April 29, 2015
Uh oh; we’ve been having so much fun and out so late I haven’t been keeping up with the blog on a daily basis. I don’t want to get too far behind the 8-ball.
Our time in Santa Monica was coming to an end. We got a late check out of our hotel and took advantage of the extra time with a walk along the beach getting our feet wet in the ocean. But eventually we had to check out and head east. Our destination for the day was the wonderful Route 66 Saga Motor Lodge in Pasadena. Jerry McClanahan’s “EZ66 Guide for Travellers” highly recommends the spot so we booked it as we drove through town a few days earlier.
We also had the La Brea Tar Pits and a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game on the docket; this meant we had a LOT of Los Angeles driving to do. Here is a rough view of our route – mostly on Route 66.
We headed out Santa Monica Blvd and turned right on Wilshire and crossed over Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and other playgrounds of the rich and famous.
The La Brea Tar Pits is the site of a group of … well, tar pits … Thousands of animals got stuck in these pits back in the last ice age as long ago as 38,000 years; you can read more about it here. Excavating the fossils from the pits looks to be dirty, tedious work but I’m glad people have done it. They’ve uncovered over 1,600 dire wolf fossils, some saber tooth tiger fossils, and even some wooly mammoth fossils.
The museum is fairly small and we got through it in pretty short order. We had lunch nearby at The Counter which as a great burger place – although we didn’t have burgers. We did eat outside on the curb and had a nice view of The Miracle Mile – a large business and retail area. It has high traffic volumes even for Los Angeles. We were just across from NBC/Universal and CBS was just down the street as was the Screen Actor’s Guild. This is definitely where the rich and the beautiful hang out.
After our visit we got headed back up to Santa Monica Blvd to rejoin Route 66. We headed down Sunset and connected with the Pasadena Freeway; one of the oldest, if not the oldest freeway in the city. And you can tell; it has very narrow lanes and extremely short on-ramps with stop signs rather than meters. Then we headed down Colorado Blvd to head to the hotel. Yes that Colorado Blvd. The one of the Beach Boys song “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” who was “the terror of Colorado Boulevard”. It’s also the location of the New Year’s day Rose Bowl parade. The street has a red stripe straight down the center; this is for the float drivers to follow because they can only look down – not out the front window like you or I would.
It took most of the day to get to the hotel and we soon had to turn around and head back to Dodger Stadium. Complaining about driving in Los Angeles is so common as to be cliché; but it’s a common complaint because it is tough. And driving into and out of Dodger Stadium is especially taxing. But we managed to get in and park ($20 for parking!). Since the Dodgers are the team of my childhood we splurged for really good tickets. We were on the field level about 20 rows behind home plate.
It was a beautiful night for baseball and to make it even better the Dodgers hit three home runs in the first inning and won going away. Then back out of the stadium, onto the freeways and back to the hotel. The lovely sign was beautifully lit
The next morning we took a little walk up and down Colorado Blvd where we saw some interesting businesses.
We had a wonderful time in Los Angeles but it was time to head out of the metro area, into the desert and really get started with our tour of Route 66.