This is part 2 of a collection of diary entries by Londoner Dennnis during his holiday in Los Angeles, January 2005. Links to earlier entries at the end of this post.
Having gone to bed so early on the previous evening I wake up at about 2.00am. Tried a yoga exercise but could not get back to sleep. Made myself some coffee, it tastes so nice with the milk/cream I had got from the restaurant. Made a start on my journal and read a book until about 5.30am. Went back to bed and rested, did not actually sleep but at least closed my eyes. Got up around 7.00am had some more coffee, showered and dressed. I had not planned to do anything today as I figured that I would be stressed from jet lag. Took a walk around the block and found a little shopping mall at the back of the hotel. There is also a petrol station and another hotel called the Sheraton. Arrived back at the hotel and decided to try the restaurant breakfast. It is delightful 2 eggs fried over easy, 2 sausages, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 toast and fried potatoes. Bacon was a wee bit streaky and crisp but the sausages were nice, the whole lot with as much coffee as you can drink and the tip came to 10 dollars which is about £6.00 bearing in mind that this is not a cheap hotel I thought it very reasonable.
A bit later on I took a walk over to the mall where the bar & grill I had visited last night was. I love the way Americans create these areas that cater for all sorts of things but nobody actually lives on site. This one, The Bridge, is based on a cinema (multiscreen of course) surrounded by shops, snack bars and the odd curiosity shop. Here there is a tiny shop with the largest selection of cigarette lighters I have ever seen. I wandered around for a bit and found a great book shop, The Borders Books Music and cafÈ, here I purchased a map of California a map of the U.S.A physical and an AAA road atlas very handy, also a book called The War of flowers, just in case I got totally lost and had nothing to do. Thoroughly exhausted I repaired to the coffee shop and spotted two guys and a young lady working away with Lap Tops plugged in to the wall sockets, I asked if they were for hire, but they said they were from work I asked if there was am internet cafÈ anywhere but they did not seem to understand the concept of hiring internet time and hardware.
I looked around a large footwear and clothing store but could not find anything that I would not be able to get at home at roughly the same price. Finally I got bored and thought it might be a good idea to try to collect my hire car early. The Americans call them rentals. I spoke to Candace, the Hotel reception Manager who advised me to use the payphone in reception, as it would be cheaper than the hotel room phone. After several unsuccessful attempts with the Bell telephone system I went back to Candace, who very kindly phoned a friend of hers at the local Dollar car hire, whose name was Wade. Unfortunately Wade was unable to help as I had pre-paid for the Rental and he had been locked out of the web site. I should have just gone to L.A.X myself but I just did not think of it at the time. Having given up on that idea I asked Candace about Internet Connections, Bless Her, she told me that due to the Hotel refurbishment their computer suite was closed but the Sheraton Hotel next door would allow us to use theirs.
I walked around to the Sheraton and spoke to the receptionist; unfortunately she did not seem to know about the arrangement, also, probably due to the jet lag I was a bit impatient, because she started answering the telephone and her colleague was chatting to somebody else so I just said thanks anyway and left. I am not sure if it is just me but when I am on holiday, I donít really want to contact home so I was not trying very hard. If I can find some I will buy some postcards but I donít really want to physically speak to anyone as most seem to. Having said that it is Vikkiís birthday on the 18th and I would like to make sure I email her as I made the mistake of booking a vacation that coincided with her special day. I have already bought her present, a mobile phone, and birthday card with a £50 note in it, which she probably has already opened.
Anyway two failures in quick succession seemed to have a draining effect. So I made my way back to the hotel, got comfortable in the armchair in my room, feet up on the poof and read my book/slept for a couple of hours. Terrible waste of sunshine but there is nowhere that you can sit and relax at the hotel. Roused myself around 7.00pm Showered and dressed and made my way back over to the On the Border grill bar. There was a big queue for the restaurant, but they seemed to remember me from the previous evening and found me a small table in the bar where I had my first (American style) proper steak. Sirloin and some sort of fried peppers, which I did not eat, washed this down with about 3 or 4 12oz draught Miller Lites. While people watching the bar, about 10.30pm it seemed like a good idea to leave, I had had enough beer and I did not want to force myself too much as it is a bit dangerous crossing the road under the freeway. Got back to the Hotel safely and had a couple of scotch and waters while reading my book. Itís a bit solitary but that is the way I want to be at the moment. Last thought; glad I did not get the car today as I was a bit too tired for driving.
“The American Dream” previous entries: one