Cali Coast Day 1 Part 1

My good friend RS, who I’ve known since college, is getting married!! He moved to LA right after school and has lived there ever since. The wedding is taking place in Santa Barbara wine country, a few hours drive from LA. Since I am flying half way across the country to attend the wedding, why not hit two birds with one stone. I decided to make a week long trip out of it, sort of like what I did with the last wedding that I attended in Mexico City.

My girlfriend RH will be coming along with me on this trip. She has never been to California before, so everything will be a first for her.


All packed and ready to go.


Arrived at the Airport Flyer bus stop a block away from my condo. Ugh, it’s sooooo early. I hate early flights.


Our bus shows up right on time. It’s depressingly dark inside.


Short lines at the airport. Also, Fuck You American Airlines for the $25 check in bag fee.

When we showed up at the security check point, people were randomly selected to go through the expedite security line. We were lucky to be selected. All I had to do was send my bag through the xray machine, empty my pockets, and walk through the metal detector. Didn’t have to take off my shoes, take out laptop. etc. etc. It was great!!


Of course, I always eat The Salt Lick at the airport whenever I fly out. This time is no exception.


We’ve got plenty of time, so we came up to the lounge to eat our breakfast and lounge around for a bit.


Delicious!!! Though, I wish it wasn’t so early. I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night.


So sleepy…


Aftermath…


RH catching up on some Zzzz…Is it me, or does that sleeping eye mask look like a colorful bra? By far the best thing about traveling with another person is that they can watch your bag while you sleep or go to the bathroom, and you don’t lose your seat in the process.

Speaking of bathrooms, there is a nice bathroom inside the Admirals Club. I went in at a little bit before 7 to do my, uhm, business. Awesome, I am the only one in the bathroom! Then at exactly 7:00AM, no less than 4 others come into the bathroom at the same time to do their business. Apparently, 7:00AM sharp is the unspoken time to do your business.


Got on our flight, time to sleep.


Zzz…


We made it to LA! It was a quick flight, under 3 hours. I was able to sleep most of the flight, so I feel a little bit more rested.


Palm trees, don’t have much of these in Texas.


Got onto the rental car shuttle to the rental car center.


When I think of LAX, I always think of this spaceship looking thing in the middle of the airport.


At Hertz. I had reserved the car online already, so hopefully the rental process will go quickly.


They had all these kiosks inside, but no one was using them. I tried using one, and quickly figured out why no one was using them. Instead of a normal kiosk where you just do everything through the screen, this kiosk just connects you to a live person over the phone. What’s worse is that you walk up to the kiosk, and you have to wait minutes just to connect to someone on the phone. Fuck that, I am waiting in the regular line. Seriously dumb idea. I bet they make you talk on the phone with a real person just so they can upsell you on a more expensive vehicle or insurance, etc.


Fortunately, the regular line isn’t very long. What did take a really long time was when we actually started speaking to an agent. They didn’t have the car that I had reserved(Ford Focus), so the agent told us to wait, and he just walked outside without explaining anything. 10 minutes later, he comes back and says that he’ll give us a Mazda 3 instead. I was actually pretty happy, since I like Mazdas.


Here’s our car. Time to get on the road!


Super serious driving face!

The Mazda 3 is a joy to drive!! Mazda always makes really well handling cars, and I was super impressed with how this Mazda 3 drove. The turn in is actually shaper than my Audi A3. The brake feel was awesome as well!! I was really worried that they were going to give me some POS car from the car rental, but the 3 exceeded all my expectations. The only minor drawback is that it could use a little bit more power, but I love the car so much that it’s a small negative that I can overlook easily.


First stop is to visit my friend OC, the Jodhpur Indian Flamingo, who lives in Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach is just a short drive South from LAX.


I show up at OC’s place, and immediately she offers me some Pocky. Rare Cheesecake flavor. Do they also make a Common Cheesecake flavor?


OC lives a couple blocks from the beach. I can see myself living here. It’s quite nice.


Met randomly in Jodhpur India, hung out for half a day, and have been friends since. Pretty cool, eh.


OC offered to drive us around in her car, Sweet Pea. It’s a 98 Pathfinder. My very first car was a 98 Pathfinder, so this brings back all sorts of memories for me. Her driver’s seat had a tear in the same spot as my old car. Sigh, I kind of miss that car. It is still the most reliable car that I have ever owned. Sniff.


Saw this guy walking three dogs. I saw one of the dog walk kind of funny, then realized that it was a three legged dog. Then I realized that all three dogs walked kind of funny, then realized that all three dogs were three legged dogs!! This guy has a three legged dog fetish!! JB, this guy has got you beat!


Oh look, a nice mural with dolphins and whales…except, this is actually a planet killing power plant.(I just said that to be funny, I don’t actually have a thing against power plants)


I think this is Hermosa Beach, just North of Redondo.


I believe this is now Manhattan Beach, which is just a bit North of Hermosa. Manhattan Beach is supposed to be the most expensive of the three.


Beautiful.


24 minutes parking meters. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Seems like an odd number to pick.


The girls wanted to go into boring stores to look at boring things to buy.


This store is kind of exciting though…


Going to walk out onto the pier.


All those are beach volleyball courts. OC tells me that this is where beach volleyball first started.


Looking North.


Looking South. To the right of the photo, near the power plant is where OC lives.


We saw a seal swimming around just by him/herself.


RH and I are on Texas time, so we are two hours ahead. We are getting hangry. It’s time to eat.


Dumb mother, with her two dumb kids. Go Texas! Hook ‘Em Horns! Beat OU!!!


Lunch spot. We were supposed to eat Indian food, since OC and I have always eaten Indian food as our last meal when we see each other(we are leaving right after lunch). Well, apparently Indian food isn’t exactly beach town friendly, so OC couldn’t think of an Indian place to eat around here. I guess we’ll just have to settle for something more local, fish tacos. They eat fish in India, right?


Beat the lunch crowd.


Saw this in the restroom.


Time to eat!


GR, I ordered this banh mi tuna sandwich because we had that banh mi sandwich just earlier this week. And a locally brewed beer to help wash everything down.


By the time we left, the whole place was packed.


OC asked if we wanted dessert. Yes, obviously.


Never had guava flavored ice cream before. Gotta try it.


Yum.


They also had chocolate covered bacon here. I love bacon and all, but I am not sure how much I am buying into this new bacon craze lately.

After our dessert, we had to get back to OC’s place so we can hit the road. OC says that Friday afternoon traffic starts up at 1:30 and if we don’t get out of town, we could be stuck in traffic for hours and hours and hours and hours.


What about it, we have our luggage open in the middle of the street. SoCal is getting unseasonably hot weather right now. RH was getting hot in her jeans, so she decided to change out into shorts. We should have brought more warm weather clothes. The positive side of the heat is that OC says the sky has been clear instead of foggy like it’s been when the weather was cooler.


Two very proper ladies.


Our farewell group photo before we hit the road and head out of LA. OC, thanks for showing us around your hood!


Left OC’s place, quick stop for some snacks and drinks, and then we are on our way out of town.


Ah, I remember these stop lights that regulates onramp traffic into the freeway. They are here to prevent too much traffic entering into the freeway at once, because that actually slows down overall traffic flow rate.


The two pandas on the jeep.


They are fucking with the word “enjoi”. You can thank RH for forcing me to upload the cropped version of this photo that she took.


So happy to be…


Stuck in traffic…


And more traffic. Actually, there were some traffic at spots, but it was mostly not too bad.

OC suggested that on our way out of town, we should go check out the Getty Center for a great view of LA since the weather is so nice.


We parked at the parking garage, and waited for the tram to take us up to the mountain top to the Getty Center.


Here comes the tram.


Lucky for us, there are not many visitors at this hour.


The 405, seen from the tram on the way up. Traffic is starting to build up.


Now I have a map of the grounds. We’ll make a quick visit to the garden, a quick view of the paintings, and of course, the amazing city view.


First stop is to the garden.


RH took this photo of me and my head dress.


Beautiful view. We think we can get an even better view from the balconies in the buildings, so we are headed there.

To be continued at Cali Coast Day 1 Part 2.

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