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my car would have been totaled

January 4, 2009
2008 Winter West Coast Road Trip-11th in a series

dscn6118I left the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel Saturday morning, the 27th, and drove south along the California coast through Monterrey, Big Sur, San Simeon, Santa Barbara and arrived in LA at the Santa Monica Hostel about 7:00pm, long day.  Gorgeous day, long drive.

The hostel is one block from the famous Santa Monica Pier and so I walked down there in the evening.  Fascinating.  Lots of strange people and some normal ones too.

The hostel is nice, quite full featured, huge kitchen with eight industrial stoves, several sinks and six big fridges and lots of counter space for us all to prepare our meals.  This place has a nice library, Internet room, a couple of lounges, laundry, a movie room, a great courtyard with fountains and tables and chairs, etc.  They had comedy night on Saturday night with some local comedians, all free.  They also conduct free guided tours of the area every other day or so.  There are people from all over the world here and with all the different languages I hear, I’d swear I was back in Europe if I didn’t know any better.  Over the seven nights I spent here there, not one of my room mates was from America.  Several from France, three or four from Japan, and others from Switzerland, Australia and Czechoslovakia.

dscn6137I did Disney one day and finally got to see the California Adventure.  Considering how much of a Disney fan I am, it’s almost criminal that I hadn’t seen it yet.  I really enjoyed it; my new favorite Disney attraction is now Soarin’. I did pretty much the whole park by 4:00 and decided to tough it out and do Disneyland Park while I was here since it doesn’t close till 10:00.  I did everything there I wanted to by 9:00 and headed on back to Santa Monica.  I was pretty beat.

I had some down time; I did laundry, booked an appointment to have my car serviced (my car so sucks), caught up on emails, went to three movies, hung out in the courtyard, talked with people, walked to the grocery store and stocked up, cooked dinners.  For the first time in 30+ years of hostelling, someone stole from me.  I had a bit a food in the fridge and in my kitchen cuby hole, well marked and someone swiped half of it.  I was stunned, but I figured they must have needed.  Oh well.  I got a call from my neighbor who said my carport collapsed from the weight of the snow and ice.  Good thing I wasn’t there or my car would have been totaled most likely.

dscn6272Out of the seven days I was in Santa Monica, my car was in the shop for three and half of those days.  Just one thing after another and it was costing me a small fortune.  I also found time to visit Universal Studios and did the park and the tour one day.  It’s OK, it’s no Disney. I spent another day driving all over the LA and Hollywood area seeing the sites. I drove by all the studios, Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, etc.  I drove Santa Monica and Wilshire Blvds, Hollywood Ave, the Sunset Strip, Mullholland Drive, Melrose, Beverly Hills, etc.  I saw a lot of familiar sites, which is weird for not having ever seen them before, at least not in person.  I was amazed at how easy it was to get my bearings and I was able to drive around pretty much without a map or GPS.

I’d been to LA a few times before on business and never had a chance really to see anything.  I was amazed at how clear the air was considering everything I’d heard about the pollution and fires, etc.  The temperatures were in the high 60s and low 70s, it was perfect and the traffic was almost non existent, never had any trouble; of course it was a holiday week.  I started to think, I could live here.  And then I caught myself and laughed the notion off.  But LA does make for a nice break.

I got pretty frustrated with my car and didn’t want to keep getting farther away from home and I wasn’t having fun any more.  I also I hear the weather is letting up at home and the snow is almost gone, so I headed on home.  I got a late start but made it to Medford Oregon the first day and made it the rest of the way home the next arriving early evening.  Good thing I got home when I did, because the flooding that Washington was experiencing got so bad the next day that the Interstate and all of my other alternative routes were closed for a few days.  My only option would have been to head east over the mountains toward Spokane then north to Canada, then west to Vancouver then south to Lynden.  I got lucky, again.

dscn6372So, I’m home now.  My car port is a wreck and the back yard is flooded.  I live next to Fishtrap Creek which is pretty small and I can’t usually see the water from my back door, but I sure can now.

I’m gonna take it easy for a week or two and then try to get myself motivated to look for a job.  Not a pleasant thought considering what’s going on.

It was a fun ride.  Thanks for reading.

Maggie Williams

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