Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LA weekend

Trip to Los Angeles was nice. Google Navigation preformed flawlessly. I think I will name the offspring Google as Google is such a part of our lives.

The hotel free. It tried to be nice...but the chair in the room was clearly well worn. It was free though. We love Starwood Preferred Guest.

Throughout my travels as part of my job I have learned being nice and talkative can get you more than you a good way. When I approached the Hertz counter the lady greeted me by saying the normal, "Good Morning, How are you doing?" I almost always reply with, "great and you?" Waiters do the same routine...I try to ask as well. Just being courteous.

We then began chit chatting about weather and what not. When I handed over my license we talked about the crazy big smile I wore. After literally a few minutes (we were the only ones there), we began talking about cars.

I had reserved a mid-size for $26 all in. I had a great employee discount and a coupon. The only mid-size was a Toyota Corolla. I really wanted a Ford (for the Ford SYNC system). No Fords. She did offer a Lincoln Navigator for $10 more a day. Nah. We went through several more cars. Kelli was getting a little annoyed. Again just chit chatting. She finally came upon a brand new Toyota Camry Hyrbid. I asked how much and she said"....oh $8." I agreed. She then began going through my rate and discounts. Somehow my $20 off coupon DOUBLED and my total rate for a full size hybrid....ALL IN....was $20....Somehow I was paying less...for a lot more. I can only assume it was because of all the chit chat. Nice.

I do enjoy driving hybrids. I get way more involved than Kelli (who has a Prius) or my mother in law (who has a Camry Hybrid). Getting top MPG is a challenge too me. I had 40.4 MPG on the way to the convention center. Due to crazy LA traffic (we hit a lot of it!) it dropped to 38.6 MPG when I turned the car in.

The auto show was very nice. Very spread out. Afterwards we walked down to LA Live which is an entertainment/social complex with restaurants, clubs and what not. After finding Traders Vicks closed we headed to The Yard House.

We each enjoyed a beer. I had a Strong Arrogant Bastard...Kelli had something like a Blue Moon. We both had crazy high calorie meals. Kelli a turkey a seafood pasta. That's all we ate.

After visiting the auto show one more time (we missed....I missed a section), we left and headed to the hotel and then off to explore Hollywood.

We were going to see a movie but the tickets...even for a matinee...were $13 a piece! More than triple what we pay in Texas!

Instead we drove down Sunset Blvd and gawked. I attempted to drive up to the Hollywood sign, but the roads were ridiculously steep, curved and narrow. This was along a street with non-stop townhouses! I chickened out.

We cruises Hollywood Boulevard for a bit before heading back to the hotel. On the way back I began searching for a Pinkberry. There is allegedly one on Hollywood Boulevard (there are a TON of Pinkberry LIKE places). Never found it.

Close to the hotel we drove by where a Pinkberry MIGHT have been (again using Google Navigation). Less than a mile away we finally found one.

I love yogurt. Kelli not so much. We both had plain yogurt. Kelli topped hers with just peppermint. I topped mine with mango, kiwi, strawberry andmochi. In Kelli's defense...the yogurt is not very sweet. Not supposed to be really. Kelli does have ice cream in her blood. Her father and ALL of her siblings go nuts over ice cream. Word is there are ice cream parlors up in Oregon that Richmonds have been banned from. Just sayin.

Monday morning we headed to the La Brae Tarpits .I voted for Disneyland. Tar pits are cheaper. The weather Sunday was beautiful. Monday was cold and very rainy. The tar pits were.....well they were. We were both a bit underwhelmed. Afterwards we headed back to walk Hollywood Boulevard.

We just happened to walk upon Robert Downey Jr's ceremony for placing his hands and footprints into cement in front of the Chinese theatre. We stood in the rain and listened as the ceremony was blocked by all the TV cameras setup on risers. There was a clear canopy over the ceremony that allowed us to see....the cameras.

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After the ceremony Robert Downey Jr did walk across the street and sign autographs and thank the fans. Very nice.

After walking down Hollywood Boulevard we stopped by a In-N-Out burger (again that was our meal for the day) before heading back to Santa Ana.

One VERY annoying thing about Orange County...very few gas stations!

We used Google Navigation and found a Shell gas station.....all the pumps were blocked off. The next Chevron wouldn't approve my card. The Mobil across the street had the pumps blocked off. Finally another station 2 miles away worked. Booo.

The flight back was nearly as empty as the flight there. Nice weekend.

I found a travel agent that can book any number of cruise cabins under my travel industry discount. Nice. Just waiting on my sister in law to get the final word that she has the time off.

For many of the photos from the weekend [nggallery id=36].

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