We have made it to our destination: San Diego. It was another day of driving, although there was a lot more traffic than anywhere we've been on this trip.
We left Ventura after breakfast and drove into Los Angeles. We drove up the coast, past Malibu Beach. There were a lot of fancy houses there, including the "Getty Villa," which looks like a castle. Unfortunately, we mostly saw the backs of the houses, since they're right on the water. There were some in the hills though. Most of the houses are white stucco with red tile roofs. They are very restful-looking, like a vacation retreat.
We stopped in Santa Monica to walk along the beach. This is me, experiencing the COLD water!
(A horrible photo, but it shows the experience anyway ...)
When we got into L.A., Jim somehow found Santa Monica Blvd., and we took that into Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is very rich and glitzy. There are a lot of ritzy stores and malls. Actually, the whole town feels like a big mall and an amusement park wrapped together. Here's a photo of one of the streets we drove down.
You can see how high the trees are. Many of the streets are also lined with these trees with bright purple blossoms. I can't figure out what kind of tree it is. I have never seen them before. We have seen a lot of these trees in L.A., and also in San Diego. I will try to get a photo of one tonight or tomorrow to post so that you can see.
We had lunch at Baja Fresh, which is a chain that serves Mexican food with a Californian twist. We have one near our house in Massachusetts and like to go there. Although I know it sounds stupid that we'd go to a chain restaurant while on vacation, it is somewhat hard to find a restaurant that has vegetarian food, yet is still palatable to Jim. Plus, we wanted to eat something quick so we could move on. Baja Fresh was pretty good, and we got to eat outside.
After that, Jim found Hollywood Blvd and we stopped at Grauman's Chinese Theater to look at the celebrity signatures in the cement. Honestly, this is the only thing in L.A. that I have always wanted to see. My parents went to L.A. when I was in middle school, and I remember my mom showing us photos of them with Marilyn Monroe's block in the cement. Since then, I've always wanted to go there. Here are two photos from that:
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell ("Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"):
It was remarkable how these cement signatures dating all the way from the 1920's and 1930's are still really clear in the cement. Laurie and I put our initials in the cement driveway at our house in Buffalo in 1989 and they're fading fast.
After that, we went into a nearby mall to see the Hollywood sign:
Then we headed out of town. I didn't really like L.A. too much. It is the exact opposite of Boston.
L.A.: White, new buildings; well-marked streets; wide boulevards; sunshine all the time; always warm; nuovo-rich houses that show off wealth.
Boston: Brick, old buildings; unmarked, twisty streets; 4 seasons; the wealthy live in the oldest brick buildings.
Both L.A. and Boston are near the ocean and have bad traffic. I think those are the only 2 similarities. :)
Now we're in San Diego and Jim is imploring me to get some dinner. We're both hungry. So I'm going to end this blog. I will write later about San Diego.