everything else you have to buy. The flight from Winnipeg was cash only, the flight to LA was Credit Card only! Simples. You do get a 12g pack of peanuts with your complimentary Diet Coke (two-thirds of which is ice) - but I couldn't eat them as they were rancid - an identical experience to my Delta flight from Boston to Toronto. Obviously a Delta speciality.

Baggage reclaim at Los Angeles International was quick and easy as was the bus transfer to the Alamo Car Rental office. The bus had its air-con on full blast which marked the difference in climate from Canada to California.The queues there were quite long but moved reasonably quickly. The guy at the desk tried to sell me additional insurance, sat-nav rental and of course the upgrade in type of car. I am so glad I resisted. There are so many people picking up cars that you wander into the car park find the row of cars of your size and choose one. There were no 'compact' cars left, so we were all told to choose any car we liked - including top of the range stuff, SUVs and MPVs!!! I showed restraint and chose a Chrysler Malibu - nice and new. I'll try to avoid GM pick-ups with this one.

The sat-nav (I brought my own) took me via the busy freeway directly to my hotel - The Sea Rock Inn. Whilst not the swankiest area or the the most up together place, given this is Los Angeles and the deal I got for the week, it's fine. The guy at the desk is a very amiable South Asian guy who reminded straight away of the owner of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (a must-see film) with his over-the-top account of my rooms facilities - all of which have been made available to me as a complimentary up-grade because I am a valued guest and staying for a week. He told me to come back to the desk once I'd settled in, and he would show me all that Los Angeles has to offer and answer any questions. Very helpful indeed. 

I went to the local store to stock up on 'staples' to put in the fridge in my room before heading off to the pacific Ocean and Rodondo Beach. Very nice beach-front community where I had an evening meal at the apparently famous Captain Kidd's seafood restaurant. All very nice and fresh - with tanks of all kinds of live shell-fish for sale.

It was nevertheless a tiring day and so I returned to the Motel for an early night. Sorry no pictures today.

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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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