Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Canals of Venice (California)

by Pa Rock

Guess who was on the line when I answered the wake-up call in my motel room this morning?  Tom Beaudet.  Okay, now guess the name of the motel chain where I spent the night?

The two-hour drive from Indio to Los Angeles, was much more scenic that the endless desert that I crossed yesterday.  One particularly impressive thing that I encountered this morning was hundreds (probably thousands) of windmills lining both sides of the highway near Palm Springs - and they were all spinning profitably in the wind.  If only the rest of America was smart enough to begin investing seriously in alternative energies.  (The Sonora Desert out by where I live near Phoenix should be sparkling with solar collectors stretching all the way to the horizon!)

Tim sent me Google Map directions to their apartment, and I was able to navigate right to their front door.  Not too shabby, considering this is the first time that I've been to Los Angeles since the 1950's - except for one brief stop at LAX forty years ago.  I zipped through the City of Angels without a hitch or a care.

Tim and Erin and Baby Olive are staying in a friend's apartment for the summer - and  also driving the friend's Prius!   The apartment is much like the one that they have in Kansas City - right in the middle of everything.  They are just minutes from Cedars of Sinai Hospital, which is a good thing because Olive has already had a quick trip to the emergency room.   The ER is located on Gracie Allen Avenue which is just a block or so away from George Burns Avenue.  (Excuse me while I drop names!)   When I told my friend Murphy about Tim and his family living close to Burns and Allen Avenues, he asked if there was a Harry Von Zell Alley nearby!

This morning Tim and Olive and I walked to a park in West Hollywood where Olive enjoyed the swings and playing in the sand.  We passed many interesting shops and cafes along the way.  There was also a vast array of different types of people - some really different.  We saw homeless people, some barefoot and at least one wearing a long blond wig, shirtless guys participating in an exercise boot camp at the park, tattoos, skateboards, bicycles, expensive cars, and many pampered dogs.  Tim said that it is not unusual to see dogs in this area wearing sunglasses, but I didn't run into any of those today.  He also said that a few days ago he and Erin had been sitting at a local Starbucks when a guy rode by on a unicycle juggling bowling pins as he peddled - and nobody paid any attention to him!  People here can be a bit jaded.

This afternoon we went to Venice Beach for a meal at a Mexican restaurant followed by a walk along the beautiful canals of Venice.  The canals are lined with lots of colorful cottages that would pass for weekend and vacation quarters most places, but in Venice they are at least six-figure homes - and possibly more!  All of the homes had unique flower gardens backing up against the sidewalks that fronted the canals, and  most had little boats, canoes, and skiffs anchored nearby so the residents could float lazily along the canals like Venetian royalty.

On the drive back from Venice Beach we pulled up behind a new Lamborghini that appeared to be out on a test drive.  Pa Rock Clampett took a couple of pictures of it through the windshield of our car!  It's so easy to spot a hillbilly in a place this posh!

The visit is going very well.  I will head back to Phoenix in the morning.

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