Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 5: Wednesday July 29th, 2009

Los Angeles to Seaside, California

Wednesday was our final day in Los Angeles and we still had a few places we wanted to see.

We started the morning off by going to the Venice district, and more specifically Venice Beach, another really interesting part of town. Zach Galifianakis lives there along with one of my favorite actors, Paul Giamatti. Near the beach were several small shops selling a variety of things. As Vince described it, felt like a place reggae music should be played.

Then we drove to Santa Monica, which felt like a more upscale version of Venice. It was very clean and just seemed brighter than the somewhat gloomy Venice (though that was also due to the misty weather that was in Venice). We checked out the pier there, which had a few rides.

And to close out our L.A. part of the trip, we drove to Topanga Canyon, a woodsy area with winding roads where we were only able to drive 25 mph. For the celebrities that want to get away, this part of town has housed Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, and more. It took us forever to find a restaurant that was open for lunch, but finally we settled on a roadside place called Pat’s Topanga Canyon. There were only about 10 people in there and one time we were asked to move to a smaller table so some people that had been sitting outside and were getting bothered by bees could have it. The food wasn’t the best and I was a little mystified when I ordered a $2.25 coke and just got a can and a cup of ice, a can I could buy here for about 30 cents as part of a 12-pack (this same thing happened in San Francisco).

But then one of the weirdest things of the whole trip happened. Vince started to whisper to me, “Is that Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for Foo Fighters?” I looked around and realized it probably was. Finally when he walked by, Vince tapped him on the shoulder and asked if it was him. It was! (For those that don’t know, Vince and I are both drummers). We proceeded to carry on a friendly conversation with him for a couple minutes. He asked about our trip and told us more about what he was up to and said one of the guys eating with him was the bass player for Foo Fighters. We didn’t bother asking for an autograph or pictures, but that was fine with us. I’ve been lucky to meet dozens of well-known musicians, but he was honestly one of the nicest and most personable ones I’ve encountered.

After this we embarked on a seven-hour drive in an attempt to make it to Monterey, California. Vince had chosen an alternate route to get there, one that took the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway, which like the name suggests, is right on the Pacific Coast. What we didn’t realize is this meant we were driving on the side of a mountain on a winding, extremely narrow road, where we could only go about 30 mph, or else we’d crash, and that we’d be on this for about four hours. Along the way we took several photos that are some of the most scenic I took all trip. Still when we made it to an Econolodge in Seaside, California (basically Monterey), we couldn’t stop talking about how thankful we were to finally be off the road. It was neat, but I think we’d pass if we drove up California again.

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