Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Day Trip to Los Angeles

On Tuesday, we went to Los Angeles. I haven't been there in two or three years and the traffic was really hard for me to take. I looked at all the cars and wondered how I could have lived there for so long and never had a car accident. But get in a serious one up here, where there are practically no cars. Merging from our freeway on to Interstate 5 was a nightmare, but after that I managed to calm down and enjoy my day.
  
I lived in Los Angeles for 30 years and I really liked it. I'm not one for cities like New York or Philadelphia, two large US cities that I am familiar with, where you live in a true cityscape.  In Los Angeles, you have your garden, your lawn; you can grow oranges, lemons, avocados and all kinds of flowers. In our garden we had hummingbirds, mocking birds, and mourning doves, in addition to pigeons and crows.  Visits by opossums were common and raccoons could be seen wandering down the sidewalks at night. 


I tried to show some of the big city/small town contrast here. Century City skyscrapers are in the background and small, single family homes, in the foreground. Believe me, with hubby driving and on a mission to accomplish a lot of stuff while in the city, I didn't have a chance to take any well-composed photos. 


Spanish style homes in a typical Los Angeles neighborhood.


This is the street where our Los Angeles house is located. We didn't stop outside our house, we just drove by. The trees you see lining the street are jacarandas that are covered in deep purple/blue flowers in the spring. We have bougainvilleas in red, orange, white, and pink covering our 7-foor wrought iron fence there. It is really a very pretty street and neighborhood. And you can't beat the location: right between downtown and the beach, just east of Beverly Hills, it is close to the Farmer's Market, the by now celebrity famous Grove Mall, UCLA, where I worked, and so on. I lived on this street all the time I lived in L.A. and I met both my husband, who was my neighbor, and my best friend, Lin, also a neighbor here. So I will always have fond memories of this Los Angeles neighborhood.


Another view of our street. Again, not a very good picture, I know.


A busy L. A. street. I think I tried to capture the Hollywood sign, but was too far away. I got some billboards though -- they line the streets here.


While we were at a gas station, a blue Santa Monica bus passed by, evoking memories of my years on the west side of town, working at UCLA. I used to take the bus to work the last 10 years or so that I worked. I probably walked a couple of miles each day because I left my car at home and, believe me, riding city buses can be weird, sometimes scary, sometimes touching your heart, sometimes making you laugh. One could write a book about the characters that step on to a Los Angeles MTA bus. Don't know if anyone would want to read it, but that's another story.


After all our errands were done, we headed home.  After a long, tedious, drive up the hill that marks the end of the west side of Los Angeles, we head downhill to the San Fernando Valley. You really feel the difference in temperature as you go over the top of this hill and down into the valley, a very hot place in summer and really warm now.


Here we are on a different freeway, leaving Los Angeles and its suburbs behind. There are places with some magnificent rock formations that I didn't have much of a chance to capture. Here are just a few of them.


They put netting on the hillsides here to prevent the soil from coming down. We had so much rain this winter and that always creates a delicate situation in the hills.


You probably can't see them, but on top of two of these steep hills, and I mean steep, people built a couple of large homes. The house on the right has been there for as long as I have driven this freeway. It looks like the house is all there is room for at the top of the hill. A very, very steep road leads up to it and I think living there would leave me in a constant state of vertigo. 


A lake in Palmdale, I think it may be part of the Los Angeles aqueduct, which is close by in any case.  Don't you love a blogger, like me, who doesn't know a thing about stuff? Anyway, when I drive by here, I always think of the movie Chinatown and the struggle to get water to the Los Angeles basin.


The great Mojave Desert was covered with bright yellow flowers. Again, I have no idea what kind they are. But one thing I know for sure is that this vast desert is beautiful in its own special way.


We know we are not far from home when we approach these mountains and see the wind turbines. It was a very busy day and a tense one for me with all those cars and all that driving that I'm no longer used to. But it was a lot of fun to go on a road trip with my husband and to visit our friends Fran and Bud and ride in their elevator. 

More about this elevator and Fran's art work is coming soon. I also want to welcome a couple of new followers with names and links. And read more of your blogs, I feel like I don't know what you are up to any more. I am still drowning in paperwork here today, so soon. Have a great weekend!

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the trip to LA. Never been there, so nice to see some real pictures of it.

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  2. Thank you for this lovely trip to the city of angels! I would have never guessed the pics 2-4 are from LA. I love those type of houses and the one on the 2nd photo reminds me of the house where Brenda and Brandon Walsh from 90210 Beverly Hills:))

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  3. I'm only an hour out of Dallas and have been off work for not quite a year and a half, but I'm surprised at how "not used to" I am of Dallas traffic. And I hate all the concrete and cars. I can only imagine how much worse LA is...

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  4. Wonderful road trip, has been quite a while since I was there, doesn't look like it has changed much. No way would I live on one of those hills!

    You did get some good shots there, even if you didn't think so.

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  5. It's been about two years since I've driven any kind of vehicle - I think I'd have to work my way up to a 5 laned interstate and you drive on the wrong side of the road :)

    Interesting scenery to look at on the way in though.

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  6. Nice trip down memory lane. I think that is Lake Palmdale there. The air looks very clear & beautiful which I know it can be a lot different than this having flown around there for 25 years. We could see the LA basin from a distance in the air or not see it as the case maybe due to the pink air pollution. We would land in Hemet sometimes if visiting my sister, then on down to a small AP near Temecula to visit our son. Right now CA is so beautiful with the green and wildflowers all out. I lived there 60 years but all the time up north and we kept moving into the foothills to escape the growing population. Finally had the opportunity to move totally away from that and come up here to AK. when Bob retired. I really love the area in which you live now and in the past it was quite lovely too. When I see those photos I can just smell the sage. I had a good wildflower book but I gave it to my hiking buddy before leaving CA. Take Care and very nice post I enjoyed it. Nan

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  7. Thanks for taking us along Inger - we probably don't have cities on the scale of LA here but, even though I hate visiting the concrete jungle, I do approach a rare visit with a sense of excitement ... mainly for the photo-ops ...

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  8. The other day my husband and I were eating out and apricots were on the menu. I told him as a child in Tulare we had apricot and peach trees. I remember pulling them off the tree and eating them. We have peach trees growing in our area but the peaches are so small compared to the ones in California. I miss that even after all these years.

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  9. Thanks for the road trip! I haven't spent too much time in L.A. but the times I have visited, I enjoyed:) I'm looking forward to attending the BlogHer conference in San Diego in August! Have a great weekend:)

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  10. Great pics! I've only been there once - to visit my sister in law. Wasn't my favorite place, but there was plenty to do!

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  11. Never been to L.A., never lived in a big city. But loved reading about your memories and seeing your pictures. Glad you had time to snap a few during your busy day trip!

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  12. Oh how fun! I always love to drive by our old home and reminisce about our times there. I bet you enjoyed it. I love to visit L.A. but the traffic is more than I could bear long term. It is a beautiful area though! Thank you for sharing this great road trip Inger.
    Hugs, Amy

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  13. Inger,
    I do NOT think I could live in LA for the same reason I can't live in Philly or any other big city....the traffic! I really like small town type surroundings with a yard full of vegetation and space...
    Glad you arrived home safely!

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  14. We are only about an hour and a half from Washington DC and I've gotten so I don't even like to leave the county that I live in because of the traffic--So I'm right there with you about the traffic and all the people--The country is now where I belong!!

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  15. Thanks for your comments on our trip. The traffic would make it hard for me and now, being used to no neighbors and such quiet, I know that would be a problem too. But I enjoyed my years there and at the University, which also had a lot of green spaces to offer.--Inger

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  16. I didn't know that LA was so livable (lovely plants, birds, wildlife). I pictured it more as skyscrapers and highways.

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  17. Reminds me just a little bit about when I was drive back and forth to work every day. Not as much traffic as you encounter surely, but the feeling you get is the same. Love area your home is in -- beautiful. :)

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  18. Thank you for showing us what LA looks like Inger! I wonder if those people living in the house high up on the mountain can see the LA lights at night? Must be quite a view from up there!

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  19. Did you know that Bud & I once owned one of those wind turbines? I painted my ducky (the same one you see on the upper left) on it to identify it. I hate to scare your readers but your freeway pictures show relatively little traffic--try it during rush hour!

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  20. I had to giggle when you said you were a blogger who doesn't know a thing about stuff. I think you know plenty. But I thought I never know a thing about stuff. lol.
    This was a great trip through LA and I'm so glad you took us along. Have a great day, Inger!

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  21. Thank you for the photos, they look fine to me. I haven't been to CA much and never to LA so I really enjoyed them. When I first saw the pic of the lake beside the road, I thought it must be one of the faults. I have *never* driven in CA, and hope never to have to. You are brave, I think, to drive or to take the public transportation. Such a spirit of adventure! Glad you were with your husband.

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  22. What a great vacation you took me on! I've always wondered what it was like out there!...:)JP

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  23. I'm so glad you enjoyed my trip to Los Angeles. Fran is right, there is much more traffic during rush hour and we were stuck in it for a long time coming up that hill. But I like the view of the valley and distant mountains, so I posted that one. Did you really own a wind turbine, Fran? You are too much.--Inger

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  24. Great post, Inger! Very interesting, perhaps especially for me who has never been in a real, large city. I was surprised already in the first photo. Didn't think they had that tall buildings there.
    Your street looks nice. I'd love to read a book like that, about the bus ride.

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  25. my daughter and I were in LA last year...oh my gosh the traffic was horrible...I thought Dallas was bad...Texans are much friendlier drivers...and that is not saying much

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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