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Lost in LA!!! The tail end of the adventure!

Grab a cuppa! I have a story for you!

Hi readers. I know it has been some time since I posted but I have been preoccupied with my Mexican Adventure, Close To My Heart Convention USA in Disneyland (more on these in future posts) and of course discovering something of LA in my last few days before heading home.

The end of Route 66

Santa Monica Pier – The end of Route 66

I have discovered today the beauty of Santa Monica Beach and city, and the eccentric,  eclectic Venice Beach. I saw something of these yesterday on tour but we were given just 20 minutes in Venice Beach and drove right by Santa Monica pier. From that experience I would say don’t choose this tour by VIP tours! However it helped to get my bearings on this enourmous city.  

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Today I ventured out on LA public transport, specifically the Big Blue Bus. It started well with friendly drivers telling me where to hop off in Santa Monica. I wandered down to the pier and enjoyed the ocean breeze and the atmosphere.

I have a video here

Then I could not quite decide what to do. Pay big bucks for the hop on hop off bus or just get the BBB to Venice Beach. I decided given the time of day it had to be Venice, that was around 1 pm.  Not enough time for hop on hop off back up to Sunset Strip. (Unfortunately, and I doubt now I have time to get bck there.) But the BBB had a route through to Venice so off I went. 

Anyhow, I loved my time at Venice Beach. There was a lot of quirky artwork, skaters, cyclists, entertainment and another awesome red hat. Here is a video of one of the musicians. I can{t quite work out the embed code yet. 

I had a big late lunch and decided it was time to find my way from Venice to Route 3 on the BBB.  I had two possible directions to head. I started right, looked at the map and the envisioned potential walk ahead and decided left was perhaps better. Who should I run into but three awesome Aussies from Convention just arriving at Venice Beach!

Back on  track,  an officer of the  LAPD advised me the main road I was looking for was a mile and a half away. I have no concept of that so I started walking….and walking…and walking. Three miles may have been closer to the mark!  

On the upside of this part of the journey I saw some nice homes in the streets of Venice Beach, and quickly changed blocks when I realised I was in ‘cool’ ( aka dangerous) territory.

Suddenly I found myself back in the city of Santa Monica! Not only was it signed, the whole look of the place with its smoke free streets, good pavement and quality of shops and homes dictated I had crossed some sort of border. I felt safe but the walking I knew was going to be a problem. I had to turn right on Pacific Boulevard. I did and there in front of me were hills….I can walk bumpy flat ground (and I had in the streets of Venice Beach where in some place poles and fences were so close my walker would not fit through) but hills are a problem.  

Big Blue Bus Routes....there are lots of them!

Big Blue Bus Routes….there are lots of them!

By now I regretted the decision to go left. I regretted not having a decent map or any concept of how big the distance was between key roads marked on the map. I thought about getting a taxi and then realised I was on the wrong side of the street to hail one…They do drive on the wrong side of the road here!  

By now I was pretty cross with myself, and a little anxious. Then I saw it!  A BIG BLUE BUS! It was route 8 and bound to get me to route 3 according to the map I had which I needed to get home. After 30 minutes wait, and dodging fruit dropping from the tree overhead, I began to get anxious. Not one BBB had come through, but I had seen 3 go the other way. Surely one would come or had they stopped for the DAY? How could I Check?  

In the burbs oi Santa Monica around 6 pm getting anxious about the next Big Blue Bus not arriving!

In the burbs oi Santa Monica around 6 pm getting anxious about the next Big Blue Bus not arriving!

Then I remembered Santa Monica City has free wifi…. it worked in the burbs where I was…My BBB arrived just as I downloaded the time Table!  The reason for such a wait….city Traffic!  Duh!!!  Lol. Of course. I am just a country bumpkin afterall and have no idea about such things in a city of millions. 

So as I write the draft of this post I am safely on route 3, discovering all the while I did not need to walk miles to key stops Afterall! !! Every major intersection I crossed over following my map intersected with this one!!!! If I’d only had a map or thought it through before embarking on my homeward journey. One final challenge awaits…a working public phone at the bus transfer station to call upon my hotel shuttle. I had not seen a phone there in the morning…I am worried.  (If not I will be offering so one some money to use their mobile phone!)Enjoy these photos.

Today was and adventure and I can’t wait to scrapbook it. This rapid bus is making lots of stops. Yep….I am a dill. So could have thought this through better. There was a shorter quicker way…to my right where I was headed in the first place! 


 

Postscript: I found phones and had just 3 quarters left to make a call. No change machine in sight and 2 are needed for the call.  The girl at the hotel could not hear me so she hung up. It is after 7 pm…getting late. I needed one more quarter…asked a guy if he had change. Nope. He suggested putting a fiiver in the coke machine to get change. The machines rejected my fiver. 7.25 pm… I emptied my handbag and luckily found another quarter and a better phone. Made the call, got connected. A 15 minute wait. 8 pm…collected and taken round the airport twice (another story) while another client was dropped off for a flight. 8.30 by the time I walked into the hotel! But…I made it! And through talking with the driver I now know exactly how to get to Michaels for their Independence day sale tomorrow!

PPS..Americans are already celebrating July 4 with fireworks and some are turning it into a 4 day weekend. Just like us…any reason to party or go camping!

 

Cheers

Jen

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