Saturday, April 1, 2017

Redondo Redoubt

Catching a few rays at Redondo Beach
The whole point of the overnight road trip was to take the students to the California beach.  Redondo Beach was selected for one reason:

The Redondo Beach Hotel.

It had a room available for just a Saturday night.  And while it was not "on" the beach per se, it was beach "adjacent," as we would call it in the real estate writing profession.  It was an excellent hotel,  Clean and quiet,  Huge breakfast buffet.  Nice pool and jacuzzi.  Awesome location.  Not-ridiculous room rate.

This is the main road alongside the waterfront in Redondo Beach:

We took a post-breakfast stroll around the waterfront.

The first site was this statue of two brothers who were very very ultra ultra important in the development of California beach culture.

Bill and Bob Meistrell.  The inventors of the first practical wetsuits.  Without them there would have been no California surf culture.  Because the Pacific Ocean is dang cold.

Like all respectable oceanside towns, Redondo Beach has a marina and it has a beach.  First, marina:

This picture wants me to tune the SiriusXM all the way to Channel 311 for some Yacht Rock:

Sailing.  Takes me away.

Here's a pier of shops:

Contemplative students:

This one speaks for itself:

This was supposed to be a romantic cruise ship, but it looks a little too Munsters/Addams Family for that:

More cool boats:

Unfortunately, one of the hazards of a day at the beach is the potential for shark attacks:

Yes.  I encouraged this sort of behavior,  Did I say "encouraged"?  Actually, it was more like "demanded."

More of the marina:

Now for some whale watching.  Yes, I could make the comment a few photos above because I too am a "person of girth."


But I'm wearing shades so you can't see who I am.

This next one is quite artsy.  I am photographing the Danish student photographing me.  Wheels within wheels.

Here's one for the geography nerds (clue: the signage on the right):

Lots and lots of piers here in Redondo,

The European students:

Did you know that "Redondo" is Spanish for "round"?

Finally, we have a picture of the beach.

Let's look at the beach using the enhanced photo editing effects available on my laptop.

That is using the "Napa" filter.  Ironically, it's the best for bringing out the natural color of sand, the irony being that Napa is not oceanfront.

Fishing pier:

The piers here are seemingly without peer.

Drone in flight over the pier:

We ended up spending the whole day at Redondo.  We were going to go to Venice to see the human circus there, but nobody felt like wasting an hour (or more) in L.A. traffic.  So we Redondo-ed all day, until it was time for a late lunch,

Followed by a long drive home.

Hooray for Hollywood

The middle of March was "Family Reunion Fortnight" in Paradise, Nevada.  The Danish student was visiting America, four years after he lived in my home.  And the German-Siberian student will still be living here for another few months.  So what is one to do when one's house is full?

Road trip!

Road trip to where?  Hollywood.  Actually, to a California beach with a stop in Hollywood en route.  Based on which beach had a hotel room available on a Saturday night for a not-totally-outrageous price, and which would be not-ridiculously-far from L.A., the elected beach was Redondo Beach.  This is a little overview of the California Road Trip 2017 posted to keep my vacation blogging chops intact until Portugal 2017.

We left Paradise early Saturday morning, as soon as Norm The Dog could be boarded for the weekend.  The drive to L.A. was easy, until L.A. traffic made it not-so-easy.  And it was surprisingly hard to find Hollywood based on memory and my book of Rand McNally roadmaps.  Yes, Rand McNally roadmaps.  In 2017.  How retro!  It was like we were going to visit the Hollywood of the Studio System and the Three Broadcast Networks.

We finally found Hollywood.  We parked the car and got out to soak in all the Hollywood.  The Danish student wanted to tour the Dolby Theater.  I wanted to find a few particular "stars" in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  This was the first one I saw.

I love Terry Bradshaw.  But does he really rate a "star" on the Walk of Fame?  Maybe a hypocycloid on the Pittsburgh Walk of Football Fame.  But "Hollywood"?  It's kind of debasing the currency, no?

And right next to Bradshaw was the star for Earth Wind & Fire.  An excellent R&B/disco band.  Consummate entertainers.  But "Hollywood" stars?  I would've thought their cameo in Sgt. Pepper The Movie would have forever disqualified them from Hollywood star status.  Got to get them into my life.

And here we come to legit Hollywood star.

No no no.  Not the German-Siberian student.  His idol.  The one.  The only.  The irreplaceable.  Bruce Lee.  Yes, that is the level of star power that should be on the Walk of Fame.

Yes.  And Mary, too.  Major star power there.  Looks like she made it after all.

Selfie with the Hollywood sign in the background.  Deep background.

PS.  I need to get my new glasses adjusted.  They keep sliding down my nose giving me the full "Chuck Schumer" effect where the tops of my lenses are completely below my eyes.  Stylish and intellectual-looking, I know.  But not useful for things like, say, vision enhancement.

We next went looking for the Dolby Theater.  It was buried within this giant shopping and restaurant megalopolis.  So L.A.

The Dolby is open for tours,  But not when we were there.  It was closed to the public because of a show being booked in it.  So we had no choice but to use the Dolby doors as a backdrop for a photo of the distraught students.

Also part of this giant shopping and restaurant megalopolis containing the Dolby was the famous Chinese Theater.  Once known as Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Then Mann's Chinese Theater.  Now it's called Somebody-Else's Chinese Theater (but surprisingly not some corporate-sponsorship-deal sort of name).

Lots of Faux Oriental decorative touches.

Here's a nice selfie of me that makes me look like I weigh less than Dom DeLuise after he ate a meal consisting of James Coco and the kid that played Rerun on that's "What's Happenin'" sitcom from the late 70s.

The Chinese Theater is best known for the handprints and footprints in the concrete right outside.  Here I am at the Bette Davis display.

I'm looking for the prints of those famous "Bette Davis Eyes."  Actually, I'm funning around with her handprints.  I can't fit my giant paws inside her handprints.  Bette Davis had tiny hands.  Just like Trump's!

Trump's star is supposed to be in this neighborhood, but I can't find it.  But we did find one of the Danish student's favorite non-Jennifer Aniston stars:  Michael Jackson.  So what was the plan?  Tonight.  We're gonna leave that 9-to-5 up on the shelf.

No. Actually, the plan was next to go into a gift shop.  While the displays were certainly gaudy, nothing was sufficiently tacky as to be worth buying.  So we piled back into the car and headed off into L.A. traffic.  Beach bound.