maandag 25 november 2013

nov 24/ 25: lots of airplanes and Los Angeles

welcome on my blog about a crazy trip through the United States on our way to see the fabulous Bottle Rockets in the Midwest. First stop: a bunch of airports and Los Angeles.

the cheapest way to get here was to fly to Chicago with stop over in New York, and the next day on to LA.
The first flight was nearly perfect, untill the landing that made me grab the barfbag. Didnt use it, but close.
Long stop in New York, also because the connecting flight was delayed.  (and not just ours) sitting at the gate we listened to one after another being delayed or overbooked or... or... great!
after about one hour delay we were let in. the normal corridor you walk through to get in a plane didny work so we had to go outside, and it was POLAR with winds so strong we allmot felt of the little stairs to the plane!! I'm not even kidding!! it was icecold!
Finally inside we waited and waited... then the captain (KIRK, also not kidding) said we missed our slot, ofcourse, so we had to wait, and they had to turn the engine off if we had to wait, and if they turned the engine off, we all had to leave the plane again for some reason. (getting bigger and bigger delays) a big and mutual "oh god no" went through the plane. Finally after making a lot of phonecalls we got clearance, so people started cheering out loud :-)
It was a small plane and I feared the worst with the strong wind, but the flight was really smooth.
So smooth I forgot my tourbook when we got out... only missed it next morning!!! gahhh!! the whole planning!!! GONE!!! I'm so glad Robert has his own planning with him!
In Chicago we had to wait for the shuttle to the hotel... didnt show up... it was icecold... good thing was that my coat was warm enough so I should be able to face the midwest next week!

the hotel was nice and pretty and fancy and we slept well untill we woke up early because of the jetlag.
We knew this would happen, so we booked a real early flight! again, everything went smooth. halfway the clouds beneath us cleared up and we got a stunning view on high mountains with snow, and later a landscape that either looked like the Grand Canyon or was the Grand Canyon. (I know there are some simular landscapes)

walking outside the terminal, directly that warm wind in your face, that fab feeling to be back in California! and the weird feeling to stand next to a palmtree wearing a fake fur coat!! I'm not sure how warm it was, but it felt way over 20°C, like a warm summer day. Fantastic.

for some reason we landed way to early (wind in the back?) and when we arrived at the rental car company, there was NO ONE THERE in line, so they were all waiting for us!
when he saw our luggage, he said it would fit in our Ford Focus but never in the trunk. He said we could try and come back for a bigger car if we wanted (for a few dollar per day more) but there was even space left in the trunk! (there is also a funny escape thing in the trunk in case someone locks you up)

on to the Grammy Museum to see the John Fogerty exhibition. it was quite exiting to get there. New car, new GPS that was acting up (at least it was acting up in Dutch) foreign town, but we got there.
you learn quickly if you're not too dumb.

I'm not sure if I ever have enough time to tell about all the exciting stuff we saw on the exhibition, but as it was the only reason we came to LA, it was ABSOLUTELY worth the detour!!!
pictures, guitars, newspaper clippings, written songtextst, original contracts, old schoolstuff from way way early! Highlight for me was the supercute assignment for school where John wrote his name in nice letters and "I have a red ball" priceless.
It took us at least an hour to see everything, it was way bigger than we thought and we looked at several stuff several times, and we didnt even see the video's because we have them at home. Also loved Johns old drumsticks from when he learned to play drums!
absolutely satisfied we left, and we walked into the shop, where they sold several Fogerty stuff, I couldnt leave without the notebook and tried on the flanel... and bought that too. I bought an S so keep it low with those snacks girl :-D

by now we were really hungry and we walked up the street a bit and ended up in an Irish pub. Reminder to self: in America, meals are bigger than they appear. we had a huge salad and chickenwings and fries and the waiter didnt even blink when Robert asked for mayonaise :-D
I thought I saw the Wiltern theater, so after the lunch we walked up there to take a look (john played there in 2005 with the recording of a live DVD and we were there) but we didnt find it. Still a nice walk through the nicer parts of downtown LA.

We went back to the car and to the hotel, gps couldnt find a satelite and we kept on driving and we realised we were driving straight into the NOT so nice parts of downtown LA if it didnt start working soon.
First we drove through the fashion district, that looked like fun though a bit funky. It looked like the immigrant neighbourhoods in Paris but more extreme. Rows and rows of shops with cloths and fabrics and loud and colorfull stuff and all kinds of people shopping. Exciting, but not horrible.

We've been in the not so nice parts of downtown LA before and recently I read a big article about all the homeless people, still we were in absolute SHOCK to see what was happening around 6th street. Endless rows of people just sitting on the sidewalk. Or laying down. Covered in blankets and with tents and shoppingcarts. Endless rows on dirty streets and next to run down buildings.... like the bottom of civilisation. or even beneath that.
we drove into better parts and got away more or less. Long story short: it wasnt that easy to get on the 101 to Hollywood but in the end we did and we found the hotel without problems. We stayed here half year ago too, and in this neighbourhood two years ago to, it feels a bit like home now :-)

superfriendly motel owner gave us a room in the back of the building "nice and quiet" well if this is quiet, I dont wanna be in the noisy rooms in the front :-D we dropped our bags and went for a walk. Straight to Amoeba records, what an exciting store, they even had original CCR posters ($$$$) AND we saw the new-new released Bottle Rockets cd!!
I think it was a bit to big for Robert who didnt know where to start (I was just standing there going "oooohhh")
In the end we bought a POSTCARD and left :-) straight to... Trader Joe's, YAY!!!
Been in this one quite a few times now. "yeah, I always go to Trader Joe's on Vine when I'm in LA" hahaha snobby me!!!!!
We just needed some health snacks to get the tour started like fruit and crackers and I SAID to Robert "it will only be a minute"
yeah right! not! I cant help it, I just love that store. So much to see. tossed a lot of stuff in my basked and went to the check out, met a very chatty guy "oh you're from Belgium? Where are the chocolates?" (and a lot more bladeblah and yadedah :-) and we walked back to the hotel.
I quickly ran in staples to get a new binder to make a new tourbook/planning!!! that one will be handwritten, but in the end, it's still a planning and I need to know where I'm going too) They were selling Belgian chocolates! At Staples!! (dat is een grote kantoorwinkel)
one more stop: to the Rite Aid to get a tray of water so we dont have to get expensive bottles at gasstations anymore. good idea.
We dropped it in the room and went for one more walk, to Hollywood Blvd.

We've been in Hollywood several times... quite a lot actually. We hoped to see some fun stuff to walk in the other direction, but all the fun/weird shops were closed and the tacky souvenirs shops give me a headache. when the number of weirdo's on the street got a bit too high we went back to the hotel.

we'll be leaving to Trona/Death Valley tomorrowmorning!
LA was a short visit, I already feel sorry about that but hey, it was a fun short visit!!

I will be uploading pictures when I can, but dont expect them soon, I cant go online or write on the road.

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