Hooray for Hollywood!
We’re not in Boise any more.
Our car was a little battle scarred from the 1500 or so miles we’ve driven from Denver. We appreciated the super-efficient and totally automated simultaneous checkout of both hotel and car park this morning - one swipe of the hotel key card and we were done.
On our way.
I’d hoped to be able to say “our next vehicle was waiting on the tarmac”
Except it wasn’t. I took that picture thinking it’d do, because our plane would be the same as that one, which was actually flying to San Francisco from the adjacent gate.
Our plane was much smaller and arrived just minutes before we started boarding. No time for a picture then. Gathering our thoughts and bags after landing at LAX, there it was just outside the window…so I took the picture there instead. We must maintain authenticity here!
On leaving Boise, we were fortunate to have Pre-check TSA tickets, so didn’t need to take off shoes and all of that parlarver. But I wasn’t sure if I needed to take out my plastic bag of toiletries, my tablet and my phone? “You can leave whatever you like in your bag, as long as you keep talking to me” said the delightfully cheerful security officer. “I so love your accent!”
(Other TSA staff were not quite so trusting, since two of our three cases were opened in transit for a check of some kind)
Here we were though, a short flight later. Mary’s bag was first off the carousel and ours followed shortly.
We picked up a shiny fresh rental car and off we went.
It’s so good to be back on familiar territory and my hero and I couldn’t help indulging ourselves in a few memories as we drove on the freeway towards Santa Monica. Mary had headed home - we’ll see her again tomorrow - and we’d decided to spend the afternoon on our old stomping ground.
The parking structures in Santa Monica must be confusing for others too. We took the precaution of snapping the location of our (unfamiliar) car, though by the ticket machine was another, rather useful tool: Car Finder. I assume the group of people searching for their car didn’t know the number…(good job I’d snapped that too!)
Out into the sunshine then, through the totally overhauled Santa Monica Place.
Anyway, it was good to be here without the jetlag and we enjoyed mooching around the area, listening to the street musicians and just soaking in the California vibe.
We stopped for a milkshake at Johnny Rockets - not the best, sadly, but a chance to sit and watch the world go by for half an hour.
I might have done a little shopping too.
We had an hour to drive to our hotel downtown though,. Time to be going!
Along all those familar boulevards, stop-starting in the busy afternoon traffic (hmmm…is there ever not a busy time here?) to our hotel - new to us, in an unfamiliar area too,.
Hearing those magic words “We’ve upgraded you to a suite” was a nice welcome, “it overlooks the Hollywood sign”. Had Mary still be living in her previous location, we could have waved to her!
As it is, we are happy to be here. We’re looking forward to a couple of days of fun with friends, to catching up and relaxing a little in the sunshine. How lucky is that?