Trip Report, California August 2013
Because of some crooked politicians,
Southwest isn't allowed to fly directly to LA from Tulsa,
It was only $15 for spaghetti and mealballs and a bottle of water .
We still had some time to kill so I dropped a $20 in the Wheel of Fortune slot machine.
That ran down to $7 or so and then I hit the SPIN award and won $30, so I cashed out
which means I got my spaghetti and meatballs for free and made Vegas my bitch.
Back on the plane, we landed at LAX 45 minutes later. From there we hit the 405, which wasn't moving.
Really, LA? It was 1 PM on a Monday and the freeway was totally jam-packed and hardly moving.
After 30 minutes or so, I saw Santa Monica Blvd, which was familiar to me so I took that.
It was worse than the 405 - completely jammed tighter than a too-tight bathing suit coming home
from the beach with a bad sunburn. (Thanks to Dan Rather for that) Eventually I figured out that the
side streets were moving so we tried that. We ended up on Rodeo Drive. I was using my iPad as a map
and it said we were about to drive by The Ivy where all the movie stars eat - but we couldn't find it.
We drove right past it and the red pin said we were right on top of The Ivy, but it was poorly marked.
So it's been another hour and we were getting closer to our hotel, but we were just south of
Griffith Park and we noticed all the stores and homes had iron bars on the windows.
Suddenly I felt like Chevy Chase in the first Vacation movie, so we kept driving.
Two hours after we got our rental car, we finally made it to the hotel.
It took 45 minutes to get here from Vegas but it was a two-hour drive to the damn hotel.
Geez, you drive in Tulsa for two hours and you end up in Joplin or OKC.
To make things worse, right near our hotel was Bob Hope Airport.
Southwest Airlines calls that Burbank Airport - we could've flown almost to our hotel door,
but life can be tough when you only have an IQ of 64.
So we got settled in our hotel and before long Tommy Mack showed up to drive us to the Burbank
El Torito's where we were to meet the gang. Funny, I've known Tommy since 2002, but I've never
been in a car when he was driving. It was like riding Disneyland's The Matterhorn, but slightly faster.
I looked at the speedometer and it said "80" so I asked Tommy if we were late. Tommy said no
and he assured me the speed limit on LA freeways was 75 and he was barely breaking the law.
We arrived at El Torito's in record time.
Tally was there at one table. At another table were Mark, Carol and Oddcat, a regular Mystery guesser.
We were outside on the patio and it was not crowded so we just took matters into out own hands and
pushed three tables together. Then LA Rick, the Hollywood Liberal showed up with the lovely Liz
which made 8 of us. So, shots of Chinaco were ordered and the party was on.
After a while, we were the only party on the patio so someone filled and lit and passed me a pipe.
WTF - this must be the kind of thing they do in LA, so we partied like we owned the place.
The waitress eventually came back and said, "Looks like somebody's having a good time!"
Mrs. Bart was curious about "medicinal edibles" so I asked Oddcat which store she went to.
She said, "I don't go to a store - we call and they deliver it to our door."
Damn, I knew I was living in the wrong state.
After dinner we made plans for tomorrow and headed back to the hotel, but on the way,
Tommy took us for another thrilling ride on The Matterhorn, showing us some cool LA places.
That was Monday, and I didn't take a single picture.
Tuesday we were on our own so we decided to drive around LA.
We drove around Griffith Park and Mullholland Drive.
From the south of Griffith Park, you can see the looks-like-it's-moving 101 Freeway, smoggy LA and that
bare section on the middle right is the Hollywood Bowl, made famous (to us) by the Beatles in the sixties.
By the way, we were NOT smoking anything as we drove around Griffith Park.
As Nixon once said, "That would be wrong."
We saw the NBC-Universal building, where I assume they shoot The Tonight Show.
I knew if we kept driving, we'd
eventually find the Hollywood sign.
Meanwhile, Chicago Jim called from LAX -
he was stuck in a nightmare.
They told Jim they were out of cars - really, LA?
When you run out of cars you don't buy more?
That eventually got straightened out but
it took so long Jim was ready to get back on a plane and fly home.
So we're getting closer to Tuesday night.
That evening is kind of a blur, but I
remember Rick and Liz have 3 dogs, 3 cats and a lemon tree in his
Wednesday we were up with the sun, but
that was too late.
BTW, driving around LA, I kept seeing
street names that either reminded me of a song or Johnny Carson.
But even regular street names, like La
Cienaga or Sepulveda, remind me of Carson.
Now we're getting somewhere. This is what
we wanted - a ride up the coast.
We stopped to get a McMuffin and in line
before us was a Tesla - I had never seen one before. (On the right)
This is a damn rich part of America,
the Santa Barbara area.
As we drove around West LA and then up the coast, all the houses were a million dollars, minimum.
How many millions of millionaires live in California?
And I still can't wrap my head around the house-car ratio discrepancy.
We saw million dollar homes with a
piece-of-shit 98 Cavalier in the driveway. (Sorry if you drive one.)
Further up the coast, it just kept
I don't know what you like to do on
vacation, but we like to "become one with nature" and enjoy the
Mrs. Bart said, "This sure beats sitting
at my desk at work."
We drove until we got tired and grabbed a
Thursday we started out by texting Marc
Perkel to see if he was up for a visit - he's in Gilroy, CA
This time it was f-ing gorgeous, maybe 68
degrees or so. Since we were there last,
It was the perfect place to sit back -
relax - and enjoy the cool summer breeze.
After a brief stay we were back on the
road - and now we were headed to Tommy's
f-ing Tequila! Woo Hoo!
It's a good drive from Gilroy to Tommy's,
maybe 90 minutes or so.
Finally we made it to Tommy's.
We sat down at the two finest barstools
in the world, as far as I'm concerned:
BOOM! There it is.
uploaded a shorter-than 3 minute video of Tommy's
bartender making a margarita.
Watch at the 1:52 mark - You will not believe how fast this man can de-juice a pair of limes.
Notice also, he sticks a clean straw into the possibly-finished margarita to quality taste test it.
At Tommy's they don't serve a margarita until it's perfect.
out - A a $350
shot - and it's f-ing Jose Cuervo.
I just had
a regular Tommy's margarita because I was driving.
Rusty likes to kick them off the kitchen counter so I wanted to get more.
perhaps misunderstood because they GAVE us two hand-blown,
years of going there, I've never talked to anyone who was fluent in
on the road.
it is - that bridge they write the songs about.
For miles and miles, nothing but nature, trees and clean, crisp air.
Each one of those trees was belching pure oxygen at us like crazy.
boxes, no TV, no crowds, no kids, no e-mail, no Twitter - just Mother
Nature at her best
drove until we got tired, (30-second video here) then
grabbed a really cheap hotel.
angry? Did she complain?
day it was back to the Big City and the official Tommy's meet &
where this is, but everyone likes a tunnel, right?
a hotel and got ready for Tommy's.
there right at 5 PM and grabbed table No 3 so I could watch the front
a shot of Chinaco
Anejo (I think it was $10 - cheap) and Mrs Bart got her favorite,
the size of that pour, a $10 shot of God's Finest Nectar. No
Mexican is The Greatest Place on Earth.
Cheese Casadillas, maybe, I got Cheese enchildas and a taco.
looks like a mess but it tastes like $500 but only cost $13.95
again, sorry to Clint and Bob and Rohn and Tommy M and Catherine.
it's 6:45 or so and since we are creatures of habit, we drove to Twin
This is the shot they use on that Toyota commerecial.
there at the right time, in this case it was 7 PM or so, you can watch
it would be fun to live in San Francisco, but I'm not a millionaire.
got the iPad with Zillow going again and the prices would knock you
there it was back to the hotel to rest up for the early flight tomorrow.
had a great time in California.
to Oddcat for the Afghan scarf mufflers.
also like to thank the predatory jackals at Chase Manhattan for the
wish this Califormia 2013 Trip Report
was more exciting, but when I'm in charge,