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Tom Travels Day 12-13, Los Angeles

November 5, 2010

A glass a night, you'll sleep alright

Think of the soft, warm environment of your bed. The sweet smell of yourself. The indention in your mattress from years of Zzzzzz’s. Your place of peace, your sanctuary. One of the concerns I had before I left on this adventure was the sleeping arrangements. I knew I’d miss my lion’s den, but was ready to sleep in many locations. I haven’t slept well in the past 2 years, in any bed, due to my painful joints. Usually 6 hours of sleep is all to be expected before turning on my shoulder or wrist. Preparing for any situation, I brought an air mattress, mattress & pillow sheets, a small but warm blanket, a pillow adjusted for my neck (and the fluffiness I prefer) and a bottle of Johnnie Walker (the perfect sleeping medicine). Here is a description of the beds I’ve slept in so far:

1)  A comfy and warm blanket, but with thick pillows. This bed did have a nice dip in it and I had problems moving out of it. You could tell someone had probably slept on the left side of the bed for a score and 7 years ago. Dip aside, the entire situation was comfortable and 7 hours of sleep prepared me well for the drive ahead.

2) A bed right out of the Bates Motel: coffee (or blood) stains, cigarette burns in the sheets, a smell that would rival my drive through Iowa, and the eery feeling that justified my purchase of pepper spray . My sheets came in handy on this night; I dare not touch my epidermis to the linens of this Knights Inn. I felt fortunate to get 5 hours of sleep.

3) My air mattress came in handy in Vegas. 1 night in my friend’s bed (while he worked) and 3 nights on the air mattress. Comfort level was mediocre, but its Vegas, who sleeps there anyways. 4 hours/night on average.

4) A couch for 3 nights. A very comfortable and deep couch. Having a TV in the room helped ease me to sleep like a parent telling a bedtime story. I did require a glass of Johnnie Walker 2 nights to ensure my rest. On average 6 hours/night.

5) Then I arrived in L.A. for the most comfortable bed so far, a king-sized luxurious air mattress. I’m not sure the brand name, but I imagine people have used this bed to float to safety, or flee their country. On average, 6 hours/night.

The Hollywood sign as seen from Griffith Park

With full rest, my 2 days in L.A. were spent mostly driving around west L.A. and the Pasadena area. Day 12 was overcast and cool. I actually saw people in winter coats! For a Chicagoan, I required a long sleeve shirt. I met my cousin & husband at their home. They have a lovely view from their backyard, and  beautiful flowers growing in their garden:

Downtown L.A. in the distance

Anyone know the name of this flower?

A grad student friend of mine owns a tavern, The Red Lion Tavern, with an awesome beer garden and tasty German food. The garden is very schizophrenic, ideal for a diverse market of patrons who prefer sitting in the sun, but also catering to those who want to hide from it under a roof (or on the rare occasion it rains and you want to stay dry). I had my first beer in a boot:

Red Lion Tavern and Beer Garden

Beer in a Boot

Afterwards we visited:

Griffith Park

Have you seen the previews for the movie “Get Him to the Greek”? I had assumed the Greek was a man, but it turns out, The Greek is a theatre in Griffith Park. It’s also home to a merry-go-round, pony rides, an observatory, and a 180 degree view of Los Angeles.

Griffith Park Observatory

The day ended with a tour of the neighborhood and this extravagantly decorated house:

Haunted House

Anything seem out of place?

And I found a science experiment out in the open, from Seabright Laboratories. I imagine entomologists are studying the insects that populate the area around the lime trees we walked past:

There's some entomology going on

Day 13 of Tom’s Travels included a drive up and down Pacific Coast Highway. Here’s a video to give you an idea. Unfortunately during the filming, we were not in an area where the ocean could be seen. Soundtrack by Rolling Stones- Satisfaction:

We passed Pepperdine University:

Pepperdine University

I imagine studying would be difficult. Hmmm, UNLV or Pepperdine, which would be more fun?

Here’s a few pics of the drive before we made it to Neptune’s Net for fish tacos:

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu Coast

Malibu Coast

Lunchtime!

Fairly priced fish tacos

This meal was amazing. Salt water misting in your face, the sound of sea gulls, and delicious seafood.

When I think of California a few images come to mind (wine, marijuana, celebrities, beaches and earthquakes). I captured my mind well in these two pics, when I think of the California beach:

In my mind, a typical California beach

I love the sound of waves. Very consistent, but always different.

The evening was spent relaxing before my long drive tomorrow, watching The Daily Show, and listening to Rahsaan Roland Kirk a jazz singer who has perfected the technique of circular breathing. I’ll leave you with a favorite picture of the Pacific Coast Highway drive:

See the ruler?

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