Some friendly women take John & Bob under their wings....
30.04.2014 - 01.05.2014 34 °C
Friday 2nd May: Room 1027, Doubletree Hotel, Culver City, CA
Well, we made it to Los Angeles yesterday lunchtime, though lunch was not on the agenda. Winding back to the flight in to Miami, we were left waiting for our pre-arrival snack, which was probably the nicest meal we were served. Cold chicken and posh-sounding salad. Served with a very more-ish "Lily O'Brien's Doubly Delicious Milk Chocolate Mousse with Caramel Sauce".
Yes, we did bounce along the runway a bit. And , completely out of character with Miami airport, taxied straight to a gate and off the plane in minutes.
We had again treated ourselves to the American Airlines "5 Star" service and we were whisked through Immigration and Customs embarrassingly quickly and found ourselves on the kerb waiting for the hotel courtesy bus within about 15 minutes of landing. The charming Lizzi from Puerto Rico (more Spanish heard the whole time in Miami than in Madrid!) was our escort (dare I say that?).
We were joined on the bus to the airport Hilton by an American Airlines Atlanta-based crew who had flown in from New York. We were immediately overwhelmed by a large female Flight Attendant who seemed to be very high on the AA coffee. She wanted us to share a taxi with them to South Beach and have a "great evening together". We are sure it would have been a gay old time but we politely declined. Here she is overwhelming the staff at the hotel reception desk. She was avery nice lady if a bit loud.
It was a day for meeting characters, including our taxi driver from the airport to South Beach (a $30 dollar ride). He was from Haiti via New York and had been in the US Marines. He told us all about his time in Spain translating for his Marine pals, about Brooklyn New York and, in the 25 minute ride, a great deal about Miami.
South Beach was wonderful. The buldings all pristine Art Deco hotels and apartment blocks. The people mostly young, stylish and camp. Many restaurants, all touting for business (in Spanish) as the main season is now over for Miami which is at its busiest in the Winter. Bob thought it felt like Havana might have done in its heyday even down to cigar/cigarette girls selling tobacco from a tray round the neck and the salsa music coming from every bar. Again, Spanish was the only language we heard.
Cocktails were served in glasses the size of large vases and seafood dishes in something that looked more like the vessel used for chocolate fountains.
And here is Versace's Mansion which his sister has just opened as a VERY up market restaurant. It was so expensive we could not even see over the chains barring the hoy poloy from the entrance. It appeared to have zero customers!
John took an interest in the planting in this bar so we stopped for a cranberry juice and a Corona for Bob (Mexican beer, not the limeade from the Corona Man) (wouldn't mind finding that under my palms!):-
We don't think we saw anyone famous with the possible exception of two of the Weather Girls, off to the beach for a bit of fitness training:-
Arthur is going to buy one of these:-
and Stan wouldn't mind one of these:-
Unsurpisingly, we did not have enough appetite for dinner. However, at checkin to the hotel, we had been offered coupons for breakfast. As we would be too early leaving to get breakfast, she kindly "traded" them for two coupons which gave us a drink and appetizer each when we got back to the hotel. John's very spicy seafood dip...
and Bob's artichoke and spinach dip..
both went down a treat. Just the job.
Will catch up with our trip into LA and a run down on how we spent the day (mainly in the most magnificent Huntington gardens near Pasadena, and the rest of the time in traffic!) hopefully, tomorrow when we set out on the first part of Highway 395. We will be stopping at Lone Pine, where we last stayed in 1981.
TIme for dinner.... Thank you for all you wonderful comments. They really do keep up our enthusiasm for the Blog so please keep them coming!