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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

LA Mission Mission, Day Zero

Here begins my chronicle of our trip to LA, to see missions and relatives.

I’ll start with day zero, our driving day, where we left Sacramento about 8:30 AM, and went straight for the dreaded Interstate 5. We stopped for an early lunch at Santa Nella, which appears to be nothing but a bunch of restaurants, motels and truck stops. We arrived there just before 11:00 AM, but decided to stop for gas and lunch, since there’s really not much else along Interstate 5 for the roughly 200 miles between Tracy and LA. Seriously. You have to go several miles off the Interstate to find somewhere like Wasco.

Not long after Santa Nella, Interstate 5 Leaves the edge of the coast range and and becomes the most boring drive imaginable, plus about a gazillion trucks to pass along the way. The trip livens up for the last thirt or so miles before LA, where the road crosses the San Gabriel Mountains. Going southbound toward LA, the road rises about 4,000 feet above the Central Valley floor in a very steep climb of about 10 or 15 miles. We passed all sorts of vehicles steaming by the roadside. We saw some fresh snow on a few slopes just above the Interstate’s summit. Then the descent, followed b y LA freeway traffic where you see traffic 24 7.

We made it to our hotel on Ventura Boulevard. We’re located on a several miles - long strip of grocery stores and restaurants. We are across a side street form a Trader Joe’s, and a block form a Whole Foods in the opposite direction. I guess I wasted my time buying groceries at home and dragging them along. I can't live without fresh fruit and peanut butter sandwiches. The Breakfast of Champions, y'know.

We took a twenty minute walk along Ventura Boulevard and passed well over fifty restaurants, and three or four more large grocery stores.

We called my aunt and my niece. My aunt has lived in LA county for about thrity years, and my niece is in college here. We’ll see my niece later, and drive her to home for her spring break this Saturday.

We had dinner with My aunt at a delicatessen (Jerry’s Deli on Ventura Boulevard) about a ten minute walk from our motel. We all had their Matzah ball soup, which brough back memories of Max and Benny’s Mishmosh soup. It was good. I am always happy to have good liquid food at night. I didn't realize the place was famous until I looked at their website.

Aunt S invited took us to visit her apartment after dinner. She has a very nice place, it really seems to be the perfect small place for one person. Quiet and airy. Very nice.

Aunt S drove us back to our motel, The Holiday Inn on Ventura Ave in Woodland Hills, near the fashionable Warner Center, but far enough away to cost about $100 less per night. The hotel is proving to be a good choice. Rumor has it that my patents stayed there once on an Elderhostel history - related event. We went to bed, to prepare for our adventures for the rest of the week.

This may be my last blog posting done onsite. It’s a a pain to upload and save pictures away from the home base, so you’ll just have to hang by your thumbs until next weekend or early next week. Expect to see lots of missions, and some other surprises.

That’s my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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