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Published: November 27th 2005
Driving the Pacific Coast Highway 7-8/11/05
We drove to Monterey and spent the afternoon prodding fishes at the aquarium. They had a decorator crab which was decorated with Hallowe'en coloured wool (orange and black, supplied by the aquarium staff). In a couple of weeks, they said they were going to change the wool to red and green for Christmas. Penguins! Sea Otters! The aquarium had them all, some on an exchange visit from New Orleans while their home is being rebuilt. There was also a deep sea display with enormous Tuna and Sunfish (which look plain weird, they seem to only have a front half).
We tried to get a sandwich at a cafe, but the very aged dahhhling who served us had no veggie sandwiches, so I had a bottle of OJ and Vernon's crisps.
We drove round 17 Mile Drive, which was somewhat uninspiring (although we did see a Sea Otter in the wild - it looked remarkably like a piece of kelp floating in the water).
We continued on the PCH past Big Sur as the light was failing. There was some very impressive scenery, but the fog was starting to roll in. We found our most expensive
fuel yet - $3.69 a gallon, so we bought ten bucks worth to get us to San Luis Obispo, where it was about $2.50 a gallon.
We stopped for the night in San Simeon, just down the hill from Hearst Castle. We decided not to visit it as time was short and we had seen plenty of old-world art and antiques at the Getty Center a few weeks ago.
The next day we had lunch in Cambria where we got talking to a few of the locals for way too long, and then drove to Long Beach, arriving at Carol and Rita's place at about 8pm (only 5 hours later than planned)!
It's a wrap 9-12/11/05
Spent a couple of days sorting out the bikes, getting the wheels trued, cleaning everything and boxing them for the flight. We checked our tickets and discovered that we were due to fly on the 12th, rather than the 13th (as we originally thought).
Carol had the day off on the 11th and took us for a whistle-stop tour of the area. Hollywood - it's not right or proper. Everyone is a wannabe, we felt like telling our lunch server "Drop the smile
and the act sonny, we're tourists, not casting directors." Carol explained that the bronze stars set into the pavements were paid for by fan clubs, and that the only criterion for having a star is that your fan club pays for its installation and upkeep. Much more interesting were the hand and footprints outside the Chinese Theater. Judy Garland either had very small feet or exceedingly high heels, Leonard Nimoy's hand print was in the "Live long and prosper" pose and Harold Lloyd did a sketch of his glasses. We drove around the exceedingly posh houses of Bel Air and Beverley Hills before watching the sun set over Venice Beach (where a woman was out walking with her cat in a basket under her arm).
We got up early on the Saturday morning and surprised ourselves by getting everything to fit into the flight bags without too much drama (that was supplied the night before by Vernon and Mikayla playing pirates while Clare and Carol cooked dinner). Carol dropped us at the airport four hours before our flight was due to leave, we got the bags and bike boxes checked in and went to the metal detectors...
Characters outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood
Elmo (far left) was recently prosecuted for assaulting people who took his photo and didn't tip.
to wear through an airport metal detector; part 2 in an occasional series - an underwired bra!
Clare set the detector off and had to be checked by a woman with a flashing stick.
Anyway we still got to the departure lounge about three hours before the flight was due to leave and over four hours before it actually did.
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