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Old 09-18-2001, 10:08 AM   #1
nickglover
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Odessa, FL
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Trip Report - just back - part 1 of 3

We were there last week. Me - 45 year-old DH. DW - around 40 (no one knows for sure).

Pre-Disney:

Day 1 - Saturday September 8 -- Flew from Tampa to L.A. and gained 3 hours. Rented a car from Hertz and headed up the 405 to The Getty Museum. Arrived around 11 am (opened at 10) and was able to park in the underground lot. Took the cool tram to the top of the hills and we were just overwhelmed by the beauty of the buildings, the grounds and the atmosphere up in the foothills - flowers, bees, hummingbirds, and so quiet and peaceful. The Museum is truly an architectural wonder. We had our first cool California lunch at the Cafe and then toured most of the museum, particularly the French 1800s paintings -Van Gogh's Lillies, several Monets including a beautiful almost irridescent Haystacks, Renoirs, and more, and also the Drawings room, which had a Rembrant drawing, but was not displaying the Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, or Van Gogh drawings I saw in 1986 at the original Getty. What a wonder ful way to start our vacation. We then drove to Van Nuys and checked in to a Holiday Inn Express, commenting on how smooth everything had gone so far - the plane - the car - the museum (too smooth, I thought). Dinner at a steak place after driving all over Van Nuys looking for somewhere half-decent to eat. [I chose the Van Nuys area because it was not too far north of the Getty, up the 405, and because I figured it was a kind of "Valley Girl - Mall area suburbua and would be safe - actually it was a rather ethnic area with lots of foot traffic, but the hotel was safe with only a lobby entrance to the rooms].

Day 2 - Sunday - Free buffet at the Holiday Inn. Then we drove to Marina Del Rey and were the last pick-up for a 5 1/2 tour of the city, which we really enjoyed. There was a triathalon going on so the traffic was bad in some areas, and also congested in Hollywood, so it was nice to have someone else do the driving. We saw Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, then downtown to see the Staples Center (where Madonna was doing the first of 4 shows to complete her tour). Then off to Hollywood, the Chinese Theater and the walkway of the stars, the a view of the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood sign, the Farmer's Market for lunch (cajun place - ok, but not great) and then Sunset Drive and then to Rodeo Drive (where some of the group saw Ross from Friends, and then into Beverly Hills and Bellair to see some of the homes of the stars including Julia Roberts, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, etc. etc. A really fun tour with L.A. City Tours! We then drove to Anaheim and checked into the GC. As an aside, I have to say, and they may put me away for saying this, but I really liked the L.A. freeways! (I kept thinking of that Jerry Jeff Walker song: "If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught..."!) - I have to qualify this by saying we never drove at true rush hour times, but the freeways worked great, they are well-marked and they keep moving. The only strange part was where some of the car pool lanes provide left hand "flyover" exits, so that when you are taking an exit to the right, you suddenly see a sign 5 lanes to your left for where you think (hope) you are going! Once I figured that out, everything was easy. I drive kinda fast but even DW commented she had never seen so many people pass me before! Thanks to everyone for the great directions to Anaheim - out the 105 to the 605 to the 91 and the 5 (I think) - it worked great! I will continue my report with the Disney part and the post-Disney part tomorrow, as I have to surrender my computer for an upgrade (and get some work done!).
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Old 09-18-2001, 04:35 PM   #2
LuvTigger
Just wanted to add that I'm another Dreams-lover!
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Love the details in your report! Can't wait to read the next parts!

I'm curious about your city tour...what company was this, and how much was it? Did you have to make a reservation?

(P.S. Thanks for the info about Napa Rose!)
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Old 09-19-2001, 08:11 AM   #3
nickglover
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Join Date: May 2000
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It was L.A. City Tours. $55 per person for the 5 1/2 tour. They offer others. They have a web site. I liked the variety in their tour, compared to some others I checked. I wanted one that mainly toured the city landmarks and then briefly some homes of the stars, which is always fun. We called ahead of time and made a reservation. I don't think you have to, but it worked well for us, and they offered to pick us up or we could meet where the tour started in Marina Del Rey, which worked for us. The tour guide was fun. He played fun songs when we were driving between sites, such as "I Love L.A." on the freeway, "77 Sunset Strip", "Hollywood", "Pretty Woman" on Rodeo Drive ....you get the picture.
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Old 09-24-2001, 10:21 PM   #4
Marla Hellwig
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They call it getting lost, I prefer the term "creative exploring"
Ready for the next cruise
 
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What a fun first 2 days you had. Thanks for posting!
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