Katie and I trekked across the country this past September. We loaded up the Prius and started out at 6:30 a.m. She had been out karaoke-ing with friends, and then Kirby came back to the house to see her off that morning.
First Night on the road: El Paso La Quinta
Dinner: Long John Silvers
Had to quickly find a Chase Bank to get a huge cashier’s check for the apartment. Didn’t realize we needed it to be a cashier’s check for the deposit/set up. Chase bank is so easy to work with!
Lots of music and podcasts as we traveled across New Mexico. Crossed into Arizona and we got a little turned around on the highways. Not sure how that happened.
2nd Night: Goodyear (outside Phoenix) Best Western
Dinner: Macayo Mexican Restaurant
And then it’s not too far to the California border. We haven’t crossed a lot of borders by car lately and we remembered when you couldn’t bring fruit or flowers across the California line. But this time, the border patrol system seemed different. One officer stood to the right of the car with his guard dog – I guess he was ready to sniff out whatever we weren’t supposed to bring across. The signs said to pull out your driver’s license, so we did. We rolled the window down and the police officer looked at my license. He leaned down to look behind into our back seat, and of course it was packed with stuff. He glanced at Katie’s license and then said, “And what about the guys in the back?”
I turned my head to see what he could have been looking at and turned back to him, “Huh? There are no guys in the back!”
“I don’t know you could have some there!”
I just looked at him with probably an incredulous look.
“Just kidding m’am! You can go on through!”
I just looked at him for a second. He started to chuckle.
“A little border patrol humor? Is that it?” I couldn’t help myself. “I guess you have to entertain yourself out here somehow!”
He laughed and Katie and I drove on into California. Weird, huh?
Traveling into California was really awesome. The wind turbines were enormous – and everywhere. We kept seeing speedboats on the highway when we were in the middle of the Mojave. They seemed so out of place it made us laugh! (Pam told us later that there are lots of lakes out there, we just didn’t see them.)
We left the desert and the cool rock formations, and then the road led down into these beautiful valleys. And then we made it to Los Angeles! It was midday, so the traffic wasn’t too bad. We made it to Toluca Lake without any trouble. Her apartment is just a couple of miles from her Universal Studios, where she’ll be taking classes. That night, we had only a yoga mat and an air mattress, but the bed was delivered the next day. We made our way to the local Ralph’s, and found our dinner in the local deli department. Yum! AND convenient!
Her roommate, Caleb, arrived the next day with his mom and sister. We all stayed for the week, buying furniture and various things to set up the apartment. We did a great job with discount furniture stores, Marshall’s and Target! Katie became quite proficient at putting together furniture – I think she actually liked doing it! We had no internet at the apartment so we had to drive down to the local coffee shop, the Coffee Bean, to Skype or check anything online. The refrigerator and washer/dryer wasn’t going to be delivered until the day after we all left them, so we ate out the whole time. After a week of shopping and getting her set up, we went on the L.A. City tour. This was an all-day tour, but nice to find out where everything is.
We went west and had lunch on Venice Beach. We went through Santa Monica & Marina Del Rey. The kids felt like they’d definitely be back this way!
We saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Graumann’s Chinese Theater, the Kodak Theater, Beverly Hills & the homes of the stars (really just their gates!). We went up Mulholland Drive and saw the HOLLYWOOD sign up close. We went to Rodeo Drive and the Sunset Strip. We went downtown and saw where the award shows are held and watched a flamenco group perform at the square on Olvera Street.
And here’s a slideshow of the apartment!