From New York to LA

I made the coastal transition last night.  The flight was remarkable only in its perfect representation of travel in LA as a whole – an uneventful journey terminating in an extra hour trying to find somewhere to park.

I checked in late to the Sheraton Universal, immediately rejected the first room offered at the headboard seemed to rest but inches from the 101 freeway and fell into a blissful slumber once ensconced in a quieter room.  The Sheraton itself is plain hotel fare but I chose it for the location in the Cahuenga Pass which allows for easy access to both the Valley and the Basin that comprise LA.  The down side is that it is on a hill in the middle of a theme park and rather remote.  There is no walking anywhere, parking and eating are limited to the immediate area and as such both commodities come at usurious cost.

I had a full itinerary today and my path meandered through many of my favorite places.  I started  the day in Pasadena and ended it in Santa Monica with time off for good behavior in Beverly Hills.  All the meetings were excellent.  I met some great people, forged some strong connections and became acquainted with the bearer of the best 1970s porn ‘stache I have seen in ages, worn completely without irony.  I finished off the day reading in the sunshine on the escarpment overlooking Santa Monica with a pleasant breeze cooling of the 90 degree day.  I can never get enough of this place.

I waited out the traffic and wandered into Venice for a delightful dinner in a little placed called Sauce.  Slightly off the beaten path, it has a nice healthy local menu.  I had a salad of seared tuna on organic spinach with shaved fennel & celeriac topped by toasted macadamia nuts and my second serving of the day of applewood smoked bacon.  Applewood smoked bacon may in fact be nature’s perfect food.  The free home made chocolate chip cookie at the end of the meal did not hurt the experience at all.

I decided to finish the evening with another one of my favorite pastimes and took Mulholland Drive home instead of the freeway.  It is a beautiful road along the crest of the mountains that separate the Valley from the Basin.  The trip was slightly marred by the fact that the last time I made such a drive it was in my sporty, road hugging convertible.  This time I was left to manipulate the flaccid teats of the Ford Motor Company’s latest porcine Rental Wonder.  Still, the view is spectacular and I doubt I will be able to get back on this visit.

Another full day tomorrow, then back to the salt mines.

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