Shoulder to Shoulder With The LA Locals

I am pleased to say that we both managed some very deep sleep after turning in around 2.00am this morning.  We rose around 7.30am – both of us feeling quite refreshed and in synch with LA time.

Our delightful little ensuite shower was wonderfully warm and rejuvenating which meant we were well awake for breakfast.

Breakfast was served in the dining room of the house and we were joined by three of the guests that are staying here – a young couple from Washington State and a lady from Vancouver.  Can’t seem to get away from these Canadians!!  Breakfast banter was light and interesting and the meal was light and tasty.  We really enjoyed taking our time to eat and get to know more about our hosts and the other guests.  Everyone has an interesting story to tell.  Like William (one of the hosts) – he worked on the original design team that built the Boeing 747.  Fascinating stories to tell.

We made the most of the soft morning light after breakfast and took lots of photo’s in the back area of the B&B.  Nina (host) has done a remarkable job with the outdoor area too and it is something to enjoy.  I can just imagine a young child spending hours exploring all the fascinating corners of this delightful back area.

We left the house around 11.30am and walked a short distance to the nearest bus stop.  We had decided to rest our legs a little and, at the same time, rub shoulders with the locals.  The bus service here is a little less efficient than Hong Kong so we were getting a little worried when a bus wasn’t pulling up after a couple of minutes.  It eventually came (20+ mins) and, after sorting out the fare we sat back and made the most of not having to propel ourselves on foot.

The trip to our destination (Los Feliz) took quite a while but we were able to enjoy some new sights and sounds along the way – different views of the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory and the repetitious call of the bus driver to use the front door (the back door was broken) to exit.

On arriving at the terminus we purchased a day pass on the Metro (name of the transport service) by going down (and down and down) into the subway and tackling the not so intuitive auto-ticket machines.  Maybe one of the reasons why so few locals use the public transport is because the ticket vending machines are not user friendly.  That and their love for big RV’s and driving everywhere.

Our caffeine levels were in need of a top up so we settled into a seat at “It’s A Grind” Coffeehouse.  The ambience, coffee and service was great and we enjoyed watching the locals come and go (and chill out too) while we sipped our morning brews.

The area we started in today is called Los Feliz.  This is a very funky area of town and is situated SE of Hollywood.  It has some very laid back restaurants, interesting (one word that comes to mind) shops and very hip and happening people (probably their way of describing themselves).  Walking the main street of this area was fun.

We had a small map which showed a restaurant in an area “not too far” from the main area of Los Feliz.  However, after a long walk in the direction of the restaurant we realised that the place we were looking for was nowhere near where we had walked to (different restaurant – not lost).  However, the walk through the streets was a great experience.  We were able to take in some of the beautiful real estate and well kept streetscapes – it is a really nice place to walk around.

Realising we were not going to the restaurant we had been searching for we decided to use our day passes and travel back to the Los Feliz main street area.  However, the Metro bus service in the area we were in was so infrequent that we would have still been waiting.  Have feet will travel.  And, you guessed it – we pretty much walked all the way back (albeit a different way).
It was around 3.00pm by the time we got back to the main area so we took in a quick (and not so large) sub. With our reserves topped up we caught another bus along Sunset Blvd and  headed for Beverly Hills.  This was a most interesting bus trip.  The passengers consisted of stoned locals through to pensioners.  Ah – you have to love public transport.  It is a great way to get to experience the place but not something we would do everyday in LA.
Our destination was the Graystone Mansion.  This mansion is located in Beverly Hills.  It has been used in the films “Ghostbusters” and “Witches of Eastwick” and it was the site of a 1929 unsolved murder of the oil magnate that built the property (Ned Dohney). The mansion and the parklands surrounding it are very picturesque and the views of downtown LA and across Beverly Hills are worth the walk up the hill to get to the place.
As it was close to closing time we kept our visit relatively short and proceeded to walk through some of the Beverly Hills streets.  The houses are ……….?, the cars are ………..?, the people are ………….? and the gardens are ………?  You can fill in the blanks.  Let’s just say that money flows uphill and the flow rate around Beverly Hills must not realise that there is a global downturn happening – or maybe the occasional leaf out of place on the sidewalks was a sign of the times?

We didn’t see anyone we knew today and no-one invited us into their house for a cup of tea.  However, we are pretty sure that our images were captured on one of the hundreds of CCTV cameras that we saw (and the other hundred we didn’t see).  And we were pretty happy to be able to walk the streets unnoticed and un-approached because we came to the conclusion that life behind huge hedges, security fences and guard dogs would not be much fun.  Ah – the price of fame.

We found a nice little coffee place on Sunset Blvd and too k in an afternoon brew before catching the bus (got our money’s worth) back to a stop near where we are staying.

A quick change and some warm clothes for the Princess (it did chill down a little this afternoon) did the trick and we headed back out for a bite to eat.  We settle on a wonderful Mexican cantina on Sunset Blvd called Pinches Tacos .  The food was awesome and the bottle of Californian Merlot from the bottleshop across the street was excellent. Fortunately the size of the servings was not ridiculous – a pleasant change indeed.  We both agree that the choice of food and eateries in the local area would keep us going for years (assuming obesity, cholesterol or liver failure didn’t kill you first!).

The walk back to our B&B in the crisp night air was very pleasant however, on arriving back here we were not able to open the security gate.  A late night phone call to our hosts sorted out our entry “visa” and we were able to retire to our boudoir around 11.30pm.

I am about to finish writing this blog at close to 12.45am – time to lay my head down and dream about Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey (tomorrow’s sightseeing venues).

I will post some more photo’s of today’s sights when I wake up in the morning.

Until tomorrow – goodnight.

Roey and The Princess

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