LA Meltdown

Published: October 12th 2013
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Rob Writes:

Oh look! It’s my turn to write a blog again on a day which we did nothing but drive. Hold on folks, this is going to be an exciting one.

We awoke early at our holiday resort hotel in San Diego and were keen to get our stuff together as we were driving to LA. First things first, however... breakfast! After we had satisfied the Escape’s everlasting thirst for its favourite tipple (87RON, pumped, not poured) we me moved onto satisfying our own breakfast needs at the Broken Yolk Cafe. This one was one of those Man v Food restaurants that all the kids talk about and served a right beast of a plate, one of those were you get it for free if you manage to conquer it alone. We had no such intentions of attempting such an insane feat but we ordered it anyway, only between the three of us. The dish consisted of a cheese and mushroom omelette (using 12 chucky eggs) covered in chilli, accompanied by 1.3 tonnes of hash browns and two blueberry muffins all served on a sixteen inch pizza tray. It was $24.99, which considering how big it was, was impressive value and I challenge anyone to find a meal to feed three to the point of vomiting all over the table for less. We didn’t eat it. Tina was the first to tap out as per usual because none of it was made from ice-cream. Dan made a good effort but being a born loser caught up with him again so it was up to me. Unfortunately though, as I am Dan’s brother I also possess some loser genes, albeit a much smaller amount, and gave up soon after. Good effort all round though.

We had been awake for maybe 3 hours by this point and already made ourselves feel like shit through eating obscene amounts of food, which was probably a record. This was fine for Tina and Dan though, they didn’t have to drive two hours to LA, which turns out to be a pig of a journey!

It was motorway/highway/freeway or whatever they call it here all the way there. Not just any motorway though, this was 120 miles of 6 lane, heavy congestion. The drive was meant to take just shy of two hours, but it took almost four and by the end of it I was FUBAR’d to the max. The traffic coming into LA was bat-shit crazy, something which seemed to be the norm for our entire stay there. Not just at rush hour times either, all the time! This was a direct contrast to the almost empty roads I had previously been driving on so far.

This was the first and only time I didn’t enjoy driving here as it’s just so different to the UK. The biggest problem was the lack of any courtesy as no one lets you out/ flashes anyone in while changing lanes. This is an issue in a country where there is also very little lane discipline. Everyone seemed to just pull out on one another, or they certainly were doing to me so I gave it a go, only to receive a face full of main beam or a blast of the horn. I still don’t know what the correct etiquette is for changing lanes, but no one crashed into me, so for the remainder of the time in LA I just pulled out on everyone too. I’m pleased to report it worked and we suffered no fender benders.

We didn’t head for our hotel in LA, oh no, we had better things to do! First stop was the NBC (TV broadcasting place) as we had free tickets to watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. We arrived a little late as LA is also shit for parking, which was to be expected I guess. We did eventually find a space about 30 minutes away from the studio, only to walk to the studio to find they had a free car park right across the road. Good to know for future trips to the LA NBC, I’m very pleased about that.

Upon entering the studio we were assigned a ticket with a number. Tina was 295, Dan 296 and me 297 out of about 400. There are about 100 more tickets than there are seats in the studio. I don’t know why they do this but it does mean there is a possibility you won’t get in, depending on how many people actually turn up I guess.

We waited about an hour watching people being called in. We then waited another hour or so, still watching people being called in. Then, after calling about 200 tickets they declared the studio was full and told us all we were not needed! GGRRRR! What a waste of time, although there was still some entertainment to be had. A chap and his girlfriend who were number 100 and something missed their numbers being called and only realised by the end, at which point it was too late, they weren’t getting in. I would usually feel sorry for someone in this situation but the gentleman decided the best way to deal with this was to throw his weight around. After shouting and balling at the ticket caller for a few minutes he then proceeded to kick the studio gate into oblivion before stomping all over their flowerbed. He then proceeded to stomp up the road shouting obscenities, while dragging his knuckles behind him. It wasn’t quite worth waiting two hours for, but I certainly felt I had witness something, or someone, quite special.

A short walk back to the car and it was time to take on the LA traffic again as we drove to Motel 6 where we would be spending the next two nights.

On arriving at our hotel/motel we dumped our stuff and headed out into LA. We were staying just off of Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, so that was our mission for the evening.

I am pleased to say I have seen the stars in the pavement of the entire Star Trek cast along with many of the action movie stars I grew up watching. It was a very satisfying evening. We even saw the concrete slabs with the signatures, hands and footprints of the movie stars, along with the Hollywood sign on the hills from the local Mall.

By the time we had finished admiring the stars we were quite hungry, so we had burgers and shakes at Johnny Rockets before heading home. It was dark on our walk home, which seemed to bring out Hollywood’s nut jobs. Hollywood Boulevard could have now been mistaken for the set of a zombie film. I was a bit scared as I had left my garlic and cross in the Motel so I ran back leaving Tina and Dan to fight off the horde.

That didn't happen. Instead we walked home at a brisk pace, although a little more alert. We arrived at our hotel without incident before putting on our jammies and nailing the hotel room door shut with wooden planks. We then spent the night taking it in turns guarding the door with a loaded shotgun waiting for daybreak.

That also didn't happen.

I’m going to bed now as fear I’m writing this for my own entertainment.

Update: I’ve just been informed that garlic and crosses don’t kill zombies, only vampires. At least I don’t feel like such an idiot for forgetting to pack them now though.

Additional photos below
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12th October 2013

The walk of Hollywood
It is fun checking out all the stars. I've got a few photos also. Fun.
12th October 2013

So funny!
Sitting here, laughing out loud--great blog! So sorry you experienced all our California craziness. Yes, freeways and Hollywood Blvd (and Las Vegas, another popular destination for foreigners) are full of nut cases, but so glad you got to feel the footprints of your fave stars. Leno's offer completely sucked, but so glad number 100 provided a good show--I wonder if they pay him to do that, so people get something for all their time wasted. Could people understand your Glasgow accents (I couldn't).

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