This blog, brought to you by the linguistic styling my star-spangled sidekick, Captain Amurica.
Seeing as the Star Spangled Girl decided that she wanted to regain her cherished independence from the clutches of DC’s public transportation system and my work schedule, it was decided that a cross country trip driving the aforementioned Yellow Submarine was to be had. Engaging in such a trek was something I had talked about and wanted to do for awhile, and seeing as how such an opportunity might not present itself in the near future, I willingly agreed to be a travel partner, navigator, and general co-pilot on our trek across the wide open nothingness of middle America. With stops planned in LA, Las Vegas, Denver, Jefferson City, MO, and Morgantown, WV the stage was set to traverse nearly 2600 miles and 41 hours of driving time. Needless to say the trip would be a lot of open road in a very small and enclosed space. I just hoped that by the end of it I wouldn’t be hitchiking it home.
My first impression of LA, having never been there before, was nothing if not an odd sense of familiarity. Having so many movies filmed there, it almost seems as if one has been there before, with the palm tree lined streets and wide open 5 lane freeways conjuring images of every movie I’ve ever seen that was filmed in sunny southern California. And sunny it is no doubt, with gorgeous weather and even better beaches. Coming from the East Coast where the humidity has been between 90-100% , the lack of swampiness in the air was quite a welcome relief. The sheer expanse of LA was also noticeable, as it seemed almost impossible to get anywhere without having to hop on a freeway with a million other people. The lack of any sort of real “downtown” are a la New York, Boston, or DC was also something that I had trouble wrapping my head around, but all things considered LA is pretty awesome. While there it was a whirlwind of family 4th of July BBQs, eating lots of food, and doing all the toursity things that must be done upon a virgin visit to any major metropolis such as LA. It is at this time that I would like to extend a special thank you to the family of the Star Spangled Girl for taking me in like family and providing endless hospitality. Thank you for everything.
While in LA we decided to do tours of Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Westwood, where I had possibly the best ice cream sandwich on the planet. A quick word about each:
- Hollywood – As a lover of movies and someone who could carry on an entire conversation based solely in movie quotes, Hollywood was great. We toured the Chinese theater, the Walk of Fame (if only to find Alex Trebek’s star), and Hollywood Blvd. Lots of tourists, lots of shops and lots of hustlers tryin to squeeze a dollar out of 15 cents.
- Santa Monica – Saw the famous pier, the end of historic Route 66, and played some skee ball at the arcades. Not too shabby.
- Venice Beach – Ahh the boardwalk at Venice Beach, where I saw the greatest collection of artists, stall hockers, and general weirdos. The kingdom of the eclectic is what I would refer to it as, with everything from hand carved African art to $40 medical marijuana cards all available on a stretch of sandy Boardwalk. Stopped by Muscle Beach to take some pics and Marvel at the athletic endeavors of a couple of rather large men engaged in what YouTube has dubbed the “24 hour prison workout.” The sights, sounds, and especially smells were something I won’t soon forget.
Stay tuned for more from our courageous partner later this week.