South of San Simeon and Mission San Juan Capistrano one moves into the jungle of concrete and freeways that is Los Angeles. Most of this city is just boring suburbia and condensed housing. But eventually one does get to the interesting bits. It is not unusual to find Marilyn Monroe, Supergirl or Zorro in full construe walking the Hollywood walk! While Supergirl was decidedly anorexic and un-athletic, Marilyn did not look quite right either that day!
Take the walk and try and find your favorite “stars” on the sidewalk. Here is mine!
At the entrance of the Chinese theater see the concrete blocks with hand and foot prints of other notables. The youngest group was the Harry Potter bunch.
At the Kodak theater – the site of the Oscar awards – I took a picture of this list of duds awarded by the academy!
Then a drive up into the hills, and behind the Hollywood sign, will take you to the Mulholand Drive area. At dusk the Valley and the city are spread out on either side of you.
A drive up to the Getty museum is rewarding – the museum itself is huge with sparse but well displayed artwork. The views from the upper balconies are breathtaking and the gardens at the Getty are artwork of their own kind.
Heading further south to San Diego the biggest change is that of pace. The concrete is replaced with stucco and southwestern architecture and people are a lot mellower. The cuisine is great and there is lots to see and do. Balboa Park boasts of a Shakespeare theater, the zoo, and many historic buildings. The gardens were in bloom and striking.
From San Diego one can go on a whale watching trip – ours took us 2 hours out to sea and we saw a rare fin whale, and many schools of dolphin. San Diego bay is an azure and calm bay with lots of sailboats out on a good day.
One can drive to Coronado Island and have lunch at the remarkable Hotel Del Coronado – the location for filming of Some like in Hot!
Coronado itself is a yuppie tourist trap kind of town and the only place worth lingering at was this store with paper butterflies in the store front.
Not far away is the border and Mexico. Bordering California is the city of Tijuana – or TJ as the locals call it. I did that trip a few years ago and recall the squalor and nastiness of that part of Mexico – a sharp contrast to Mexico city and the interiors. Unless you feel like chalking up another country on your passport, I would give TJ a miss. Spend time in San Diego instead – take a hike to lighthouse at Cabrillo point instead. The lens used originally is itself a work of art.
And here one can fully understand what Bernard Shaw said about lighthouses – serene, lonely, yet noble edifices.
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